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Study: Connected Navigation Beats Radio Streaming in the Car

ABI Research shares results of telematics study

Consumers want connected navigation more than they do connected social media or streaming radio in the car.

That’s according to a new study from U.K.-based ABI Research, “Connected Car: Market Shares, Awareness, Service Preferences, Usage Patterns, and Willingness to Pay.” Completed in 2Q 2011, the study surveyed 1,500 respondents in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, and China about several “connected car” services they use and don’t use.

Among those who don’t use any infotainment services, 59% to 72% of respondents chose connected navigation as the most desired infotainment service in all countries except China, where the greatest interest was in concierge services, according to ABI’s findings.

Internet radio only showed average levels of interest among nonusers, even in the U.S. where most major OEMs and aftermarket vendors are heavily focusing on multimedia streaming. Surprisingly email, social media and networking integration scored very low, according to the findings.

ABI Research Telematics and Navigation Group Director Dominique Bonte said the preference for connected navigation can be explained by familiarity with the service. “Clearly car OEMs need to build their infotainment platforms around navigation, especially as overall awareness levels about other connected car services remain low. On the other hand, the high frequency of use of Internet radio among users suggests that car owners embrace new services once they have become familiar.”

High costs for monthly fees and hardware as well as lack of awareness are mentioned as the main reasons nonuser respondents were not interested in connected car services. The average monthly fees mentioned by nonusers hovered around $10 and hardware costs not higher than $700.