Dashboard computing offers new distribution option for news, but don’t look for a revolution
By J.D. Lasica
Online Journalism Review
Telematics just may be the most interesting new distribution vehicle for news that you’ve never heard of.
That’s because news makes up only a small slice of the cool, if pricey, features you’ll find in the telematics systems now showing up in dozens of car models.
First, let’s define the gangly little term. Telematics is a computerized system in a vehicle that connects you to services or content based on your location — current traffic conditions on the stretch of highway up ahead, for example, or a list of restaurants within a square mile.
Dashboard computing now comes in 2.5 million of the 220 million cars on the road in the United States. It’s catching on fast, so hang on for a quick crash look at a trend that’s coming soon to a car near you.
“We’re just now getting out of the pioneering stages and getting into the market takeoff stage,” says Phil Magney, principal analyst for the Telematics Research Group in Minnetonka, Minn. By 2007, the firm estimates, 42 percent of new cars sold in this country will come equipped with telematics devices.
Telematics features generally fall into four main buckets:
• Safety and security, including an automatic distress signal if your car crashes.