bmw nav

Navigation systems have been coming down in price lately, making in-car directions more accessible to the masses. At the same time massive tech companies like Apple and Microsoft have gotten into the game as well, and as TheDetroitBureau.com reports, a new study shows that these forces are converging to quadruple the systems by 2019.

That's another 13 million nav systems per year around the world, or 56 million units by 2019. The biggest gains will likely take place in China, with sales going from 355,000 to 11.8 million in a decade.

The study unsurprisingly predicts that navigation systems will also change considerably during that time, going from traditional DVD-based technology to inexpensive in-car systems and smart phone-based systems like the upcoming Apple tech that will be found on future vehicles from General Motors, BMW, Toyota, Audi and many other OEMs.

Cheaper tech and increased competition tend to go hand-in-hand, but that recipe could be toxic for traditional navigation providers like TomTom and Garmin. Such companies will need to rely on ingenuity and smaller margins to continue to thrive in the more competitive market.