Global traffic information users are expected to grow from 57 million in 2010 to more than 370 million in 2015, according an ABI Research market data report. ABI’s Telematics and Navigation Practice Director Dominique Bonte said the use of handset navigation devices for navigation purposes has increased significantly over the last year, resulting in GPS probe data becoming more widely available, improving quality as well as spatial and temporal granularity. “Navigation users continue to appreciate the value of traffic information, allowing calculation of the fastest routes and accurate estimated times of arrival predictions. The emergence of historic speed profiles and predictive traffic information has extended the use case to trip planning.”
The report said the increase of traffic information use boosts adoption of high-speed cellular connectivity technologies, replacing broadcast technologies such as RDS-TMC and satellite. However, while many leading traffic GPS devices use cellular probe data as the main source for their traffic solutions, the lack of accuracy continues to be a major issue. Due to limited infrastructure budgets caused by the weak economy, the importance of fixed road sensors is decreasing, reduced to key junctions and highways, according to Bonte.
The report also claims that smaller navigation vendors are shifting to lifetime traffic offers bundled with the navigation device or software as major navigation brands such as Nokia and Google leverage probe data from their customer bases to offer traffic information as part of their free navigation services.
“This puts pressure on independent traffic information vendors to lower their prices and increase data quality. For these players, the high margin automotive and government segments will become key markets, compensating declining revenues in the competitive mobile and consumer electronics markets,” said Bonte.