GfK Forecasts 6.9M PND Sales in Europe in 2015 (6% Down)

According to market research firm GfK, sales volume of the global PND market fell by 21 percent to 22 million units in 2014 while sales value fell by 19 percent to €2.7 billion.

However, “the overall market in Western Europe appears significantly better in contrast,“ explained GFK. “Sales volume decreased by only 8 percent to 7.3 million units and sales value by only 6 percent to €1.3 billion. Thus, the average price level rose in the markets.

The same European trend is expected in 2015: GfK forecast amounts to 6.9 million units sold (6 percent decrease) and €984 million in sales value (5 percent decrease).

DAB Digital Radio Growing in Europe

The World DAB Forum issued an interesting infographics about the growth of digital radio – namely DAB- in Europe.

This shows interesting statistics about the penetration per country in terms of cars and road coverage. This sets up the opportunity offers to broadcast traffic data via DAB in each of these countries.

This infographics was created at the occasion of the 6th European Automotive DAB event that took place in Brussels this week.

9M Insurance Telematics Policies in EU & North America Today

Europe and North America have today reached 9 million insurance telematics policies, estimated market research firm Berg Insight.

The number of insurance telematics policies in force on the European market reached 4.8 million in the last quarter of 2014. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.4 percent, this number is expected to reach 28.1 million by 2019.

In North America, the number of policies is expected to grow at a CAGR of 50.6 percent from 4.2 million in the last quarter of 2014 to reach 32.5 million in 2019.

“Europe and North America so far represent the vast majority of all insurance telematics programs and active policies from an international perspective, and the front-running national markets include the US, Italy and the UKâ€?, said Rickard Andersson, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight.

The addressable market for insurance telematics is obviously quite large in these two markets. A total of around 278 million vehicles were in use in EU23+2 in 2011, including over 241 million passenger cars. In North America, an estimated total of around 269 million vehicles were in use in 2012, out of which passenger cars and light trucks are estimated to represent almost 256 million vehicles.

The insurance telematics value chain includes a number of stakeholders, obviously insurers but also telematics providers, car makers and wireless operators.

Insurers with notable presence in the insurance telematics market include Progressive (US), UnipolSai (Italy), State Farm (US), Allstate (US), Generali (Italy), Allianz (EU) and Insure The Box (UK).

Renowned telematics suppliers active in the insurance field for example include Octo Telematics and Cobra Automotive Technologies (Vodafone Automotive) as well as Intelligent Mechatronic Systems, Baseline Telematics and Scope Technologies. Wunelli, Modus, MyDrive Solutions and DriveFactor are also notable players in the market.

Automotive OEMs are increasingly taking an active part in the ecosystem as well. Examples include BMW, Fiat, Citroën, Renault-Nissan, General Motors and Ford.

In addition, mobile operators such as Vodafone, Telefónica, Verizon and Sprint have started offering insurance telematics solutions, commonly working with telematics partners.


3.2% of UK Drivers Use Black Box Telematics Insurance

According to a public poll 3.2 percent of drivers in the United Kingdom are currently using a black box telematics insurance. The research was carried out by the Consumer Opinion Panel with a sample of 1,146 GB adults in March 2015.

Even if this type of insurance has been available for a number of years in Great Britain, the survey shows that 25% of British drivers are not aware of the technology.

Nevertheless 45% of drivers would consider installing a “black box“ to learn more about their own driving skills (33%), to improve their driving (23%) or to see how well others are driving their car (5%).

Among those who know about the technology a sizeable number (26%) remains firmly opposed to it. “Big brother“ surveillance is the biggest cause of concern here (62%), followed by fear of personal data being sold onto other companies (49%).

To join this kind of telematics program, consumers would however want to see savings of at least £98 a year on their insurance premium. But this amount highly differs with age.

Those aged 18 to 34 would need to save £173 to consider taking out a policy, while those over 65 would be happy with just £72 of savings. This is not completely surprising considering the huge premium usually paid by young drivers.

