Racal Electronics and European Telecom have announced a joint venture to market a product to provide vehicle tracking which will attack a world market worth well over £4.7bn.
Called Orchid, the device will provide online driver information, fix a vehicle’s location world-wide to within five metres and allow two-way communication with it.
The two companies put just £1.5m into the Global Telematics venture, but Orchid is chasing a huge market which research organisation SRI International estimates will be worth £4.7bn by 2011. With the addition of service-derived revenues, this is set to grow to £8.8m-11.8bn annually in the same period.
Orchid will use information from global positioning system satellites and digital cellular communication systems. The AA will provide Orchid’s monitoring and information service.
The European Union’s Drive and Prometheus telematics and technology projects – instrumental in encouraging vehicle tracking technology – provided no funding to the project.