World News: Front-seat video won’t happen soon, says ABI

World News:  Front-seat video won’t happen soon, says ABI

While some auto industry pundits fear that front-seat video will only add to driver-distraction issues, ABI Research says this won’t be available anytime soon.

“No carmaker – certainly no North American carmaker – will be delivering a video system other than rear seat entertainment, for a variety of reasons,” says ABI Research director Mike Ippoliti.

According to Ippoliti, 39 US states have specifically prohibited the installation of DVD entertainment systems in the front seat. Chrysler had challenges with its MyGig audio system, so no OEM will be rushing to develop a video system that might prove to be illegal.

While rear-seat entertainment systems remain popular, there is no sign of sufficient customer demand for either the OEMs to put much effort into developing a similar system for the front-seat, nor to motivate government rule-makers to change their conservative direction .

Another issue is the lack of standards and business models – multiple incompatible formats for video, changing over time, with no guarantee any one will dominate the future market.

ABI’s research does not suggest that there will be absolutely no market for TV in the car, but that lack of demand will keep its growth to a very measured pace, reaching perhaps 300,000 OEM shipments of digital radio hardware for video by 2011.

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