The research also reveals that drivers are confused about what happens with their data and who owns it. When asked, 58% incorrectly believed that telematics data is shared between insurers, 35% thought they could use their telematics data when applying for insurance and 14% believed they own their own data.

China: The Next Big Market for Fleet Management Systems?

A new study from Berg Insight indicates that the number of vehicles monitored by fleet management system is set to increase 22.9 percent per year between 2014 and 2019.

In the last quarter of 2014 there were 2.1 million such vehicles, they are forecast to reach 5.9 million by 2019.

The penetration rate in registered commercial vehicles including trucks and buses is estimated to increase from 9.0 percent in 2014 to reach 19.8 percent in 2019.

In comparison 7.1 million European vehicles are expected to be monitored in 2018 (read here) and 12 million American vehicles in 2019 (read here) according to the same research firm.

Berg Insight notices that “Track & trace systems dominate the market and the installed base so far includes a significant share of low-end systems with comparatively limited functionality by Western standards.“

The research firm based its growth forecast on two drivers: political decisions to track selected commercial vehicles and the booming e-commerce market which creates demand for efficient transport operations.

Top local telematics providers

There are two Chinese telematics providers with installed bases of more than 100,000 units: E6GPS and Etrans.

There are furthermore a number of players with installed bases in the range of around 50,000—100,000 units, including Beijing Zhongdou Technology (Ccompass), Shenzhen Huabao Electronics Technology, Shenzhen Weitongda Electronics and 666GPS.

Other players with installed bases of approximately 50,000 units include Zhengzhou Shenyang Science & Technology, Shenzhen SOFAR Communication, Shanghai Transun Telematics Technology, Sinocastel, Baoding Beier Electronics and Aerospace Intelligent.

Berg Insight also reported that a small number of international aftermarket solution providers have entered the Chinese fleet management market but with limited reach thus far. Among the few international providers that have entered this market and achieved installed bases of at least 1,000 units are Trimble, MiX Telematics, Microlise and Navman Wireless.

“There are regulatory hurdles for foreign players related to maps, data handling and SaaS modelsâ€?, said the report’s lead author Jan Unander. Indeed Chinese authorities do not not accept the export of Chinese maps so foreign companies have to locate their servers on Chinese ground.

He expects these issues to remain in the upcoming years. Berg Insight however expects interesting developments for Western fleet management companies on this fast-growing market.

QNX Leads Car Infotainment OS Market with More than 50% Share

According to new data from market research firm IHS, QNX Software Systems is leading the operating system market for in-car infotainment systems with more than 50 percent market share.

At the CES trade show the company announced that its software has been deployed in the infotainment and telematics systems of more than 50 million vehicles, including brands such as Acura, Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

“QNX Software Systems is the clear leader in automotive software, specifically for infotainment, and is forecasted to remain the leader for years to come – growing from more than 16 million units in 2013 to 56 million in 2020,â€? said Egil Juliussen, director of research, infotainment and ADAS, IHS Automotive.

Maps & Navigation: Most Demanded on Wearables

Forrester Research published this week a study called “Five Urgent Truths About The Future Of Wearables That Every Leader Should Know,“ which highlight the fact location technology is a must have for wearables.

indeed “Access Maps and navigate a destination“ has well as “see information about places when you are walking or traveling“ are ranking in first and third places in the list of the most desired features by American consumers (see figure below).

The study was based on a panel of 4,556 U.S. online adults, 2,067 of them agreeing of being intrigued by the prospect of getting a wearable device.

Nearly 5M Sport Bands & Smart Watches Shipped in Q3 2014

Nearly 5 million smart and basic wearable bands have shipped in the third quarter 2014, with total unit shipments increasing 37% quarter on quarter, according to market research firm Canalys.

Based on their estimates Motorola Mobility’s Moto 360 was by far the most successful of the initial Android Wear devices, accounting for over 15% of the smart band market. However Samsung remained the overall smart band market leader, with 52% market share. The third player in this market is Pebble with 12 percent market share.

