About mobile phones
Smartphones are emerging as essential navigation aids while driving and may even drive the car by themselves one day (Google Driverless Car).
Read the second article of this special set of articles.
Photo above shows how some people are even using Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) to navigate while bicycling.
Click button to listen to Personal Navigation Devices and rightclick to download
PND market can adapt to challenges by Suchit Leesa-nguansuk
Smartphone-based vehicle navigation systems are not seen as an immediate threat to conventional navigation devices, though automakers are working hard to adapt the new technology for vehicle use.
"The constraint of screen size and limited text-to-speech capability impedes the use of smartphone-based vehicle navigation systems," said one industry executive.
Wider adoption of smartphone-based systems in Thailand could be three to five years away, said Wichai Saenghirunwattana, general manager of Globe Tech, which markets digital map content and distributes Garmin navigation devices.
Smartphone-based navigators now made up less than 5% of the overall market, with PNDs (personal navigation devices) controlling 80% or about 60,000 units a year, he said.
Smartphones have multiple functions besides navigation while the strong point of the PND is that it is a dedicated device. As well, Mr Wichai noted that PND prices have fallen to between 5,000 and 6,000 baht, compared with 10,000 baht in 2009.
Globe Tech is in talks with prospective partners to develop local map navigation for tablets and smartphones.
But Krisda Utamote, general manager of Mini Thailand, said small screens and the limited capability of smartphone vehicle navigators were not practical for drivers.
He believes PNDs will continue dominating the market and notes they are becoming standard equipment in some cars, including new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord sedans.
On a global scale, however, the research firm IHS iSuppli forecasts smartphone-based systems will account for nearly half of navigation sales this year and will eventually become the platform of choice to take advantage of content stored online.
In any case, new opportunities are emerging for designers and developers of embedded electronic systems with applications for vehicles
The growing range of electronic systems not only provides more convenience for drivers but also adds value to a car, says Apinetr Unakul, president of the Thai Embedded System Association (TESA). Car buyers also perceive additional electronic systems as a status indicator.
For example, electronic parts in a one-ton pickup account for about 15% of total production cost but the figures range from 30-60% for luxury cars.
Embedded systems can improve convenience and safety. Examples include visual navigation systems, pedestrian and vehicle detection, and "infotainment". Carmakers increasingly are expected to order fully embedded systems that integrate hardware and software for smooth functioning.
The Bangkok automotive electronics company ThaiGerTec has been awarded a contract as a pilot project developer of an electronic control unit (ECU) for BMW.
Toyota, meanwhile, established Toyota Tsusho Electronics (Thailand) six years ago to develop embedded software for automobiles.
"I think Thailand has great potential for embedded automotive systems but we still lack engineers and companies willing to work in the automotive field. Most embedded systems are made for consumer electronics and electrical appliances," said Mr Apinetr.
Marc Einstein, industry manager for the ICT practice of the global research firm Frost & Sullivan, sees a bright future for embedded systems, including automated driving, as motorists want to stay connected and gather information all the time without losing control of their vehicles.
Google is currently testing the Google Car self-driving system in a Toyota Prius. It has video cameras, radar sensors and a laser rangefinder to check traffic, as well as maps that provide more data on the road ahead.
(Source: Bangkok Post, PND market can adapt to challenges, 6/04/2011, Suchit Leesa-nguansuk, link)
GPS Device vocabulary
Personal Navigation Device (PND) - portable electronic product which combines a positioning capability (such as GPS) and navigation functions such as maps (See Wikipedia)
GPS navigation device - "any device that receives Global Positioning System (GPS) signals for the purpose of determining the device's current location on Earth" (See Wikipedia)
GPS - "a space-based global navigation satellite system (GNSS) that provides reliable location and time information in all weather and at all times and anywhere on or near the Earth when and where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. It is maintained by the United States government and is freely accessible by anyone with a GPS receiver" (See Wikipedia)
navigation (noun) - the skill of choosing a path so that a ship, plane, or car can go in a particular direction, especially by using maps or instruments (See Wikipedia) การเดินเรือ
navigate (verb) - choosing the path that a ship, plane or vehicle will travel along
vehicle - a machine that you travel in or on, especially one with an engine that travels on roads, e.g., a car, bus, van, truck, etc. ยานพาหนะ
vehicle navigation systems - a system used to help plan the path that a ship, plane or vehicle will travel over
smartphone - mobile phones that offer advanced features so they become a lot like a computer (See Wikipedia)
automated - done by machines or equipment instead of peopleปฏิบัติการหรือควบคุมโดยขบวนการอัตโนมัติ
automated driving - when the car drives itself (human driver not needed; but realistically probably only partly automated)
Google Driverless Car - a project at Google to develop software for a "driverless car" (See Wikipedia)
Google Car - same as "Google DriverlessCar"
driverless car - "a vehicle equipped with an autopilot system, which is capable of driving from one point to another without input from a human operator" (See Wikipedia)
