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According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, global shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) declined to about 33 million units in 2011. In mature markets where the installed base of PNDs is already high, the device category is facing increasing competition from smartphones and low-cost in-dash navigation systems. Aftermarket navigation systems will be the largest segment for several years to come and many customers, especially in Europe and North America, are likely to use more than one navigation capable device for different occasions in the future. However, growing shipments of PNDs in markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia are not likely to compensate for the decline in Europe and North America. Global PND shipments are forecasted to decline to about 23 million units in 2016. The number of mobile subscribers using a turn-by-turn navigation app or service on their handset doubled in 2011 and reached 130 million worldwide. The subscriber base is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9 percent to reach 340 million users worldwide in 2016. Broad availability of GPS handsets and attractive pricing are key factors for widespread adoption of mobile navigation apps.
Civil rights campaigners condemn tracking of shoppers
Civil rights campaigners spoke out against a technology, ‘FootPath’, used by several shopping centres in the UK to track consumers using their mobile signals. The shopping centres claimed that the technology helped them in providing better services to consumers and retailers without compromising privacy. It allowed them to know how are people spending time in a shopping centre, which spots they visit the most and even the route they take while walking around in a shopping centre. ‘FootPath’ has been developed by Hampshire-based Path Intelligence. It uses several trackers being installed in locations across the shopping centre and is capable of tracking consumers’ position to up to 2 meters.
Several consumer and civil rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, claimed that consumers must be given a choice on whether they want their movement tracked or not. The fact that the technology keeps the consumers’ anonymous has been appreciated but several organisations claim that is wrong to assume that shopping centres have a right to track the movement of the consumers.
SiRFstudio Client LoCoMo API now available
CSR has announced the availability of the SiRFstudio Client LoCoMo API, which gives developers the tools to add location, as well as context-awareness of pedestrian motion, on any MEMS-enabled Android device. LoCoMo API innovations are based on the concept of “Locomotion” allowing the differentiation between different modes of physical movement, such as walking and running. These capabilities can be used to distinguish applications in a number of categories, such as gaming and physical fitness. The LoCoMo API Software Developer Kit (SDK) comes with a fitness applet called “GoRun” developed by CSR to illustrate LoCoMo API capabilities.
Magellan Introduces Newest Addition to eXplorist Outdoor GPS Family
Magellan has announced the introduction of the Magellan eXplorist 110 GPS receiver, a waterproof and rugged handheld GPS with core outdoor navigation features. Powerful yet light and portable, the eXplorist 110 demonstrates Magellan’s continued commitment to outdoor navigation. With a vibrant, sunlight readable color display plus a highly sensitive GPS chipset providing 3-5 meters of accuracy, and the ability to record hundreds of waypoints, tracks, and routes, the eXplorist 110 GPS receiver is an amazing value for any beginning outdoor enthusiast. It comes pre-loaded with Magellan’s World Edition map, which includes a road network of more than 200 countries. Users can start each adventure with a single click, record every step, and monitor their distance travelled, average speed, elevation gain and descent by viewing the track summary statistics. It will even navigate users back at the end of the day.
Bing Maps to be rebranded as Nokia Maps
In an interview with Pocket-lint, Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, stated that Bing Maps would be rebranded as Nokia Maps across all platforms. Nokia owns NAVTEQ maps database, which now powers Bing Maps on all Windows Phone devices. But Elop added that the Nokia Maps branding will be spread out to all users of Bing Maps, across all platforms, including the BlackBerry.
The news will probably come as a surprise to companies involved with Bing, such as Research In Motion (RIM) who makes the popular BlackBerry smartphones. “Part of the relationship we established with Microsoft is that we are clearly placing a bet on the Windows Phone platform. [In return] they are placing a bet on our location-based platform: mapping, navigation and so forth,” explained Elop.
Elop stressed that Nokia’s deal to help Microsoft improve its navigation services is a way to protect the Finnish company and make sure the agreement wasn’t as one sided as perhaps people currently perceive.