“The announcement of the Apple Watch late in the quarter has likely had an effect on sales of existing devices, as some consumers will choose to wait for Apple’s wearable,’ said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. ‘The smart band market was flat between Q2 and Q3, but with an installed base of over 1.8 billion Android smart phones, there is a huge potential market of Android users not considering an Apple Watch.“

Sport band market

Fitbit and Jawbone held onto their first and second place positions, respectively, in the basic band market for the quarter, explained Canalys.

Garmin passed Nike to take third place in shipments, while Xiaomi and Huawei also overtook the one-time market leader and rounded out the top five.

“Low-end basic bands providing simple activity tracking functionality are becoming increasingly commoditized, and will flood the market heading into the holidays, especially in China,“ commented Canalys analyst Jingwen Wang.

“To combat this, Fitbit, Jawbone and others have attempted to make basic bands smarter, adding various smart watch features and increasing the sophistication and integration of sensors,“

This clearly makes the frontier between bands and smart watches very fluid as we have seen with the new FitBit (read here).

Health & Fitness cloud platforms

Beyond the hardware itself big players are pushing their health and fitness platforms towards app and devices developers. Google Fit, Microsoft Health and the Samsung Digital Health Platform have all recently been announced in response to Apple’s HealthKit.

Canalys noticed that “While the new Microsoft Band does not have strong hardware appeal, Microsoft’s cross-platform cloud services approach is a wise strategy, and the company is importantly staking its relevance early in a new market. There is tremendous opportunity for brand new services on wearable platforms, and not just in the area of health and fitness.

“Expect developers to eagerly embrace Apple’s WatchKit SDK when it is released later this month,“ the research firm added.

PND Market: Slowing Decline and Market Concentration

Last week the financial results of Garmin and TomTom offered some insights into the Personal Navigation Device (PND) market in the United States and Europe.

According to TomTom data the rate of decline of the PND market slowed down, particularly in Europe.


The PND market size in Europe (17 countries) was 2.1 million units in the third quarter, 6% lower compared to the third quarter 2013. TomTom market share was estimated at around 51%, in line with the same quarter last year.

Garmin CEO Cliff Pemble also commented his European market share, saying: “in Europe, we have increasing gains there and we’re in the kind of the mid-30s range in terms of market share and growing.“

North America

In the third quarter in North America the PND market size was around 0.9 million units (TomTom estimates), 16% lower compared to the third quarter 2013. TomTom estimated their market share for the third quarter at around 15% (was 15% in the previous quarter and 17% in Q3 2013).

Garmin’s CEO cited data from market research firm NPD that reported 84% market share for the U.S. company, up from 78% in third quarter of 2013.

Needless to say there is not much market left to other PND makers in the United States.

Another interesting insight offered by TomTom and Garmin CEOs is that the PND market seasonality has changed. While the last quarter of the year was in the past boosted by holiday season gift purchases, the peak of sales is now at the beginning of the summer (Q2), when consumers prepare their summer travels, especially in Europe.

ABI: Worldwide Commercial Telematics to reach 25M Subs in 2014

​According to ABI Research global commercial telematics subscribers are said to reach nearly 25 million this year.

The research firm expects that in 2019 this number will triple compared to 2014.

While North America and Western Europe constitute a significant part of the subscribers today, future growth will come from other regions. ABI Research expects that much of this growth will come from Asian and Latin American markets and subscription numbers in the Middle East and Africa will even reach significant portions by 2019.

“In recent research interviews conducted with many of the leading telematics providers it was made explicitly clear that going forward Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East are strategic focuses for companies. Many markets are recognized as being tough nuts to crack and in many cases there are a number of local players already present so the ambitions are not without risks. The attraction to penetrating these markets lies in the huge volume potential and the genuine need for telematics to help resolve a catalogue of issues,” explained Filomena Berardi, a Senior Analyst with the firm.