autopilot - "a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being" (See Wikipedia)
screen - the part of the computer that you look at จอ
text-to-speech - a computer system that turns written text into spoken words
content - the stories and articles in a newspaper or magazine, the subject, ideas, or story that a piece of writing or a radio or television programme deals with เนื้อหา,สาระ
multiple functions - can do many different things with it (can perform several tasks)
dedicated - used for only one kind of work or for one purpose
device - a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular job อุปกรณ์ เครื่องมือ เครื่องจักร
dedicated device - a machine or piece of equipment that does a particular thing
tablets - tablet computers such as the iPad
standard equipment in some cars - included in every car sold (as part of the car)
platform - a computer based system that computer programs can run on (examples: notebook, mobile phone, tablet computer)
platform of choice - the computer-based system that most people would choose for a certain task or job
online - connected to the internet
content stored online - content that people can get through the internet
vehicles - machines with an engine used to carry people or goods from place to place ยานพาหนะ
embedded system -
pedestrian - a person who walks to places on the sidewalk (instead of riding in a car or motorcycle or bus)
detection - the process of proving that something is present using scientific methods, in this case, the presence of a virus
radar - "an object-detection system which uses electromagnetic waves—specifically radio waves—to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain" (See Wikipedia)
sensors - an device (instrument) that measures and provides information (See Wikipedia)
laser rangefinder - "a device which uses a laser beam to determine the distance to an object" (See Wikipedia)
traffic - the number traveling to a place during a period of time (people, aircraft, ships, trains, cars, trucks, etc.) ความหนาแน่นของจำนวนคน หรือยานพาหนะในช่วงเวลาใดช่วงเวลาหนึ่ง
immediate threat - a threat and danger right now (at this time)
adapt - change to meet new situation, change something to suit different conditions or uses ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ
challenges - difficult tasks that require great effort, new and difficult tasks that require great effort and determination
threat - a danger อันตราย
conventional - commonly used; usual, accepted, standard way of doing something, ordinary, usual or normal ตามแบบแผน, ธรรมดา
constraint - limitation, something that limits or controls what you can do (See glossary)
capability - the ability to do something ความสามารถ
X impedes Y - X prevents Y from doing its best, from top performance
executive - the highest level managers in a company
industry executive - high level manager in an industry (here: the PND industry)
adoption - people starting to use a new system
wider adoption - when more people start to use a new system
talks - negotiations, formal discussions of problems between different sides in a conflict in order to solve the problem
prospective - possible in the future
partners - the companies owning part of the joint venture หุ้นส่วน
local - in this country (here: Thailand)
practical - useful for real people in real situations, suitable for the situation in which something is used ที่ขึ้นอยู่กับความเป็นจริง
dominating - controlling some activity and the people involved in the activity
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
scale - size (relative size)
firm - a business or company บริษัม
forecasts - what experts say will happen in the future คาดการณ์
eventually - at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process ในที่สุด
take advantage of Y - use resource or valuable thing Y and gain benefits from it (while it is still available)
opportunities - situations in which it is possible to do what you want or need to do
opportunities emerging - opportunities are starting to exist
range - a number of different things that are of the same general type ขอบข่าย, ประเภท
convenience - the quality of being suitable for your purposes and needs and causing the least difficulty ความสะดวกสบาย
perceive - feel that something is the case, feeling a certain situation to be true; to come to an opinion about something, or have a belief about something รับรู้
status - someone's position in society, social position สถานะทางสังคม
status - the category or classification of a person, thing, or organization
indicator - a measure or number that shows or describes a condition or situation (See glossary)
figures - statistics, numbers describing the economy
luxury - the best and most expensive of something ที่หรูหรา
improve - to make better ทำให้ดีขึ้น
infotainment - fun entertainment that also provides you with useful information
X expected to Y - people believe that X will do Y
integrate - bring together and combine (so it all works together as a whole), combine things of different types in one effective system รวมเข้าด้วยกัน
contract - a written (or oral) agreement that is legally binding สัญญา
awarded contract - given a contract (selected from a group of companies that all wanted and were competing for the work)
pilot project - a small test of a new idea or product or idea before introducing it everywhere
established - create for the first time
potential - the possibility of success ที่มีศักยภาพ ที่เป็นไปได้
lack - does not have ขาดแคลน
automotive field - the area of knowledge and skilled work that deals with the design and production of vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, vans, etc)
consumer - someone who buys and uses goods and services ผู้บริโภค
ICT - Information and Communication Technology
ICT practice - the part of a business that deals with with computer hardware and software as well as networking and communications
bright future - a future that looks promising, looks like good things are going to happen
provide - to give someone something that they want or need
data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล