Game changer Weekly Brief—4.23.2012

In this week's Brief:, Wind River, Clarion, Garmin, TomTom, QNX Software Systems, Car Connectivity Consortium, comScore, Eifrig Media and Skobbler

Fifty-seven percent of drivers believe they will switch to a telematics or "black box" insurance policy in the next five years, according to a new study from The study into the relationship between driving habits and insurance found that a wide cross-section of motorists are open to the idea of telematics-based car insurance.

Traditionally interest has been driven by the youth sector in search of cheap premiums, but the study found that 59 percent of over 55s said they may switch to one of these policies in the next five years.

The research also identified the issues which have held back the sector until now, including low levels of awareness, the lack of big name insurers and evidence of real savings in terms of premiums and fuel costs.

"Given the rising costs of motoring, we think that the new generation of telematics car insurance policies will play a greater role in the car insurance market,” says Scott Kelly, head of car insurance at “And, as our survey shows, many drivers across all age groups would happily embrace the new in-car technology in a bid to keep their premiums down."

Wind River and Clarion are collaborating to develop Android-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. Specifically, Wind River aims to create a customized Android software platform for an automotive environment and provide software integration services to ensure Clarion delivers a compatible, reliable and high quality device.

Leveraging Android’s flexibility for innovation, Clarion Malaysia’s new IVI device is designed to deliver a compelling user experience, especially in areas of multimedia, entertainment and connectivity.

Garmin opened three new international offices to support its growing presence in the automotive OEM market. The new offices are based in Shanghai, China; Yokohama, Japan; and Stuttgart, Germany and are in close proximity to leading car manufacturers and top-tier automotive suppliers.

The offices will host a dedicated staff of Garmin associates who specialize in automotive OEM sales, marketing, product development and engineering.

TomTom enhanced its WEBFLEET offering with a new dispatch feature. The feature is based on shortest travel time and will help businesses respond more rapidly to customers and deliver higher service standards.

The online fleet management application WEBFLEET provides planning and dispatching of mobile workers to customers based on the quickest arrival time as opposed to the closest distance to customers.

WEBFLEET provides accurate arrival time taking into account the actual and expected traffic information on route to the customer for each vehicle in the fleet.

QNX Software Systems joined the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which is dedicated to driving phone-centric car connectivity solutions and global cross-industry collaboration for smartphone in-vehicle connectivity through MirrorLink.

As a core member of the CCC, QNX will have access to the MirrorLink specifications under development and the various MirrorLink work groups. Moreover, QNX Software Systems will be able to support future MirrorLink options in QNX-based systems, and help drive research and development for the standard.

The majority of smartphone owners access travel information on their devices according to a new study from comScore. The results further indicate that 51 percent of smartphone owners accessed travel content on their devices during the three month period ending February 2012, with nearly one in every five smartphone owners using their device to book air travel or hotel reservations. The U.S. study is based on data from the new comScore Travel Advisor report. PRO, a speedcam warning system app for the German market, claimed a coveted spot in the top ten for highest grossing apps, just days after its launch. The app is the product of Eifrig Media and Skobbler has already surpassed the popular Angry Birds Space.

The app goes for €0.79 per download, or for €9.99 for a lifetime subscription. One improvement of the app over its first generation is the new version has an enhanced warning accuracy.       


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