What is vehicle telematics? Why are the sales of electronics for your car expected to rise 12 percent this year? #telematic #systems


Why are the sales of electronics for your car expected to rise 12 percent this year?

There’s actually a specific name to describe the computer and electronic technology involved in our cars — it’s called telematics. The vehicle telematics business has been changing very rapidly over the past few years, with advances in cell phones. the Internet and GPS receivers. but there are a few sections we can look at to understand the increased demand for in-car electronics.

Satellite navigation

How did some of us get around before GPS? For those of us with a terrible sense of direction, GPS receivers are great tools — they use radio signals transmitted from satellites to send detailed maps, specific directions and important locations like gas stations and restaurants to a tiny box mounted on the dashboard. Most GPS receivers are battery powered and can be integrated into your car’s audio and power systems, and their assistance have made them increasingly popular for car owners.

Mobile data

Constantly checking e-mail on BlackBerry devices is considered pretty standard by now, as many busy workers suffer from what’s known as ringxiety , ­ but what if wireless technology could be integrated straight into your car? Cell phones and hands-off sets are becoming a big part of in-car electronics — the new Land Rover LRX. for instance, has an iPhone dock that lets you control many of the vehicle’s functions from the phone itself — and some companies are producing crosses between a laptop and a GPS for more wireless connectivity. Many of these systems plan to use WiMax. the new cellular Internet based in large cities, so people can check e-mail and get directions while they sit in traffic on their way to work.

Vehicle tracking and trailer tracking

This kind of technology, unless you’re a spy. is mostly used by transportation and delivery businesses that send out large fleets of vehicles and products. Delivery trucks, taxi companies and repair and maintenance companies all can use sophisticated electronics to track workers and plan out important and sometimes complicated routes. These devices can increase efficiency and cut down on losses caused by human error, so more companies will most likely be willing to spend a little extra on a decent tracking system for security.

The business of vehicle telematics and other in-car electronic systems is getting the best of both worlds — businesses are willing to spend on advanced products for better efficiency, and consumers are looking for the easiest way to integrate all their gadgets. For lots more information on cars, electronics and in-car electronics, see the next page.

The Automotive Bermuda Triangle

One way to tell how much people rely on electronics to run their cars is to look at the five-block radius that surrounds the Empire State Building in New York City. Recently, as many as 15 cars per day have mysteriously stopped working in what New Yorkers call an automotive Bermuda Triangle . Many drivers have stalled in the middle of the street or have been unable to get into their locked cars with remote access [source: NY Daily News ].

Although the Empire State Building Co. denies it has any effect on the electronic systems of nearby cars, many suspect the large mass of antennae on the top of the structure may be interfering with car batteries and electric locks. Strangely enough, once they’re towed four or five blocks away from the building, the cars start working again — safe from certain electronic death.

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