IntelliLink goes mainstream Weekly Brief—8.6.2012

IntelliLink goes mainstream Weekly Brief—8.6.2012

In this week's Brief: Buick, Nokia, Groupon, TomTom, Daimler,, BMW, Stitcher, Chevrolet, Sierra Wireless, Sagemcom, and Ford

Building on its debut of the IntelliLink in-car connectivity system in April, Buick announced that it will make the system standard on every 2013 model year vehicle. IntelliLink uses Bluetooth or USB to connect the driver’s smartphone to a touch screen in the dash.

The system allows drivers to control smartphones via voice activation and steering wheel-mounted controls. They can also stream stereo audio from their phones through services like Pandora and Stitcher SmartRadio. Buick plans to offer real-time, over-the-air help to guide new drivers as the cars trundle onto dealership lots later this year.

“As smartphones that stream and hold music grow ever more popular, we want to ensure Buick customers have connectivity that’s both intuitive and safe to use,” says IntelliLink lead engineer Tony Kraatz.

Nokia announced a partnership with Groupon, the deal-of-the-day website that provides coupons to local venues. Nokia maps will now highlight Groupon deals with a green “G” icon over the locale offering the coupon.

The majority of car navigation systems use Nokia maps, and the company believes the Groupon deal will give it a leg up in delivering location-based services. The Groupon partnership will start with Nokia’s Lumia smartphones.

TomTom launched the TomTom Hands Free Car Kit for smartphones. The kit features an advanced noise and echo cancellation system, which reduces background noise for the caller and removes ambient noise for the driver.

The kit comes with an adjustable grip to fit any smartphone with or without its cover and an extendable microphone that drivers can clip to the sun visor to ensure conversations are louder and clearer.

The kit supports iPhone and Android smartphones.

Daimler invested in, the ridesharing network that includes some four million registered users and transports one million people a month across Europe.

Daimler has experience of its own in the space, with its short-term car rental platform car2go and its mobility platform moovel. The company acquired a share in MyTaxi in early 2012.

The goal of the partnership is to further expand’s platforms and intelligently integrate the offerings within Daimler’s mobility solutions.

BMW extended its My BMW Remote app to Android devices. The app offers all the same functionalities as the iPhone version first brought out in autumn 2010, including remote door lock and unlock, climate control, and vehicle finder features.

Drivers can download the app for free from the Google Play store.

Stitcher, the Internet audio company, launched Stitcher Connect, which makes it possible for OEMs to link Stitcher’s Smart Radio mobile device app with an in-vehicle infotainment system.

Chevrolet has already committed to the system and will debut the feature on its Sonic and Spark brands. Chevy customers will be able to control their Stitcher audio on the dashboard and via voice, touch, and steering wheel controls.

Sierra Wireless completed its acquisition of Sagemcom’s machine-to-machine business for €44.9 million. Sagemcom’s M2M franchise includes 2G and 3G wireless modules, as well as industry-leading rugged terminals for GSM-Railway applications.

Acquiring the Sagemcom M2M business provides Sierra Wireless with an enhanced market position in key segments like payment, transportation, and railways, as well as new geographical expansion into Brazil.

Ford strode into the mobile health space by synchronizing the Allergy Alert app with the Ford SYNC AppLink.

Allergy Alert gives drivers a safe way to quickly check current and upcoming pollen and other health risk conditions with simple voice commands while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

Those suffering with allergies are challenged to figure out if pollen levels are up or down and how it may impact their health that day, or their focus behind the wheel.

“Mobile health apps are changing the way consumers manage their own wellness, and Ford SYNC provides the platform to extend this growing trend to the driving experience,” says Doug VanDagens, global director of Ford Connected Services.

For more on the M2M space, see Machine-to-Machine Telematics: Ready to grow, Part II.

For all the latest trends in insurance telematics, check out Insurance Telematics USA 2012 on September 5-6 in Chicago and 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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