Consumer GPS on track for new applications and increased revenue

With the cost of deploying a global positioning satellite (GPS) tracker now less than US$30 per month depending on the complexity of the item to be tracked, the consumer market is beginning to accelerate. Added to this, the cost of installing GPS tracking devices into boats, cars, recreational vehicles and mobile equipment has reduced to the extent that typical installations cost approximately US$75-100, further lowering barriers to entry. Put together the reduction in cost for GPS tracking means it is squarely in the sights of insurers as well as individuals willing to pay to protect their prized possessions.

Naturally, many of the applications are in the business-to-business (B2B) market place where the technology is very well-established and devices number in their millions. Analyst firm Berg Insight says the number of active tracking devices deployed for cargo loading units including trailers, intermodal containers, rail freight wagons, air cargo containers, cargo boxes and pallets reached 3.7 million worldwide in 2017. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.6%, this number is expected to reach 8.9 million by 2022. Trailer telematics is today the most developed market, however in terms of installed units the intermodal container tracking market is expected to take over the leading position during the forecasted period.

“The market for remote tracking solutions for cargo containers has entered a growth period that will continue for several years to come,” says Martin Bäckman, an IoT analyst at the firm. He adds that there will be a strong focus on increased supply chain visibility and transport security in the coming years. “Customers today demand and expect information about the status and location of their shipments in real-time and shippers who cannot provide this type of data will miss out on business opportunities,” he adds.

The GPS tracking market extends far beyond traditional cargo and container tracking and now encompasses deployments in commercial vehicles, logistics, metals, mining and construction in addition to the burgeoning consumer tracking market. Research firm MarketsandMarkets reports that the GPS tracking device market is set to be worth US$2.89bn by 2023, stating that factors driving revenue growth include the small form factor, affordable price and high return-on-investment opportunity presents by GPS tracking devices.

Tracking of vehicles alone is a market set to reach US$11bn by 2024, says a new report from Global Market Insights. The report found that increasing vehicle security concerns, especially in corporate sector, will primarily drive the industry’s growth over the period. In addition, the growing need to monitor vehicle movement for goods and passenger security will further increase revenue generated. Integration of information technology and telecommunications has introduced next generation advanced solutions in various sectors, offering enhanced rapid deliveries with precision, inducing immense potential to the market size from 2017 to 2024, the firm says.

Grandview Research estimated the GPS tracking market at US$ 37.9 billion in 2017 and anticipates growth at a CAGR of 18.4% during the period 2017-2025. Increasing penetration of smartphones along with rising GPS-enabled vehicles is projected to bolster the growth of the market during the forecast period. In addition, it says surging use of social media across developing countries and a high number of mergers and acquisitions between component manufacturers and integrators are poised to stoke the growth of the global positioning systems market.

GPS has become a common tool for navigation and recent years have seen a rise in use of GPS-enabled smartphones. Growing adoption of e-hailing services across the globe is further likely escalate the demand for GPS-enabled smartphones. The system used in road applications provides various benefits to customers, including ease of traveling and accurate monitoring of operations and assets. Increasing smart mobility applications, such as navigation, fleet management, satellite road traffic monitoring and usage-based insurance (UBI), are expected to stimulate market growth over the forecast period.

GPS technology is increasingly being deployed in consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets. It is also being used in other devices, such as automotive telematics systems, portable navigation systems, and standalone trackers. The consumer devices segment accounted for 43.8% of the overall revenue in 2017, because of the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, and PCs across the world, says the Grandview Research study.

That’s on top of the B2B uses of GPS technology for which it is used to transmit fleet positioning information through on-board units (OBUs) to assist transport operators in monitoring logistics performance activities. Increasing number of connected vehicles along with growing safety concerns whilst driving is subsequently estimated to lead to significant growth of the automotive telematics systems segment during the forecast period.

The market for GPS trackers alone is being driven by the emergence of new applications that use GPS tracking systems, according to Future Market Insights recent report, titled:  ‘GPS Tracker Market: Global Industry Analysis (2012-2016) and Opportunity Assessment (2017-2027)’. The report sees new applications growing alongside traditional applications such preventing theft of valuables or, tracking them in the worst case of them being stolen.

The report projects substantial growth in revenue from the global GPS tracker sector which it predicts is likely to be valued at approximately US$3.5bn in 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 8.4% during the decade from 2017.

With GPS now so accessible that it’s likely to be in your smartphone, the question over the coming years is more likely to be why it isn’t embedded in your high value items, protecting your property. With business models that can involve multiple parties from leasing companies to insurers and other service providers, the analysts’ projections may, this time, not turn out to be over-enthusiastic.

To learn more about how GPS is being deployed, how new applications are being developed and brought to market and how revenues are being generated from GPS tracking, read the case study here:


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