WETZLAR, Germany - The cost of satellite navigation systems for vehicles is likely to fall across Europe.
VDO Car Communication, the Mannesmann subsidiary that handles the Philips CARiN system, is reducing prices for the CARiN SY520, said Iris Merker, VDO media relations executive.
'Once this process is finalised within the coming months, we will have a price band of between $2,300 and $3,300 for a CARiN system,' Merker said.
She said orders for the system had exceeded VDO's forecasts, but she declined to discuss actual volumes.
In the UK, the price will drop by a third to $3,200. The system is available on BMW and Vauxhall models in the UK. It keeps track of the car's location using information from global positioning satellites, combined with the vehicle's speedometer and a gyroscope located in the car.
CARiN European coverage now includes Austria, the Benelux countries, France, Germany, and the UK. Other systems available in Europe are Bosch TravelPilot, Alpine, Mitsubishi and Toyota.
VDO predicts that this year's total European satellite navigation market will be around 250,000 units, rising to 700,000 in 1999, to one million in 2000, and to two million in 2005.