LBS challenges and achievements

LBS challenges and achievements

Precksha Saksena: What are some of the biggest challenges facing LBS providers?

Alexander Weiss von Trostprugg: One of the greatest challenges for LBS providers at the moment is finding a single solution that will integrate onboard units and remote applications in a way that will fully satisfy the needs of the main stakeholders and end users.

The group of stakeholders includes public manufacturers, car authorities, fleet managers or insurance companies, and the end-user is the individual driver with an onboard unit installed in his car. We could also call him the primary data source.

The goal here is to create a telematics system that will collect information concerning various aspects of the trip, the car or the driver's behaviour. This data will then be elaborated and delivered to different people according to their specific needs.

PS: Despite challenges, how do you see the technology progressing to the next stage?

AT: Technology, meaning the onboard hardware, must evolve to maximum simplification in order to contain prices. The other step is to move intelligence from vehicle to service provider through more powerful artificial intelligence. This means the sector has to aim for greater efficiency, faster data elaboration and delivery. Not to mention the need to accentuate security and respect for privacy. The focus moves from internal memory amplification to empowering of communication channels. More data over the air, more information for different services.

PS: What makes Altea stand out from the other service providers?

AT: We strongly believe in the concept of openness. Our principle is to let the customer choose what suits him best. Altea's Open Telematic Platfrom is able to work with more than thirty different protocols. The continuous process of device testing will allow Altea to open this platform further, and in a short time cover almost the complete range of hardware dedicated to safety & security and other telematics services.

This way the partner is not bound to a particular hardware supplier, but has the freedom to look for what suits him best considering geographical, technical and tax differentiation. Added to that, it runs with a variety of mapping systems. The platform is easily adaptable for use in a variety of contexts, ranging from fleet management, insurance schemes (PAYD, PPU), traffic management or pollution control to safety & security services such as eCall or bCall.

PS: What's been the company's single biggest achievement so far?

AT: Altea has always been a pioneer of new technologies. I think that designing a profitable solution for the implementation of eCall has been one of our major achievements. Altea developed eCall+TM to overcome the problems of cost effectiveness faced by the EU eCall, which have reasonably slowed down its implementation. Today, EU eCall is back on track, thanks to FCD-based applications – which are the backbone of Altea's eCall+TM.

eCall+TM is a business model that brings major benefits to all the parties concerned. Thanks to Altea's Open Telematic Platform, ECall+TM can be provided worldwide, through any hardware with multilingual support.

PS: What's the future direction for Altea?

AT: Altea's goal is to be the best and unique partner to cover all the areas linked to telematics in the automotive sector.

PS: What will Altea be discussing at the upcoming Telematics Munich 2008 conference?

AT: Altea will present the scheme of its Open Telematic Platform and describe thoroughly the available benefits for the automotive industry, insurance companies, end users and other stakeholders. We will demonstrate how to build up a profitable business plan exploiting the potential of the Open Telematic Platform. This platform will boost the profitability of insurance schemes, improve toll collection, allow monitoring and consequent scale down of C02 emissions. For the automotive producers, it holds the possibility of improved CRM. These are just some of the possibilities.

PS: What will executives learn from your sessions?

AT: It is absolutely vital to remain open. We believe that vertical solutions are not the way forward as they limit the flexibility of telematics systems. Openness, on the other hand, allows you to anticipate the future developments and avoid the problem of hardware obsolescence – in other words, it lets you work today as well as tomorrow.

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