KORE Telematics gets “location aware,” as Advanced Driver Assist Systems help reduce US road fatalities

KORE Telematics gets “location aware,” as Advanced Driver Assist Systems help reduce US road fatalities

KORE Telematics launched KORE LOCATE, a location-based service that allows non-GPS solutions to track device locations. With KORE LOCATE, any application service provider who is a KORE customer can make its devices “location aware” and provide primary or secondary location-based information to its existing service offerings. As a result, non-GPS powered M2M applications—such as utility, point-of-sale, and telehealth solutions—operating on the KORE network can track device locations for improved efficiencies, asset control, safety, and security.

KORE LOCATE also provides GPS-equipped devices with location-based data when the device is “out of sight” in buildings, parking garages, or tunnels. Alex Brisbourne, president of KORE Telematics, says KORE LOCATE will help customers generate revenue and differentiate products. “With no start-up costs related to infrastructure, hardware, or software and the industry’s only on-demand pricing model, KORE is once again setting the standard for M2M network functionality,” Brisbourne says.

Sprint launches M2M collaboration centers

At CTIA, Sprint launched its new M2M Collaboration Center and Command Center, two M2M initiatives designed to help businesses of all sizes get more deeply engaged in developing and managing their device-to-device ideas. The M2M Collaboration Center is a working laboratory bringing customers an open approach to M2M development. Clients can work side by side with an extensive team of experts to bring M2M ideas to life and make them commercially viable. This facility gives Sprint business customers the opportunity to thoroughly engage with Sprint’s network and solutions team, along with experts from Sprint's wide-ranging ecosystem of specialized M2M partners. Starting in 2011, businesses can access the Sprint Command Center to manage their M2M devices using self-service access. Businesses can view the Sprint Command Center dashboard on their office or mobile computer screens, then interactively load and manage their M2M devices directly on the Sprint network. In addition, the Sprint Command Center will be customizable, provide unique billing capabilities, and integrate professional and managed services features and capabilities. “Businesses are recognizing the compelling opportunities in M2M across nearly all industry sectors, and Sprint is uniquely prepared to serve as a vital partner in helping those companies actualize their M2M ideas,” said Danny Bowman, president-Sprint Integrated Solutions Group.

Lexus Enform Mobile

Lexus launched a free Lexus Enform Mobile app for the iPhone, Android, and Blackberry. The app allows drivers to plan trips, send destinations to the Lexus Navigation System, and share plans with friends on Facebook. No computer connectivity is required. The app is the latest addition to the Lexus Enform platform, Lexus’s answer to GM’s OnStar and Ford’s Sync. Lexus Enform allows drivers to plan trips from home using eDestination, an exclusive online search tool. It also links drivers to destination Assist, a 24-hour response center that seamlessly transfers destinations to driver’s in-vehicle Navigation System.

TomTom and AutoNavi

TomTom announced a joint venture with AutoNavi Holdings, a leading provider of digital map content and navigation- and location-based solutions in China. The collaboration will provide TomTom and its customers with digital maps and real-time traffic services in China in a standard TomTom format. In turn, the partnership will help AutoNavi grow its in-dash business and further penetrate the mobile handset market. The joint venture will be 51 percent held by AutoNavi and 49 percent held by TomTom.

VisTracks and ClearConnex

VisTracks agreed to offer the VisTracks Platform to ClearConnex developers and customers as part of the ClearComm software platform. The VisTracks platform will enable ClearConnex developers to compute statistics about location, movement, and other attributes pertaining to an asset, resource, or person. Solution developers will be able to implement real-time predictive analytics capability on streaming data across both hardware and software implementations in M2M applications. Ultimately, the companies hope the combined horizontal VisTracks and ClearComm platform will help customers achieve greater operational efficiency and effectiveness as they deploy advanced M2M solutions.

Masternaut’s Mobile Communication Center

Masternaut launched a vehicle tracking system based around a single intelligent mobile communication unit. The system comprises a Mobile Communication Center combining vehicle tracking, GPS satellite navigation, hands-free mobile communications, and real-time job scheduling and messaging in a single unit. The all-in-one unit eliminates the need for separate satellite navigation, mobile phones, and hands-free equipment. It also integrates with Masternaut's Three X mobile workforce applications, as well as Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft CRM, to provide a wireless link to important business data while on the move.

NEXCOM surveillance applications

NEXCOM extended its VTC Series with the launch of a dedicated computing solution for in-vehicle surveillance applications in the public and fleet transport industries. Dubbed the VTC 6200-NI, the solution can operate in environments ranging from -30 to 60 degrees and can withstand shock and vibration up to 2G. It can also function as a mobile data terminal to monitor fuel use, driver behavior, and vehicle condition. Information can be seen and recorded in real time and used to predict future failures or faults. VTC 6200-NI has applications within taxicabs, service trucks, commercial tracking fleets, military logistics, fishing fleets, and emergency vehicles.

Driver safety systems make their mark

2009 was the least deadly year on America roads in nearly 60 years, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatalities declined for all categories of vehicle occupants and non-occupants, including motorcycles (which had previously seen a continuous 11-year increase) and pedestrians. These across-the-board decreases in fatalities occurred in a year when total Vehicle Miles Traveled increased by 0.2 percent to just less than three trillion miles.

Industry research firm iSuppli attributes the improvement to the U.S. government and the auto industry embracing safety systems like Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS). In 2009, 4 million ADAS units were shipped in North American cars, according to iSuppli. iSuppli forecasts that by 2017, total OEM ADAS will reach 30.7 million vehicles in North America. “In the United States [and] nearly every other country, automotive OEMs are steadily increasing the availability and visibility of their safety and driver assistance systems,” says Jeremy Carlson, automotive researcher for iSuppli. “Many ADAS that would have had an effect on highway-speed fatalities and injuries have only been available for the last several years.”

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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