GPS Devices Seen as Becoming Commonplace

Posted on March 11, 2004 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

In five years, 50% of all new autos will be equipped with GPS navigational systems, according to an analyst with Aberdeen Research, a technology research company.

The findings by Peter Kastner support evidence in the limousine industry that GPS devices are becoming very popular with operators, both as a navigational tool and as a way to keep track their vehicles’ locations.

And on the consumer front, Detroit-based Onstar has drawn much attention for its installation of GPS systems into 50 of General Motor’s 57 product lines, according to the Oakland Tribune. About 1.8 million vehicles built by GM and other manufacturers were equipped with OnStar last year, a figure that is expected to rise this year.

OnStar’s subscription service aids drivers in difficulty. It’s ability to identify the driver’s location to Onstar gets the driver more help more quickly.

In addition, a vehicle equipped with OnStar helps the driver route his car and anticipate traffic. If the driver wants to map out a path to a destination, he pushes the “virtual advisor” button and captures the vehicle’s position. The system then checks its internal map of surrounding streets and recommends a route.

Analysts also noted that a GPS-enabled vehicle will be able to report how many miles and at what speeds it travels. In 2001, for example, a customer sued Acme Rent-a-Car in Connecticut, which had installed GPS in its vehicles. The GPS system detected that he had been speeding three times and fined him $450.

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