London, England – More than 30 million new cars will ship worldwide equipped with on-board telematics units by 2013, representing nearly 44 per cent of all vehicles, according to data forecaster ABI Research.

“Consumer telematics systems are becoming more popular due to the growing awareness of car manufacturers, telematics service providers, governments and drivers about the benefits of positioning and communications technologies in cars for improved safety, security, efficiency, convenience, infotainment, cost savings, and reduced environmental impact,” said Dominique Bonte, ABI Research principal analyst.

The company said that systems such as General Motors’ OnStar and Ford’s SYNC will soon become standard features in all new passenger cars in the U.S., while in Europe, the eCall project aims at making telematics units supporting automatic emergency calls mandatory in all new cars from 2011. Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Hyundai have offered OEM telematics solutions in Asia-Pacific since 2002, for such applications as remote diagnostics, concierge services and remote door unlock.

One of the main drivers for the popularity of consumer telematics is advanced infotainment services enhancing the navigation user experience via real-time location-based content, such as traffic, fuel prices, parking space availability and tourist information, as well as solutions for stolen vehicle tracking and insurance applications in existing vehicles. A new category of portable solutions is emerging, with teenage driver tracking and speed monitoring as some of the most popular applications.

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