Garmin PNDs to use NAVTEQ’s mapping data
Garmin announced that it would transition its map provider for the majority of its nuvi range of personal navigation devices (PNDs) to NAVTEQ from February 2012. Garmin PNDs in Australia and New Zealand released from next month will join the majority of Garmin’s global PND range that already trust NAVTEQ as a map provider. All Garmin nuvi models released from February 2012 onwards in Australia and New Zealand will be manufactured with NAVTEQ maps onboard. Garmin’s fitness, outdoor and marine ranges will remain unchanged.
TomTom to provide traffic info to British Automobile Association
TomTom has announced that it will provide British Automobile Association (the AA) real-time traffic information for The AA’s Traffic News website. The AA website will now include TomTom HD Traffic data, which provides a live view of road conditions and areas of congestion, enabling consumers to better plan their journeys. TomTom HD Traffic creates a picture of traffic conditions as they evolve. HD Traffic contains information from multiple data sources, including connected navigation devices, mobile phones, road sensors and real time incident data; TomTom combines this anonymous information to produce real time traffic products using proprietary and tested methods.
Accenture unveils ‘Connected Vehicle Integrated Solution’
Accenture has unveiled an integrated solution for auto and truck manufacturers that will help them meet growing demand from consumers for in-vehicle technologies with capabilities ranging from wi-fi access to the ability to process mobile payments for parking, insurance and tolls. According to Accenture, the market for these technologies is expected to exceed $70 billion this year, with new research showing a growing demand for automated driver- assistance and traffic-avoidance technologies. The Accenture Connected Vehicle Integrated Solution (ACVIS) helps original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) design and integrate technologies such as on-board devices, telematics and mobile connectivity.
TORC Robotics to develop long-range obstacle detection for autonomous vehicle navigation
TORC Robotics has been subcontracted through the Robotics Technology Consortium (RTC) to develop an advanced sensor fusion system for the Department of Defense that will significantly increase high-speed obstacle detection range. This long-range obstacle detection, classification and prediction system will enhance autonomous navigation capabilities for unmanned ground vehicles operating in mission-relevant environments at speeds up to 100 KPH. The system will be capable of detecting and maintaining a variety of tracking statistics for each obstacle.
NAVTEQ launched real-time traffic service, NAVTEQ Traffic Pro, in India. According to the company’s press statement, through Traffic Pro, the company delivers comprehensive, real-time traffic information to more than 26 million people in the country’s two largest cities by population, Delhi and Mumbai. Research shows drivers in India who use traffic-enabled navigation on a regular basis can spend 18 percent less time sitting in congestion over those that don’t — the equivalent to almost three days saved on the road each year. Additionally, the findings show that drivers with real-time traffic experience reductions in distance travelled as well as increase fuel efficiency which could lead to a decrease in CO2 emissions per driver of 628 kilograms, or 23 percent less than a driver without a navigation system.
Vodafone India to penetrate rural market using GIS
Vodafone India is considering using GIS maps and population data under the ‘Project Pappu’. Through this way, the company aims to strengthen its presence in rural India, Business Standard reported. Vodafone decided to go off the beaten track by tweaking its network coverage and choosing not to follow the conventional route of a linear expansion along the highways. Instead it covered a villager’s “community of interests.” These are the different pockets or milieus he/she frequents for his/her various socio-economic needs. “Urban guys think they travel a lot. But a villager and his family travels a lot more. They go to various local markets to sell their produce and visit various feeder markets to buy provisions. Their children probably travel to another village for school. It is the same for healthcare services or even a bank,” observed Sunil Sood from Vodafone India. “And they need coverage in each of these locations. Every single village has a unique community.”
“So, Vodafone decided to cover location after location by first identifying the different communities of interest. Using technology like GIS mapping, and population data as a surrogate, the planning also became easier. This way, you go as deep as you can. A village in East UP may have 1250 people. But there’s an 800,000 population within 22 kms. That could be 1,500 villages. And that’s a real community of interest,” added Sood.