Beijing Motor Show reflects flourishing Chinese in-vehicle telematics market

The recent 2012 Beijing International Automobile Exhibition will be remembered for several in-vehicle telematics systems such as Ford’s SYNC, Hyundai’s BlueLink and SAIC’s iVoka.

According to an ongoing research project named ‘OE In-Vehicle Telematics – China in 2012’, IMS Research points out that the in-vehicle telematics market in China is booming right now, with the next few years being critical for the future development of the market.

There are three main types of telematics system in China: standalone telematics systems like GM’s OnStar, embedded telematics systems such as Toyota’s G-Book and connected telematics systems like Ford’s SYNC.

Connected systems are forecast to grow more quickly than the other two types, due to their relatively low cost and the bridge they offer to connect smart phones to cars.

Michael Liu, market analyst with IMS Research’s Automotive and Transport Group comments, “Besides the three major global brands (OnStar, G-Book and SYNC), it is encouraging to see some local Chinese telematics systems popping up. For example, iVoka is actually like the early stage of Apple’s Siri. You can ask it to do things like make hands free calls, send messages, provide navigation, check for weather, or even just talk with you for fun. It’s a good start and is pointing to the right direction for future development.”

There are some critical factors needed for the market to grow healthily in the future. Finding good and successful business models is an important one.

Another key factor for the future of in-vehicle telematics in China is to provide drivers with truly useful functions that they love to use. Only when drivers use some functions frequently, will they be willing to pay.

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