Navigation and OEMs: what are the key weighing factors?

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Peter Bolesza, Vice President of Emerging Markets at NNG explains what are the most important aspects of navigation OEMs are taking into account when deciding?

As smartphones’ popularity skyrocketed in recent years, navigation became more and more well-known as a feature of these devices. More and more consumers got to like this useful feature, and realize how easy getting from one place to another becomes with some professional navigation help. However, the primary location of navigation is in the car, where it can enhance a smooth driving experience.

In comparison with smartphone navigation, line-fit navigation systems carry a number of additional services and there is another highly important aspect: the driver’s safety, on which OEMs put extra emphasis. Giving the necessary information in a way that does not distract the driver is a key issue. Moreover, as technology evolves, and new generations of gadgets enter the market, it is important for OEMs as well, that when designing a car, the technology used reflects the cutting-edge innovations available for consumers. So what are the most important aspects of navigation OEMs are taking into account when deciding?

Options for OEMs
There are two ways an OEM can choose. One is to incorporate the solution of an already existing, strong brand into their car as navigation or infotainment system. The clear advantage of this is the presence of a popular and already established brand, which consumers already know and like. However, it gives little freedom to the OEM in terms of own branding and features, besides the fact, that they have to let an outsider brand in the car that they design, produce and market.

The other way for OEMs is to implement a system that carries the own brand of the car, that is tailored to the target group of the car, thus building the image of the OEM, instead of a distinctive solution provider. The aim here is to offer a user experience that is the car’s own, with specialized features, and the very important part: design. The look of the navigation system is something the driver interacts with every now and then, therefore it can be another touch point of the car brand – and OEMs are willing to possess this touch point rather than giving it away to another brand. With a tailored navigation the look and the feel can be reflecting the car’s own style, making a difference, also allowing the car brand to create something exclusive. The number of the available extras and features is also something to adjust to the category of the car: the low-cost segment needs reliable and fully working basic functions, whereas in the premium segment more screens, more features, more connected services are available – only imagination is the limit.

Big data is the next big thing
Another interesting thing on the long run that will become more and more important forall OEMs is the data collected during the journey. There is an enormous amount of data being created, that draws up driving patterns, car performance, usage characteristics – an invaluable source of first-hand information, which serves as excellent insight and feedback. Adding navigation-sourced data to it makes it even more desirable. By using an external system, OEMs would have to let go some of this treasure and acknowledge their cars function as data-collecting vehicles for other brands. Big data is too valuable to allow that.
We have to mention a number of challenges as well that OEMs face when looking for a good navigation solution to their cars. Reliability, updated maps and technological aspects is just one part of the story. Localization is an issue that can not be stressed enough. In a vast country like India, where the majority of the roads are unnamed and navigation is a new phenomenon, software providers have to be aware that the navigation culture is truly different from other parts of the world. Intelligent search, point addressing and natural guidance are all features developed to fit the Indian navigation habits and needs.
Talking about India, the market is currently looking for line-fit solutions that are affordable and scalable, to provide navigation solutions available for the low-cost car segments as well.

All in all, OEMs are looking for ways to personalize the infotainment systems and navigation of the car, both in terms of look and feel, as well as in the list of features and services. They regard navigation more and more as part of the brand. In the end, it is a product development process that requires a partner, able to consult OEMs as an expert, to find the best possible solution for each car type and segment. We as NNG have over 10 years of experience in automotive navigation, and gained extensive industry knowledge and expertise. Our solutions are used in more than 20 million cars already – with this experience we are ready to assist our partners on what technology and solutions suit their car models best.

Peter Bolesza, Vice President of Emerging Markets at NNG
In a vast country like India, where majority of the roads are unnamed and navigation is a new phenomenon, software providers have to be aware that the navigation culture is truly different from other parts of the world.