Deutsche Telekom launches Telekom App Award, as SK Telekom rolls out first mobile telematics service in China

Deutsche Telekom launches Telekom App Award, as SK Telekom rolls out first mobile telematics service in China

Deutsche Telekom launched the Telekom App Award, a yearlong competition rewarding the best ideas for innovative, connected-vehicle apps. Creative drivers and app developers can go to and post their proposals for Internet applications that can be used in a car. Every month a jury will award the best ideas from four categories: travel management, entertainment in the car, intelligent traffic management, and safety/accident prevention. The decision will be based on the idea’s feasibility, originality, and level of maturity. The monthly winners will receive €1,000, and the overall winner will walk away with €25,000 for their proposal of the “Golden Car App.”

“The aim of the competition is to show which services car drivers, whether they’re beginners, frequent drivers, or retirees with itchy feet, will not want to do without even when driving a car,” says Horst Leonberger, head of connected vehicles, Deutsche Telekom AG. “We want to bring more fun, efficiency, and safety onto the road.” The Telekom App Award jury will consist of Deutsche Telekom, ADAC, BMW, Continental, Gartner analysts, and media partners AutoBild and Automobilwoche. The jury considers “connected driving” as any interaction among the vehicle, the driver, and other road users, carmakers, and service providers.

Geotab and T-Mobile join forces

Geotab is leveraging T-Mobile USA’s nationwide network to extend the reach of its GPS vehicle tracking and fleet management solutions in the US. Geotab is using T-Mobile’s SIM cards in its GO5 GPS vehicle tracking units, allowing for real-time data management. Named one of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in North America in 2010, Geotab has rapidly expanded its presence in the US telematics market and emerged as an industry leader. With expected commercial and consumer telematics systems growth of 13 percent by 2015 and fleet management system revenue projections of $9.5 billion by 2015, Geotab is poised to serve the growing market for this expanding space. “As customer inquiries for our telematics solutions in the US increased, it became critical to have robust and reliable network coverage and high-quality support,” said Colin Sutherland, vice president of sales and marketing at Geotab.

AND and Nav N Go partnership

Nav N Go announced a partnership with digital map provider AND Automotive Navigation Data. Nav N Go will include AND’s digital maps of Western Europe in iGO My way Navigation, the award-winning and global navigation solution. The agreement marks the start of a partnership to power iGO My way Navigation solutions for PNDs and smartphones. The agreement covers private label PNDs and smartphone navigation products sold throughout Europe. “As the competition intensifies in the personal navigation space, we are responding to our customers’ needs by offering alternative map packages for Western Europe,” says Tamás Vahl, CEO of Nav N Go.

SK Telekom into China

SK Telecom rolled out E-MIV, the world’s first mobile telematics service in China. The solution offers vehicle security, control, and management functions through any smartphone in China, regardless of operating system. SK Telecom has offered a mobile in-vehicle service in Korea since 2009. In early 2010, the company partnered with Renault Samsung to preview its innovative service for the global market at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona, Spain. SK Telecom has launched E-MIV through its Chinese subsidiary Shenzhen E-eye High Tech. Plans are underway to add vehicle diagnostic services, which provide car trouble alert, car workshop location information, and component replacement alert, next year to further enhance the convenience of Chinese drivers.

NAVTEQ and Visioglobe co-marketing agreement

NAVTEQ Network for Developers (NN4D) announced a co-marketing agreement with Visioglobe that grants NN4D the rights to distribute Visioglobe’s 3D rendering software development kit, VisioDevKit. Visioglobe’s technology includes pre-processing tools for incorporating large amounts of data for on-board and off-board usage as well as the VisioDevKit, which allows developers to create content-rich, 3D location-based applications. NAVTEQ Network for Developers will offer the VisioDevKit on to all of its members for a 90-day free evaluation period. “With VisioDevKit, developers will be able to more effectively render 3D map data and location content offerings from NAVTEQ,” said Marc Naddell, vice president, partner and developer programs, NAVTEQ. “We look forward to seeing a host of new 3D-enhanced apps created by the LBS community.”

Kapsch acquires MARK IV

Kapsch TrafficCom acquired MARK IV IVHS, the largest equipment supplier for electronic toll collection (ETC) systems in North America. The acquisition enables Kapsch TrafficCom to offer its current and future customers in North America an extended end-to-end product and solution portfolio for intelligent transportation systems and ETC. MARK IV IVHS includes operations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The purchase price was approximately $70 million. “Independently, each has been an industry leader, and together we possess even greater financial strength and ingenuity to deliver leading-edge intelligent transportation solutions,” said Georg Kapsch, CEO of Kapsch TrafficCom. “Our collective resources will further our efforts to enhance road safety and enable a better overall experience for drivers while providing industry-leading quality of service to our existing tolling and transportation customers.”

ViewRanger Open Maps edition

ViewRanger GPS, the outdoor navigation app, introduced a Global Open Maps edition for iPhone and iPad. ViewRanger allows outdoorsmen to know their real-time location on an on-screen moving map. The app also lets users analyze performance statistics like distance, speed, and height gain/loss. The Open Maps version lets iPhone and iPad owners who are outdoor enthusiasts enjoy the benefits of ViewRanger around the globe. The Open Maps edition provides access to a range of map views, including OpenCycleMap, OpenStreetMap, and Bing Road Map and Aerial Imagery. Not only do the maps work virtually anywhere in the world, but they can be stored on the phone before travel for off-line use, so they will work without a mobile signal. ViewRanger Open Maps edition is available for download from the iTunes App Store for $0.99.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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