Bosch ramps up infotainment production, as turn-by-turn nav hits new user milestones

Bosch ramps up infotainment production, as turn-by-turn nav hits new user milestones

ZoomSafer released a new version of its enterprise software platform, FleetSafer. The upgraded platform includes software that automatically activates “safe drive mode” on users’ smartphones when they start driving, and deactivates it when the ignition switches off. The software works with mobile telematics solutions, in-vehicle Bluetooth products, and phone-based GPS services.

“Monitoring driver behavior to identify and re-train high-risk drivers is a significant trend among corporate fleet managers in America today,” says Clem Driscoll, CEO of C.J. Driscoll and Associates, a research and consulting firm focused on vehicular telematics. “We see the ability to control driver use of potentially distracting mobile phone features, such as texting, as a logical extension of this trend.” The ultimate goal of FleetSafer is to give employers a simple way to proactively enforce safe driving policies and encourage employees to use their cell phones in a safe, legal, and responsible manner.

Beat the Traffic gets social

Beat the Traffic has selected Leadtail to help launch a social media campaign that bolsters awareness among drivers, especially daily commuters. Beat the Traffic is a traffic reporting solution that reroutes drivers based upon the fastest, rather than the most direct, route from point A to B. Leadtail plans to capitalize on the fact that traffic is a conversation topic that people always get fired up about, whether it be in Moscow, New York, or Beijing. Thus, turning that chatter into tweets or Facebook updates, and in turn visibility for Beat the Traffic, shouldn’t be difficult.

Impressive growth for skobbler

In the UK, skobbler has unveiled version 3.0 of its free turn-by-turn navigation app for iPhones. The new app features a sleeker user interface, faster routing thanks to better GPS positioning, and a Google local search feature. The app also enjoys full compatibility with Apple’s iOS4 firmware. According to skobbler, it’s already secured 100,000 users in the UK, where its app launched in June, and 250,000 more in the rest of Europe, mostly in Germany. The firm also boasts the top spot for free navigation apps in the US iPhone market.

MiX Telematics’ new solution lands in South Africa

MiX Telematics launched MiX3000, an affordable self-managed fleet management solution that incorporates stolen vehicle recovery for clients. The solution is targeted specifically for fleet managers looking for greater fleet control and improved productivity from their fleets but who are restricted by tighter budgets on managerial or operational costs. MiX3000 is fully compatible with the MiX Mobile applications, available for BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android phones, as well as the Apple iPad. MiX3000 is currently available only in South Africa, though MiX plans to roll out the product internationally later in the year.

NAVTEQ expands in South America

NAVTEQ acquired NAVKEY, a terrestrial and nautical digital map company in Argentina. NAVTEQ believes the opportunity for the development of navigation and location-based services throughout South America, and in Argentina in particular, is growing exponentially. The acquisition will greatly increase NAVTEQ’s Argentinean presence, where it started providing maps in 2008 and currently employs just 30 people. The company also provides maps for Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Venezuela, French Guiana, and Brazil.

Gates Corp’s asset monitoring app

Gates Corporation announced a new asset monitoring application built and run by InSync’s iApp Builder. The machine-to-machine, Web-based application leverages RFID, handhelds, and sensors to collect data that can be used to enhance operational efficiencies and assure product integrity and availability. A critical aspect of the app is to provide a truly enterprise-class solution that can quickly and painlessly connect multiple locations, devices, and trading partners throughout Gates' business system.

Turn-by-turn nav hits new milestones

NAVIGON announced that it’s reached the one-millionth-user milestone for its turn-by-turn GPS navigation apps. The apps, led by MobileNavigator, populate the virtual shelves of iTunes stores around the world. Meanwhile, Google Maps for Mobile announced that it’s reached the 100-millionth user mark—per month, that is. Google Maps for Mobile is available for most smartphones, including Androids, iPhones, and Blackberries, and offers features like maps with street and satellite view, real-time location, turn-by-turn GPS navigation with voice output, business listings, Google Buzz, and real-time traffic.

Bosch ramps up infotainment production

Bosch announced plans to begin production on a wide range of advanced car infotainment systems. The production will be headquartered in Malaysia at Bosch’s Penang plant and is a keystone in the company’s attempt to claim leadership in the car infotainment market. One of the focal points of this roll out will be the Bosch Multimedia Compact device, which is featured in the new Jaguar XJ. The system offers the standard state-of-the-art fair—iPhone, iPod, MP3, and DVD connectivity; GPS navigation; touch screen; etc.—with a few distinguished features mixed in, such as an “eco mode” for navigation and a dual-view option on the touchscreen that allows two apps (say, turn-by-turn navigation and a DVD for the passenger) to function side-by-side.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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