Research Topic Statement


Please write 2-3 sentences sketching out the topic you intend to research.  Below, give four questions that will guide your research.  For 2 of your four questions, list an article (in proper bibliographic format) that would help you to answer your question.


I am going to research the various GPS guidance systems that are being placed into new luxury cars, vans and SUVs.  I am interested in the way cars-- physical products -- are being reconceived and repackaged as a way to purchase long-term services.  I am also interested in the relationship car companies have formed with satellite or other mapping services.   Finally, I am interested in legal aspects of this service:  the rights and responsibilities established between customers and car companies.

1) Who is liable for if a car guidance system contains misinformation?

2) What is the cost for something like ONStar and other emergency/info auto services?

3) Are drivers in cars with GPS generally focused on the road, or are they distracted by all the options and gadgetry?

Ashesh, Mukherjee, and Wayne D. Hoyer.  "The effect of novel attributes on product evaluation." Journal of Consumer Research. 28.3 (2001): 462 ff. Proquest Direct. Northampton Community Coll. Lib. Bethlehem, 25 May 2006. <>

Hopper, Simon. "The car that can read road signs." 7 October 2004. 25 May 2006.
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4) Who is selling the mapping service and software to car companies?

Stone, Brad. "The Road Now Taken; Two mapping companies are behind most of the data that go into GPS gadets." Newsweek 11 April 2005: 42.  ProQuest Direct. Northampton Community Coll. Lib., Bethlehem. 25 May 2006. < >