Apple enters the game Weekly Brief—6.18.2012

Apple enters the game Weekly Brief—6.18.2012

In this week's Brief: Apple, TomTom, Nokia HERE, Yelp, Facebook, Sony, Cellcontrol, Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, insurethebox, Confused.com, Shanghai OnStar, Mentor Graphics, the Genivi Alliance, Mercedes-Benz, and Glympse

Apple entered the maps and navigation market with the introduction of its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6. The operating system introduces some 200 features, including an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation, and a 3D maps feature called Flyover.

Previous editions of Apple’s operating system relied on Google Maps for its mapping and navigation functionality. Apple announced a partnership with TomTom for the map data, which beat out rival Nokia HERE for the account, and the likes of Yelp and Facebook for POI and social features. The Maps app will also include closer integration with Siri, Apple’s voice-based, intelligent personal assistant feature.

Apple hinted that its new mapping prowess will allow it to harness iPhones and iPads to anonymously collect traffic data. The iOS 6 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com.

“iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” says Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software.

TomTom shares rose 12 percent the day its partnership with Apple for iOS 6 was announced, and other named partners like Facebook and Yelp experienced similar spikes in their share value.

Sony plans to put its first MirrorLink-compatible in-car head-unit on sale in the U.K. and Europe this month. From launch, the XAV-601BT will offer guaranteed MirrorLink compatibility with most Symbian smartphones.

The head unit is future-proofed with simple firmware updates to add compatibility with more apps and a growing range of smartphones from other manufacturers.

Cellcontrol launched a program with specialist insurer Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange (PURE) to help prevent distracted driving incidents caused by teenage drivers.

As part of the pilot program, PURE will offer complimentary devices and a full year’s subscription to Cellcontrol’s technology to drivers under the age of 18, and will be providing the technology at discounted rates to the entire PURE membership.

PURE also plans to introduce discounts for youthful drivers who use a cell phone-blocking device.

insurethebox entered the fray at Confused.com, the U.K.’s largest car insurance comparison service.

Confused.com allows customers to compare an array of insurance policies, including a number of insurance telematics providers.

insurethebox is the fourth telematics provider to join the Confused.com panel, following Autosaint, Coverbox and AA Drivesafe.

Shanghai OnStar, the first major telematics venture in China, announced that its base of subscribers across China reached 450,000 in May, 2012.

The company was the first telematics company in China to launch a mobile app that integrates turn-by-turn navigation, which, since 2011, has addressed 13.8 million requests.

The company says that more POIs, better voice recognition, hands-free queries for traffic information, and real-time traffic and other services will help differentiate it as the competition heats up in China’s market.

Mentor Graphics released a GENIVI 2.0-compliant, Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment solution. The Mentor Embedded IVI Base Platform includes new GENIVI 2.0 features like audio manager support and lower-level system management functions.

The platform integrates graphics, communication and multimedia middleware with libraries, system infrastructure, and management components on top of Linux, and drivers for specific hardware.

Mercedes-Benz says that it will integrate Glympse into the new Mercedes-Benz Digital DriveStyle application, set to launch in the new A-Class in September. Glympse allows GPS-enabled mobile phone users to share their location for a pre-set period of time with people of their choosing.

Drivers will be able to use the Mercedes Digital DriveStyle application to select a recipient, set a timer, and ‘send a Glympse’ to anyone they like. The recipient of the Glympse will receive a text or email link, which will show the driver’s real-time location on an interactive map.

“The cooperation with Glympse now makes it easy for our customers to share their location temporarily with their kids, friends, coworkers, or family,” says Johann Jungwirth, president and CEO, Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, and a keynote speaker at Telematics Detroit.


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