Safety and security telematics users to quadruple by 2018: ABI Research

The number of people using safety and security telematics services is set to quadruple over the next five years, rising about 72 million at the end of 2012 to more than 300 million in 2018, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Although growth is being fuelled by regulatory measures, says the market-research company, carmakers are also responding to the growing demand for telematics services.

The number of people using safety and security telematics services is set to quadruple over the next five years, rising about 72 million at the end of 2012 to more than 300 million in 2018, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Although growth is being fuelled by regulatory measures, says the market-research company, carmakers are also responding to the growing demand for telematics services.

“While safety and security mandates in Europe (eCall, 2015), Russia (ERA GLONASS, 2013), and Brazil (Contran, 2013) are on their way, car OEMs continue to roll out safety telematics services globally across their portfolio,” said Dominique Bonte, a vice president and practice director at ABI Research.

“Ford [Dearborn, MI, USA) now also offers emergency calling in Europe as part of its SYNC launch and Mercedes [Stuttgart, Germany] recently extended the availability of its free eCall service on the COMAND Online multimedia system to nineteen countries in Europe,” said Bonte. “Clearly OEMs increasingly consider safety telematics as a commercial proposition and no longer await possible mandates which keep being postponed.”

Operators are also becoming increasingly interested in providing car drivers with usage-based insurance services, which work by relaying information about driving habits to insurance specialists.

Vodafone (Newbury, UK) recently unveiled a partnership with Towers Watson (New York City, NY, USA) aimed at addressing this opportunity, while Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) has launched a usage-based insurance service in Spain with Generali (Trieste, Italy).

ABI Research says there is more to safety and security telematics than “passive … cellular services”, with ADAS and V2X/ITS technologies able to provide active safety features like collision detection and emergency braking.

Car manufacturers are battling for leadership in this area, according to ABI Research, with suppliers like Continental (Hannover, Germany) “aggressively developing these high-margin product lines”.