LA Auto Show Weekly Brief—12.03.2012

LA Auto Show Weekly Brief—12.03.2012

In this week’s Brief: LA Auto Show, Sprint, Airbiquity, the Auto Alliance, Kia Motors, Subaru, Toyota, Masternaut, Martin Port and GM

One of North America’s largest automobile events, the LA Auto Show, got underway this week in Los Angeles, California, boasting a host of new car releases. Toyota pulled the cloak off its revamped RAV4 sport utility, while Porsche unveiled its new Cayman, Acura showed off its redesigned RLX, and GM highlighted its new Spark electric vehicle, which costs less than $25,000 and offers enough torque to make a gas-guzzler blush.

On the telematics front, Sprint formally unveiled Sprint Velocity, an end-to-end, connected-vehicle solution designed for automakers to develop, integrate and market in-vehicle communications systems. Automakers can use Sprint Velocity as a complete turnkey solution or on a modular basis to suit their customized needs. Airbiquity will serve as a technology provider for the service, offering its Airbiquity Choreo service delivery platform.

“Sprint Velocity enables auto manufacturers to customize the variety of connected features inside the vehicle, through the simplicity of a single point of mobile integration and enablement,” said Wayne Ward, vice president of emerging solutions, Sprint, at the show. “Automakers simply collaborate with Sprint on the specific features they desire for their vehicles, and Sprint will handle the rest.”

The Auto Alliance created a YouTube channel in conjunction with the LA Auto Show titled “Driver Assists.” The channel will illuminate various advanced driver assistance solutions like blind spot warnings, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, parking assistance, and telematics control systems, which are also on display this week on the auto show floor.

The YouTube channel is the first part of a consumer campaign to highlight the benefits of Driver Assist technologies, which the Auto Alliance will continue in 2013.

Kia Motors announced that the next iteration of the company's voice- and touch-activated infotainment system, UVO eServices, will roll out on the 2014 Sorento CUV.

The system is an upgrade from the original UVO system thanks to a new telematics suite ("eServices") powered by an exclusive free smartphone app that will provide drivers with an in-vehicle connectivity experience. Capabilities will include navigation, diagnostics and added convenience features. 

On the auto show floor, Subaru debuted its 2014 Forester crossover SUV. The new model will come equipped with an infotainment system featuring touch-screen navigation and smartphone integration.

Advanced driver safety features include a rear-vision camera, keyless access, keyless start, vehicle lane departure warning, pre-collision braking, and an EyeSight driver assist system.

Toyota set up the Toyota Drive Center on the auto show floor, where visitors can explore the new RAV4. Toyota president and CEO, Jim Lentz, delivered the event’s keynote address and revealed new plans to develop technology with Microsoft for in-car gesture control in future Toyota vehicles.

Outside of the auto show, Masternaut added an instant-feedback feature to its in-vehicle mobile communication center. Available immediately, drivers will have access to instant feedback on performance and driving style combined with real-time audible coaching and end-of-journey reporting.

Drivers can thus directly receive their fuel consumption and emissions by the day, week or month with a rating that measures over-revving, harsh acceleration and braking combined with idling and an option on speed.

Martin Port, founder of Masternaut, made his own news this week with the launch of “BigChange,” which brings mobile apps into the mainstream for transport, fleet and field service operators.

BigChange Apps connects drivers and fleets seamlessly to the office using a fixed or portable touchscreen computer, thus reducing the cost of mobile computing, eliminating paperwork and delivering greater efficiencies.

General Motors announced plans to deploy a team of 25 young and tech-savvy Connected Customer Specialists to dealerships nationwide to help owners understand how to get the most out of their Chevrolet MyLink, Cadillac CUE and Buick and GMC IntelliLink infotainment systems. The specialists will work mostly in geographic areas they’re already familiar with demographically and culturally.

“While our infotainment systems are designed to be intuitive and easy to operate, we’re taking a proactive approach to ensure customers receive the expert support they may need,” says Alicia Boler-Davis, vice president of global product quality and customer experience at GM. “This is one of many ways we are taking care of our customers after they’ve made their purchase.”

For exclusive business analysis and insight about telematics applications, see Industry Insight: Telematics and Apps

For all the latest telematics trends, visit Content and Apps for Automotive USA 2012 on December 4-5 in San Diego.

Coming up in 2013: Consumer Telematics Show 2013 on January 7 in Las Vegas, V2X for Auto Safety and Mobility Europe 2013 on February 19-20 in Frankfurt, Telematics for Fleet Management Europe 2013 on March 19-20 in Amsterdam, Insurance Telematics Europe 2013 on May 8-9 in London and Telematics India and South Asia 2013 on June 5-7 in India.

For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports on In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Report, Human Machine Interface Technologies and Smart Vehicle Technology: The Future of Insurance Telematics.


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