The next steps in navigation will include 3-D renderings, images of buildings, and location-aware search, all of which play right into the strengths of Web portals, according to ABI Research.
"Google and Microsoft's Live.com are portals that provide visual display and location-aware search very similar in functionality and appearance to some of the hybrid connected navigation and telematics systems in Japan, such as Honda's Internavi and Toyota's G-Book," said ABI Research's principal transportation analyst Dan Benjamin.
"This type of integration really makes a lot of sense. Google has been making a big push into location-aware advertising, and the portals have already made arrangements to get satellite and/or photographic imagery that is not necessarily offered by the map providers in the navigation space. Why not get search hits and push location-aware relevant advertising on top of points of interest?"
ABI transportation research practice director Frank Viquez noted that Honda and Volkswagen are working with Google to integrate location-aware advertising into vehicles, “but in order to utilize such applications, vehicles will need increased processing power, graphics acceleration, and a high-speed data connection," he said. “Smaller portable navigation devices would be at a disadvantage in all of these categories.”
Viquez said that as portable navigation devices take on a greater infotainment role through support of video, MP3 playback, real-time traffic data and satellite radio, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a pocketable form factor. “It may make more sense for this type of content to be delivered to integrated automotive hardware, or perhaps to a smartphone, rather than to the typical portable device."