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Tracking tech predicted to boom in Europe

Technology for wirelessly tracking vehicles and people is predicted to take off in Western Europe throughout the next five years.

Business needs and personal security concerns will generate $4.85 billion in spending on the technology by 2012, according to a Juniper Research report.

The business sector will be the main area where it will take off, but there also is potential in the consumer sector for child- and pet-tracking systems, which are gradually gaining acceptance.

Juniper Research analyst and report author Bruce Gibson said this kind of technology has been used by transportation and distribution companies for a number of years and will soon extend to other industries.

The systems already available from mobile service providers use mobile ID location and GPS.

Vehicle tracking is expected by Juniper Research to generate $4.11 billion in revenue by 2012, with around 15 million vehicles being tracked by businesses wanting to monitor and route their vehicles more efficiently.

Key drivers in this adoption are expected to be government legislation designed to enforce working-hour contracts and care-and-maintenance obligations.

Businesses wanting to make the best use of vehicles and staff will use the technology for better scheduling and also to reduce fraudulent claims about the whereabouts of vehicles.

Tracking would also allow for better control of supply and distribution chains according to the analyst house.

As accuracy improves through the convergence of navigation and tracking technology, demand may also be increased.

The rest of the revenue is expected to be generated by technology that tracks people--with around 21 million mobile phones predicted to be tracked by 2012.

The report predicts this trend will take off as concerns about personal security begin to outweigh those around privacy.

There has been discussion, too, about the possibility that the British government might employ wireless tracking technology for its proposed pay-as-you-go road projects.

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