Predictive traffic data will bring value to the nav market

Predictive traffic data will bring value to the nav market

Dissatisfied customers are increasingly reluctant to keep paying recurring fees, which has prompted Garmin to introduce lifetime traffic subscriptions in the US, copying earlier moves by Navigon, and Dash Navigation's recent decision to stop directly marketing its traffic-centric subscription-based connected PND further confirms the low perceived value of traffic services.

"While there is certainly an issue with convincing consumers to pay monthly fees for navigation content services, in the case of traffic the priority should be to increase the value of the offer before exploring new business models," says ABI Research director Dominique Bonte. "Predictive traffic makes time-dependent routing possible and provides customers with more trustworthy information, allowing them to prepare their trips more efficiently on Internet mapping sites and to calculate a more accurate ETA."

Several traffic information providers are preparing this new stage in traffic data provisioning.

UK-based Journey Dynamics recently announced the launch of its extensively tested traffic speed forecasts for cars and trucks in the UK, with launches in other European countries and the addition of driver personalisation scheduled for end-2008. It provides greater confidence in the routes selected and journey times, enabling consumers and professionals such as logistics companies to avoid congestion and reduce fuel consumption.

Other providers such as INRIX and TrafficCast are also working on predictive traffic models based on historical and real-time speed profiles complemented with weather forecasts, planned events and driving behaviour profiles.

While predictive traffic information does not require connected hardware because compact datasets and modelling software will be available for embedded navigation solutions, connectivity allows the use of more powerful off-board modelling and access to real-time inputs.

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