Clarion call Weekly Brief—5.14.2012

Clarion call Weekly Brief—5.14.2012

In this week's Brief: Clarion, Hitachi Group, TuneIn, Pandora, INRIX Traffic, Samsung, Car Connectivity Consortium, Pioneer, Sony, General Motors, Hyundai, TeleCommunication Systems, HopStop, Megellan, Co-operative Insurance, Research in Motion, and TomTom

Clarion unveiled its new "Smart Access" platform, which is designed to function as Clarion’s proprietary telematics system as well as a common telematics system for car manufacturers.

The service will be launched in June in North America and Japan and will be implemented globally in stages. The platform will enable smartphone connectivity and the easy integration of vehicle relationship management and customer relationship management systems.

Its core features will include cloud-based services and content developed through cooperation with various partners. Clarion created Smart Access in cooperation with Hitachi Group.

In keeping with its vision for a more connected automotive future, Clarion also debuted Next GATE, a large LCD screen that sticks to the driver’s dashboard and provides a blowup view of smartphone apps integrated from the driver’s phone.

Bluetooth connectivity allows for hands-free calling. The device comes preloaded with apps like TuneIn, Pandora, and INRIX Traffic. It's compatible with iPhone 4S and 4 and works via a straightforward auxiliary connector. Next GATE will hit the market at $270.

Samsung announced that the new Samsung Galaxy SIII will be the first smartphone to come equipped with MirrorLink in the U.S.

MirrorLink is the Car Connectivity Consortium’s proposed industry standard platform for smartphone integration and competes against the likes of Aha Radio, Zypr from Pioneer, and HTML5, the last of which is scheduled to come standard on the new Cadillac Cue.

In addition to MirrorLink’s Samsung launch, the platform will also hit the market as an aftermarket device from Sony—the  XAV-701HD ($700) and XAV-601BT ($550)—at the start of summer.

General Motors announced that all 2013 Cadillac XTS buyers will receive an iPad with their new car as part of the customer experience. The move mirrors a similar promotional campaign by Hyundai with its Equus in 2011.

The iPad giveaway is part of a suite of service add-ons that will accompany the launch of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE), Cadillac’s new in-vehicle system to access entertainment and information.

TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) plans to integrate HopStop, the popular pedestrian navigation and transit routing service, into its navigation and search functionalities.

The company believes that the HopStop addition will deliver a mobile navigation experience that extends beyond just vehicular navigation to include modes of pedestrian navigation, including mass transit. HopStop is active in more than 200 cities worldwide.

Megellan introduced a host of new PNDs for the North American market. New options under the RoadMate moniker include the 4.3-inch RoadMate 2210T, which comes with lifetime traffic alerts, and the RoadMate 5235T-LM, a five-inch display loaded with lifetime map updates, traffic alerts and a protective sleeve.

The new products will range from $100 to $170 in cost and will attempt to retain Megellan’s market share in the ever-contracting PND market.

New research from Co-operative Insurance suggests that young drivers with black box telematics insurance solutions in their vehicles are 20 percent less likely to be involved in a crash than those of the same age group with a standard policy.

The company’s analysis involved 10,000 telematics insurance customers aged between 17 and 25. The analysis further revealed that those drivers with insurance telematics policies tend to get in less serious accidents than those without, as average insurance claims for the telematically insured is 30 percent less on average.

Research In Motion chose TomTom's real-time traffic services for BlackBerry applications. BlackBerry Traffic will now be powered by TomTom HD Traffic, giving customers access to the most accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date traffic information on the market.

Additionally, TomTom maps and location content is already in use in BlackBerry Maps, and for BlackBerry Locate Services, which gives third-party software developers access to the mapping and traffic information for their own apps.

"Through our strategic relationship with RIM, we are enabling the future of mobile travel with powerful location content and real-time information, including HD Traffic," says Nuno Campos, vice president of sales and Marketing for TomTom Licensing.

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