Breaking news Weekly Brief—10.15.2012

In this week’s Brief: The Association of British Insurers, Thatcham, Volvo Trucks, Mack Trucks, TomTom, Zurich Germany, GM, Toyota Belgium, be-mobile, and the AVnu Alliance

Emergency braking technologies won the telematics airwaves this week. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) changed its Group Rating system so that motorists who buy cars fitted as standard with Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) technologies can immediately benefit from a one to five group drop in insurance rating.

The announcement comes on the heels of persuasive evidence collected by Thatcham, the UK motor insurance repair research centre, that ABI reduces accidents and improves vehicle safety. AEB technologies use various highly developed laser, RADAR and camera sensors to monitor the road ahead, warn drivers of a potential hazard, and apply full braking pressure independently of the driver to help prevent a collision or mitigate the severity of the impact.

This is the first time that the UK insurance industry has adopted research data on a new vehicle safety system without needing to run extensive market trials. “Advancements in vehicle technology mean that cars are becoming ever safer,” says James Dalton, head of motor and liability at the Association of British Insurers. "Insurers have been working closely with vehicle manufacturers to help bring forward AEB technology, which will help to decrease the number of car crashes on our roads.”

Volvo Trucks unveiled an advanced emergency braking system equipped with early collision warning to help prevent severe accidents caused by inattention.

“Collision Warning with Emergency Brake” combines a radar and a camera that work together to identify and monitor vehicles in front. The system is designed to deal with both stationary and moving vehicles and can prevent a collision with a moving target at relative speeds of up to 70 km/h.

When the system detects a vehicle that the truck will hit at its current speed, the warning system activates a constant red light in the windscreen.

Mack Trucks, meanwhile, expanded its safety offering for on-highway customers with the addition of a collision mitigation technology that can help reduce rear-end collisions. "The Wingman Advanced system" uses a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, which provides audible warnings.

Adaptive cruise control with braking actively intervenes to help drivers maintain a safe following distance by reducing the throttle, engaging the engine retarder, or applying the foundation brakes to help avoid collisions or at least lessen the severity.

In other news, TomTom ventured deeper into the insurance telematics market this week in announcing a partnership with Zurich Germany.

TomTom fleet management will provide the telematics capability behind the company’s newly launched product, Zurich Fleet Intelligence (ZFI), an integrated service that combines vehicle telematics, reporting, driver development tools and risk engineering support for corporate fleets in Germany.

The announcement comes in the wake of TomTom partnerships with Towergate and Equity Red Star in the UK and with Motaquote in the consumer market.

GM extended its CUE system for connectivity to the rear seats of the 2013 Cadillac SRX, along with a redesigned kid-tested gaming-style remote control that allows each of the eight-inch flip-up rear screens to play unique media.

This means that rear-seat passengers can connect to and manage their own music players and playlists, a first among mainstream infotainment offerings. Front-seat passengers will be able to watch videos via the touchscreen CUE display on the center-stack while the vehicle is in park.

Toyota Belgium integrated the first in-car Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) traffic information service into their in-car systems. DAB technology processes unprecedented volumes of data, which increases the detail and precision of the information being integrated into the navigation system in real time.

DAB also increases the speed at which traffic information is updated. The service is powered by be-mobile and will be available on the Toyota Land Cruiser V8, Grand Prius+ Lounge, and Prius Solar Premium version cars sold in Belgium.

The AVnu Alliance, an industry alliance dedicated to certifying interoperable Audio Video Bridging products, formed a new committee to provide a forum for education and discussion around AVB, and to examine the automotive industry’s requirements for AVB Gen2.

The AVnu Automotive AVB Gen2 Council will consist of a range of automotive industry experts and will collectively identify automotive requirements for future development of the second generation of AVB standards.

“As industry interest and adoption of AVB continues to grow within the automotive space, now is an opportune time to think about next-generation specifications,” says Rick Kreifeldt, AVnu Alliance president and VP of research & innovation, HARMAN.

“AVnu Alliance is best positioned to bring together key players so we can identify and define future requirements that will broaden the usage of AVB within the vehicle and benefit the automotive industry as a whole.”

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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