Monday, May 3, 2010

One-third of all cars to integrate eco-friendly navigation systems by 2020

EL SEGUNDO, USA: Rising concerns over the environmental impact of passenger cars and trucks will spur massive growth in the use of eco-assist systems in the coming years, with slightly more than one-third of all automobiles sold worldwide in 2020 expected to integrate eco-routing systems, up from less than 1 percent in 2010, according to iSuppli Corp.

By 2020, 36.2 percent of automobiles sold worldwide will include eco-routing, the most popular type of eco-assist technology, up from 0.7 percent in 2010, as presented in the figure.Source: iSuppli, USA.

Eco-assist is defined as a set of solutions designed to help achieve greater fuel efficiency. The solutions range from an indicator on the instrument cluster that highlights optimal performance levels, to sophisticated eco-routing functions that employ real-time traffic data or roadway data to suggest the most efficient path to a destination based on current driving conditions.

Furthermore, OEM and aftermarket navigation systems now are providing eco-friendly, fuel-efficient paths as part of route calculation, as opposed to simply presenting the shortest or fastest course to a given destination.

“Governments, suppliers and consumers for many years have been concerned about the environmental impact of cars and now are turning to eco-assist technology to achieve greater fuel efficiency and environmental consciousness,” said Jeremy Carlson, automotive industry researcher for iSuppli.

The US government first took action to curb excessive fuel consumption in America in 1975 with the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulation. CAFE imposed a minimum level of fuel efficiency for an OEM’s annual production fleet. CAFE regulations in late 2007 were overhauled for the first time since their inception.

Beginning from the current 27.5 mpg for model year 2010 passenger cars, CAFE standards will increase to a fleet-wide average of 35 mpg by model year 2020.

“OEMs and suppliers have worked diligently to improve the efficiency of their products, and their efforts have gained momentum in recent years,” Carlson remarked.

“Nearly every major automotive OEM and electronics supplier has introduced innovative technologies or applications to help improve the performance and efficiency of their automobiles,” he added.

“But perhaps the factor with the greatest potential influence on the relevance of eco-assist is consumer acceptance. Governments can legislate and OEMs can innovate, but ultimately it falls to the consumer to validate the ecological initiatives made by these two groups and decide if eco-assist is, indeed, important at the end of the day.”

Consumers may find eco-assist attractive for a number of reasons
First, eco-friendly cars typically provide financial savings for the consumer. Furthermore, many choose environmentally friendly vehicles in order to cause less pollution and to protect the environment. Still others would choose to buy an eco-friendly model in order to feel part of a community, such as those owners of a particular brand or a wider community of drivers that emphasizes responsible stewardship of the Earth.

Whatever the reason, it seems the ranks of eco-friendly drivers are growing and consumer demand will continue to play a role in advancing eco-assist systems.

Source: iSuppli, USA.

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