Auto Service World
News   December 20, 2006   by Auto Service World

Telematics on the Rise


Remote activation of specific in-vehicle functions, such as turning on interior temperature-control and defrosting systems, shows a high likelihood of dramatically raising consumer interest in telematics services in future vehicles, according to a recent study conducted for ATX Group.
J.D. Power and Associates was commissioned by ATX to conduct a conjoint analysis of various telematics services across premium, luxury, near-luxury and mass-market vehicle model segments. Among the five telematics service package offerings included in the analysis (automatic crash notification, the remote access services, GPS location-based services, vehicle information, and satellite radio) vehicle owners in the U.S. were more likely to purchase a bundle of telematics services if it included the remote access capability.
In all but the premium vehicle model segment, remote activation services were ranked by all model segments in the study as the most preferred application in a bundle of telematics services that included such traditional, location-based services as automatic collision notification, in-vehicle emergency “MayDay” buttons, stolen vehicle recovery, and vehicle geo-fencing (alerting the owner any time a vehicle transects an owner-defined, geographic boundary).
Remote diagnostics of vehicle performance and automatic owner (parent) notification anytime the vehicle exceeded the owner’s pre-determined speed limit emerged as additional applications consumers preferred in a telematics service package.
With the addition of remote-access capability to a low-cost, multi-feature bundle of telematics services, a majority of vehicle owners in the survey preferred the telematics services over a monthly satellite radio subscription.
An even larger majority would like the opportunity to access both telematics and satellite radio in one package.
The study also revealed that with a broad menu of telematics services, a majority (approximately three-fifths) of those surveyed would pay an additional $400 above the Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Price for telematics hardware.
“This research tells us that most vehicle owners see a lot of value in a service that bundles into a single package a broad range of applications that deliver safety, convenience and, most importantly, owner control -even remotely- over the operation of their vehicle,” said Gary Wallace, ATX Vice President of Corporate Relations.


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