Navigation is an aspect of car technology that’s benefiting the most from connectivity and the rapid evolution in the space.
I guess if the writer is looking to what you would want in your car in the next 5-10 years, then fair enough, but having been in the car navigation business, you also need to consider the degree at which the technology is available to give a quality result.
I’ll go for two of the features in the story and let you decide about the rest:
Parking. I totally agree that people want to know where to park. They want to know that parking is available. This has come up in surveys all around the world. There are some very good systems being developed and installed for this purpose like the excellent Frog Parking system out of New Zealand that even solar charges it’s sensors. They provide API’s for developers of systems like car nav to be able to identify where parks are free. When I presented to the national parking association I had to remind them that they are not the destination, so digital information and even booking a car park needs to ensure that it is handy to the destination, that the duration fits the reason you are going to the destination and that there will still be a park available when you get there. The easiest solution to me is pre-pay and reservation. If you don’t use the park, that’s fine but the parking company doesn’t lose out. The fatal flaw when I interviewed car park chain managers was that they did not want to EVER tell potential customers that their car park was full. Footnote on this one, if you have a hybrid or electric car you also want to know if they provide chargers and then there is mobility parking….
Navigation Tour Guide. Fortunes have been made and lost in this market. Most people end up turning them off. Navigation instructions can tend to get intrusive when you are listening to your Pandora or Spotify, or simply having a conversation. On the other hand it is a great module to have as an option. Will it sell cars or add value that will make people want to buy that for the car they mostly use to take the kids to school, commute and go shopping?
Final thought, w are still not in a mature age where it is easy or cost friendly to update maps and services in cars. I can’t buy a nav disk for my $6,000 OEM car navigation device. The market was too small and they stopped producing them. So I use a portable TomTom, and the $6,000 car nav computer takes up space under my driver seat and half of my DIN slot (it has a motorized drive for the display to come out when need it. I think tomorrow’s cars should focus more on features under control of the manufacturer such as in car entertainment, climate control etc, and then provide a WiFi interface for mobile solutions. Something like the Navdy, but OEM factory installed, then give the customer the choices.
How would you feel if you bought a nice VW Golf and found that the mobile mount only supports an iPhone 4? True story.