Growth of Asia-Pacific digital map market highlights interest on location tech

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The Asia-Pacific digital map market size has seen a growth of 10% from $2.6 billion in 2018 to $2.9 billion in 2019, according to analyst firm ABI Research.

The top five digital map vendors in the region had a combined revenue of $1.5 billion in 2019, making up about 53% of the region’s market share. Of the five companies, four are from China, including AutoNavi, NavInfo, Tencent, and Baidu Map, showing how Chinese companies are dominating the Asia-Pacific digital map market.

At the same time, there is an increasing number of international players and domestic start-ups that are rising to the occasion and penetrating the Asia-Pacific market by offering new digital map products and solutions.

In recent developments, Mitsubishi, Japan’s biggest trading house, and telecoms company NTT have jointly acquired a 30% ownership in Here Technologies, the world’s leading mapping company based in The Netherlands. This deal is aimed at developing route optimization services in logistics for the Japanese companies and further cements Here’s growth and penetration in the Asia-Pacific region.

“There seems to be a growing focus on location data and technology as a business enhancer for many businesses in Asia-Pacific. Companies in different verticals, including automotive, transport and logistics, public sector and infrastructure, are seeking out these opportunities through investments in, and partnerships with, digital mapping companies,” explained Jun Wei Ee, research analyst at ABI Research.

With the push for developments in fields such as autonomous driving, intelligent transport systems, and smart cities, the digital map ecosystem has seen an increase in partnerships to accelerate growth in each of these fields.

For example, Toyota Motors has partnered with Chinese autonomous driving start-up Momenta in an attempt to commercialize its HD mapping system in the China market. The Japanese automaker utilizes satellites and cameras to build HD maps of roads, a crucial requirement in autonomous driving development.

On the intelligent transport systems front, companies like Bosch are cooperating with local system integrator and technology service provider, FPT IS in Vietnam, to upgrade road transportation systems with smart surveillance and management systems to improve traffic flows, optimize route improvements or expansions, and issue fines.

As Asia-Pacific is seeing growth in smart city projects, this consequently produces large amounts of location data that requires efficient management. Digital mapping companies utilizing technologies like artificial intelligence and big data will create endless capabilities for mapping technology to address these problems.

“Location technology is set to be a crucial component in the evolution of businesses as companies look for creative and innovative ways to improve on their products and services,” said Jake Saunders, vice president at ABI Research.

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