Amazon is UpNext Weekly Brief—7.9.2012

Amazon is UpNext Weekly Brief—7.9.2012

In this week's Brief: Amazon, UpNext, Google, TomTom, U.S. Department of Transportation, Renault, HP, Ixonos, NXP Semiconductors, Hughes Telematics, and NIS GLONASS

Like Apple and Google before it, Amazon has moved into the digital mapping space with its acquisition of 3D mapping company UpNext. UpNext’s 3D maps have a unique “drop down” feature that allows users to zoom in on streets and search for information related to specific objects in the field of view with the tap of a finger.

UpNext currently offers apps for the iPad, iPhone, and various Android devices. Amazon is yet to comment on the acquisition, but presumably the company will use its new capabilities to provide native mapping on its Kindle Fire tablet.

The online giant will also be positioned to integrate native mapping into its iOS- and Android-based apps and to offer a stand-alone navigation software.

Google expanded its indoor mapping initiative from the U.S. and Japan to Europe. The U.K. and Switzerland are the first two countries to get the indoor mapping functionality.

Businesses and public spaces can upload maps of their floorplans, which Google then calibrates via its indoor geo-location technology.

Google has already uploaded 10 locals in Switzerland and 40 in Britain, including the British Museum, Wembley Stadium, Kings Cross Station, and Harrods and Peter Jones, the popular London department stores.

TomTom enabled all of its 60 million portable navigation devices to receive free daily map changes via the TomTom Map Share community.

Map Share allows drivers to personalize the TomTom map on their own device and also share and receive map changes with the Map Share community around the world.

Map Share was previously only available on a limited number of TomTom devices. All TomTom customers can now download daily Map Share changes for free.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced a request for information for documents related to nomadic devices for real-time data collection.

The announcement is not a solicitation for proposals or proposal abstracts; its purpose is to obtain information for planning purposes regarding the availability of nomadic data collection devices for real time travel data with what are perceived to be unique capabilities for operating in a highly mobile environment.

It also aims to determine whether the needed capabilities exist or where there are gaps that need to be filled, through the development and certification of new data acquisition devices and/or systems.

Information gathered through public comment will inform decisions on whether and how to acquire devices as part of the connected vehicle mobility research program’s testing agenda.

Renault selected HP to provide the French automaker with private cloud services. Renault has its eye on connected telematics services for its electric vehicles and believes that the cloud will help deliver solutions that provide live traffic updates and cloud-computing-based applications like pay-as-you-drive insurance.

HP will host the cloud at its secure tier 3 data center in Grenoble, France.

Ixonos, a mobile solutions company that develops wireless technologies and software for connected devices, launched the Ixonos Experience Store for Automotive.

The cloud-based store is a controlled channel for delivery of content and services to vehicles and will enable auto OEMs and head unit manufacturers to push innovations to cars.

The store includes a range of internet services and digital content like video, music, e-books and online magazines.

NXP Semiconductors has begun testing a next-generation congestion management system in Singapore. During the trial, cars equipped with NXP’s automotive telematics on-board unit platform will wirelessly collect real-time traffic data via 3.5G mobile broadband.

This will not only test the congestion management system, but also secure payment, roadside assistance and paperless parking.

Hughes Telematics announced a joint pilot project NIS GLONASS, a Russian organization focused on the commercialization of technologies in the Russian GLONASS and foreign markets.

The pilot project supplies a test infrastructure to provide a range of navigation and information services, including safety and security, remote diagnosis of vehicles, insurance, telematics, and infotainment services.

Jeff Leddy, CEO of HTI, says the partnership “creates an opportunity for HTI to become the locomotive of development of transport telematics in Russia.”


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