Japan: NNG has entered the Japanese automotive market with a localized version of its iGO Navigation software. As per the company, the new software version meets the demands of the Japan Market and delivers a wide range of Japan-specific features.
Since 2011, NNG’s Japan product has undergone intensive planning and development. NNG has added more than 20 features to its software that serve the specific needs of Japanese drivers. Japanese-style address search allows users to search destinations by area names; the map has been enhanced with several types of annotations (e.g. station and intersection names) for easier orientation. The latest traffic information received from the Japanese Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS) via FM radio signals, Microwave and Infrared technologies is also displayed. The new solution includes a special character entry function, allowing drivers to enter the hiragana, katakana and kanji syllabaries. ETC points are depicted in graphic detail, and various additional features assist users in navigating through the complex system of highway toll stations.
In order to continuously drive the innovation and development of its Japan product, NNG has relocated software experts to Tokyo and other major cities. To ensure successful cooperation with local partners, team members of NNG’s European HQ further take part in exchange programs, allowing them to improve their understanding of the Japanese culture and relationships with their local partners.
The company has stated that several automakers have already ordered NNG’s newest line-fit software, including one of Japan’s biggest car brands together with a US, a British and an Italian car brand operating in the country. The first cars with iGO Navigation onboard will enter the Japanese market in Q4 2013. Later this year, the company will also launch its aftermarket solution, further extending its product portfolio for Japan.
Michael Reali, Senior VP, Automotive OEM at NNG, said: “Japan has always been a crucial market for NNG: the region holds some of the top car manufacturers in the world and we are excited to be competing with many local navigation companies for this business. Our strategy was and continues to be to provide a global solution to our partners, and Japan is one of the last significant steps in realizing that goal. Not only have we been able to sign agreements with several major vehicle brands, but we continue to secure partnerships to rapidly grow our market share throughout Asia.”