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Navigation systems from the driver’s perspective: data security and user-friendliness particularly important

14. June 2022

Intelligent driving is on the rise. Key aspects include autonomous driving and increasingly smarter driver assistance systems. At the heart of this development is map data – as it supports driver assistance features, is powering navigation systems for wayfinding, and provides data of roads, highly precise lanes data and localization objects for autonomous driving systems. Equally important is data for the search and display of points of interest including charging stations for the advancing electrification of automobiles. On top of that location data needs are driven by the ongoing urbanization and the growth of car-sharing activities, and with it the increase of occasional drivers who are less familiar with the road network and therefore rely on navigation systems. No matter what challenges we face in the years ahead: The comprehensive and standardized navigation data specification offered by NDS, helps automotive eco-system companies to meet customer requirements while reducing the need for custom or one-off data interface between systems.

And let’s not forget the EU Regulation 2019/2144, which practically brings map data into all vehicles across Europa. Because when the regulation comes into force in July 2022 all newly launched vehicle types and from July 2024 onwards all new cars in the EU must have Intelligent Speed Assistance. For these assistants to work properly, traffic sign recognition cameras and software, map data, an electronic horizon are needed. Optionally a speed limiter or even an adaptive cruise control provides even more smart assistance to drivers to keep within the allowed speed. This means that all new vehicles sold from 2024 in the EU will be equipped with a basic, map supported driver assistance system.

And from that basis, it is not a huge step for the OEMs to also offer embedded navigation systems that help us to drive more safely and sustainably by guiding drivers to take smarter routes that are shorter, faster, and more eco friendly. In the following, we would like to discuss a few study results that are highlighting the consumer expectations and importance of in-vehicle navigation.

According to the Deloitte 2021 Global Automotive Consumer Study, built-in navigation systems and blind spot warnings are the most important new feature drivers in Germany look out for when buying their next car. Around two-thirds of Germans consider the built-in navigation system to be important or very important for future buying decisions. In the U.S. (59%), South Korea (65%), Japan (77%), China (79%) and India (87%), built-in navigation systems also have a similarly high or even higher priority, even though other features are considered more important than embedded navigation systems in these countries. A study on infotainment systems in vehicles conducted by strategy consultants Oliver Wyman in 2021 came to a similar conclusion. Half of the users surveyed in Germany, China, France, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US expect a complete infotainment system in their next vehicle. Dynamic route planning is the most important feature, as about two-thirds of respondents state. 30 to 40% of drivers in Europe and the U.S., and even four out of five Chinese drivers, are prepared to change their choice of car brand for a better infotainment system the next time they buy a car.  

Of particular interest to carmakers and other players in this field, however, is not only the importance but also the consequence of missing features.

The Mobility Monitor 2021 provides some more insights about navigation demands. The survey examined what advantages respondents see in the advancing digitization of transportation. The most important benefits are all related to navigation and wayfinding – 68% would would like to know about traffic jams in real time, 65% would like to have information about traffic disruptions in connection to roads and public transport, and 64% would like navigation devices to suggest alternative routes or even alternative means of transport. Less a question of driving, but still related to wayfinding, is the search for parking spaces – just over half of the respondents think it’s important to have real-time information about available parking spaces.

However, we also need to talk about the concerns and challenges. In the Mobility Monitor more than two thirds of respondents see the likelihood of data misuse and hacker attacks as very high or high. Despite these concerns, many consumers are still willing to share their data – depending on what data is to be shared and what the consumers get in return. In this regard, the Deloitte 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study clearly shows that a large proportion of drivers are prepared to disclose their personal data in return for better navigation and traffic data. Across the regions and countries surveyed, the U.S., Germany, Japan, South Korea, China, India and Southeast Asia, between 41 and 83% of drivers say they would be willing to share their personal information for updates regarding traffic congestion and suggested alternate routes, suggestions regarding safer routes (i.e., avoid unpaved roads) or updates to improve road safety and prevent potential collisions.

In summary, there is a great demand for built-in navigation systems across countries. However, while many users are willing to share their data (e.g., location information) for this purpose, there is also a great deal of concern about data privacy and cybersecurity. As the worldwide standard for map data in automotiove eco-systems, the Navigation Data Standard specification supports the industry to meet these consumer demands. Using the cloud-based approach of NDS.Live, highly up-to-date location data required by drivers and their navigation systems can be streamed, downloaded and stored while minimizing data consumption. This means that embedded navigation systems can access the most up-to-date route and traffic information – while at the same time ensuring end-to-end security for these over-the-air updates and the drivers’ location data. NDS is making a significant contribution to advancing innovative automotive technology in a uniform, international, and reliable manner.

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