Navigating the iPhone 5 Weekly Brief—9.17.2012

Navigating the iPhone 5 Weekly Brief—9.17.2012

In this week’s Brief: Apple, TomTom, GM, Livio, TuneIn, OnStar, the German Parliament, the European Commission, Peiker, BMW, Ford, and BeCouply

The battle for in-car and mobile-phone navigation services heated up this week with Apple’s release of the iPhone 5, which significantly enhances the smartphone’s maps and navigation offerings.

Apple has been criticized for staying on the sidelines of the maps and navigation opportunity. That changes with the new iOS6 operating system, which allows the iPhone 5 to provide free turn-by-turn directions, plus real-time traffic highlighted on the screen by dotted red lines.

The Apple Maps app also offers a “Flyover” feature that projects cities in 3D, ongoing free updates of maps and points of interests, and spoken search capabilities via Siri. The app was designed in conjunction with TomTom and will be available on any iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch that can run iOS6.

GM announced plans to leverage Livio Connect, a middleware framework protocol from Livio that enables mobile apps to connect and interact with in-dash hardware.

GM will integrate Livio Connect into the 2013 Chevrolet Spark, where it will allow drivers to seamlessly connect their in-dash MyLink radio to the TuneIn music smartphone app, which drivers can download on their iPhone and Android mobile devices to connect with more than 70,000 stations.

The TuneIn buttons and controls will be available on MyLink's touch screen, while the app on the phone itself will be disabled to help promote safer driving.

On the international front, OnStar expanded its safety, security and navigation services to Mexico. OnStar will be available in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles sold in Mexico in 2013.

Specific services will include automatic crash response, stolen vehicle assistance, remote door unlock, vehicle diagnostics, and turn-by-turn navigation. Mexico joins the United States, Canada and China as countries where the services are available.

In Amsterdam, TomTom beta launched a new taxi ordering system. The system will provide businesses like hotels and restaurants with a unit called the “Taxi Butler,” which with the single press of a button communicates with the cabbies, who in turn are outfitted with the “Taxi Assistant.”

TomTom connects the two and collects a small fee (currently set around €1) once the cabbie has the customer in tow. TomTom is pursuing other solutions for taxi ordering as well, like apps for customers.

The German Parliament unanimously accepted a preliminary motion to mandate black boxes in new vehicles sold in Germany. The motion echoes a request from the European Parliament to the European Commission (EC) to mandate black boxes across the continent in 2012.

The German motion was prompted by an EC study that found that electronic data recorders can improve road safety by illuminating the details of accidents and alerting drivers to dangerous situations prior to collisions.

The German police deployed black boxes in their vehicles in 2010 and found a 35 percent decrease in accidents. Now let the debate over privacy infringement begin.

Peiker announced that it will roll out its new Car Hotspot service in the fourth quarter to BMW. The service harnesses the mobile radio standard Long Term Evolution (LTE) to enable wireless vehicle communication and faster data communication between a connected hotspot and external devices.

When plugged in in a vehicle environment, anyone in the car can connect their devices via WiFi to high-speed internet. Peiker says the Car Hotspot can be added as an aftermarket solution just like any cell phone adapter.

Ford picked Dates.fm, a location-based date suggestion service, as the winner of the Ford SYNC AppLink Developer Challenge, which was designed to help stimulate ideas amongst the mobile app developer community and give them the opportunity to “hack” using the AppLink API.

Dates.fm, from the company BeCouply, would provide couples with interesting and romantic date options as they drive in their Ford vehicles. The Dates.fm team will have the opportunity to further develop a SYNC AppLink-enabled version of their app and travel to the International CES in Las Vegas in January 2013 with Ford.

“Dates.fm stood out as an area that has tremendous opportunity in the context of the car,” says Julius Marchwicki, SYNC AppLink global product manager. “If you think about it, the car is an integral part of any relationship, and Dates.fm can ensure a romantic date night with the help of SYNC.”

For exclusive coverage of the mobile apps and telematics space, read TU's Special Report: Telematics and Apps.

For insights into the telematics market in Europe, attend the Telematics Munich 2012 conference in Munich, Germany, October 29 and 30, 2012.

 


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