"Despite advances in the technology, improvements in usability, dependability and falling prices, overall penetration remains relatively low for GPS services. At the same time, nine percent of adults indicate that they are very or extremely likely to purchase in the next 12 months," said Milton Ellis, Vice President of Technology Research, Harris Interactive. Ellis suggests that "GPS providers may be able to increase adoption rates by promoting popular features of GPS systems, targeting users of online mapping services and increasing awareness of real-time automatic route recalculations and traffic reports available on many dedicated GPS devices."
GPS Systems Offer Useful Features Not Found Online
GPS systems can offer real-time information at a moment's notice ? helping drivers avoid traffic and navigate in unfamiliar areas. Key features for GPS owners include automatic route recalculation for driving errors (with 81% finding them extremely or very useful) and real-time traffic update (75%). Other key features rated useful by GPS owners are multiple destination routing (73%), voice guidance and alerts (71%) text to speech capability (71%), inclusion of points of interest such as hotels or restaurants (63%), proximity alerts (57%), 2D and 3D maps (57%) and Bluetooth interface (45%).
There are a few features that GPS owners may not take advantage of with their GPS system. Just over two-thirds (68%) say that digital picture slideshows are not useful on GPS, and even with the popularity of digital music, a substantial majority (69%) feels that digital music capability on a GPS is not very useful or not at all useful.
Mapping Websites Are an Opportunity for GPS Providers
Online consumers frequently turn to websites that allow them to view maps and get directions online. The study shows that in the last 30 days a majority (83%) of online adults have used at least one Internet mapping website.
"Websites that offer static maps and directions to those who are searching online are a real marketing opportunity for GPS providers," said Ellis. "Users who access websites for directions can arm themselves with a print out to get them to their destination. But if they get caught in traffic or they make a wrong turn, a GPS system can provide solutions. And, marketing this advantage to online users while they are planning a trip will help GPS providers connect with a large audience of potential buyers."
Cell Phones as GPS Systems
While some cell phones offer turn-by-turn instructions, similar to handheld GPS systems, awareness of these services remains relatively low with about one in five (19%) adults saying they are highly aware (8% extremely aware and 11% very aware) of the service.
Approximately one in six (15%) who have a cell phone are interested in getting GPS service on their next cell phone, with half of them citing that having GPS would make them feel more secure knowing where they are at, regardless of city (53%) or that it would help them to find alternative routes around traffic congestion (47%). Thirty-eight percent say that providing fast and direct turn-by-turn directions to business meetings/appointments is a benefit, while one-third say they would never have to stop and ask for directions (33%) or get lost in an undesirable part of town (29%).
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