Apple Mis-Apps Weekly Brief—9.24.2012

In this week’s Brief: Apple, TomTom, Google, Amazon, Nokia, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, the Linux Foundation, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan, Toyota, Renault, Cadillac, BMW, Daimler, VW, GM, Ford, and the AVnu Alliance

A week after unveiling the iPhone 5 with the new Apple Map App, Apple came under fire from consumer complaints about the phone’s mapping and turn-by-turn direction functionality.

The basic inaccuracy of maps has been one complaint, along with the absence of a transit mode and a compass that directs users in the opposite direction of where they’re actually supposed to go.

TomTom, providers of the data for the new app, is yet to make a statement, though some are questioning Apple’s move away from Google Maps and the quality of the new data that TomTom is providing.

“We launched this new map service knowing it is a major initiative and that we are just getting started with it,” said Apple spokesperson Trudy Miller in a statement. “Maps is a cloud-based solution and the more people use it, the better it will get. We appreciate all of the customer feedback and are working hard to make the customer experience even better.“            

Amazon released a new Amazon Maps API, which gives credence to the rumors that Amazon may be following Apple’s lead and extricating itself from its reliance on Google Maps.

Amazon Maps API gives developers a migration path from Google Maps and allows developers to embed interactive maps into their apps. Nokia confirmed that it is providing map and geocoding data for the new Amazon Kindle Fire and for the Amazon Maps API.

Ramping up its campaign against texting and driving, AT&T announced plans to release a free version of its DriveMode application, which makes it impossible to text on a smartphone once a vehicle is traveling more than 25 miles per hour.

Randall Stephenson, the company’s chairman and CEO, joined with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in asking drivers to pledge against texting and driving, which studies show causes more vehicle-related deaths than drunk driving. Other teleco companies like Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have also released DriveMode apps.

The Linux Foundation launched the Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup, which aims to facilitate widespread industry collaboration that advances automotive device development and to provide a community reference platform that companies can use for creating products.

The Workgroup will work with the Tizen project as the reference distribution optimized for a broad set of automotive applications ranging from instrumentation cluster to in-vehicle infotainment. Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota are among the first carmakers to participate.

Following a successful trial phase, Renault launched its car-sharing service, Twizy Way, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France. Twizy Way is an electric mobility solution designed to be a complement to public transportation.

After payment of a €15 registration fee, anyone who has held a class B driving license for more than two years will receive a magnetic card giving access to some 50 Twizy vehicles, distributed around the community. Users can leave the vehicle in any car park within the service zone, thus assuaging concerns about electric charging.

Cadillac released a new advanced safety system that harnesses a network of sensors to automatically stop the vehicle in low-speed conditions to help avoid crashes.

Cadillac’s Front and Rear Automatic Braking acts like a virtual bumper, slamming on the brakes as a last resort to help drivers in heavy traffic or in parking lots and driveways where the driver might fail to see another vehicle or object in his path.

Automatic front and rear braking is part of the new optional Driver Assist Package on the 2013 ATS sport sedan, XTS luxury sedan and SRX crossover.

More than 400 participants attended the Ethernet & IP Automotive Technology Day in Regensburg, Germany, which provided a forum for all parties developing “Automotive Ethernet” to understand the latest state of the technology and the future role that Ethernet will play in automotive.

Key industry players like BMW, Daimler, VW, GM, and Ford were all there, as was the co-sponsor of the event, the AVnu Alliance, an industry forum dedicated to certifying interoperable audio video bridging products.

“A converged Ethernet backbone is needed for the ever-increasing cross-domain communication needs between active safety devices, infotainment, engine control, and other car systems. Interoperable devices using the Ethernet-based AVB standard with AVnu certification will enable the automotive market to capitalize on new opportunities,” said Rick Kreifeldt, AVnu Alliance president and VP of research and innovation, corporate technology group at HARMAN.

For exclusive business analysis and insight about automotive apps, read Telematics and the future of automotive apps.

For all the latest trends in telematics, check out Telematics Munich 2012 on October 29-30.

For exclusive insurance telematics business analysis and insight, read TU’s Smart Vehicle Technology: The Future of Insurance Telematics report.

 


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