NAVTEQ launches LocationPoint in China, as SatNav Technologies traffic smartphone app goes live in India

NAVTEQ launches LocationPoint in China, as SatNav Technologies traffic smartphone app goes live in India

TomTom released version 1.7 of its popular TomTom App for the iPhone, which includes a new feature for keeping real-time tabs on the location of speed cameras. The app comes with a free database of fixed cameras. Additionally, drivers can pay £3.49 a month for TomTom Real-time Speed Cameras, which adds streaming updates about mobile speed camera locations. Cops, of course, are not amused; some in the Netherlands have started buying usage data from TomTom and using it to monitor where drivers are speeding, thus setting up the very speed traps that TomTom’s latest app purports to outfox. TomTom responded to the news immediately, saying it was unaware of how its usage data was being used and that it will prevent such usage in the future. “We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it,” wrote TomTom chief executive Harold Goddijn in an email to customers. He assured that future licensing agreements would “prevent this type of use.”

Garmin iterated that it does not sell any of its usage data to governments or law enforcement. It also announced OpenCaching, an app for iPhone or Android that provides a free, simple, and mobile option for geocaching, the high-tech treasure hunt made popular on geochaching.com. Garmin announced a rival site, OpenCaching.com, in 2010 and now hopes to take that site mobile with its latest apps.

Discrete Wireless added two new features to its MARCUS fleet management application. MARCUS Drive provides instant messaging and real-time GPS tracking to keep managers and fleet dispatchers abreast of their drivers’ and assets’ every move. MARCUS Pulse, meanwhile, offers a graphical interface dashboard that helps fleet managers pinpoint trends that increase cost and reduce overall productivity. It also helps them set goals on key performance indicators to benchmark fleet operations.

BMW added a new feature to its iPhone app, BMW Connected, that lets drivers synch their iPhones with their in-vehicle navigation. Drivers can then transfer vehicle position data to their phones once the car is off, allowing them to continue navigating on foot to their final destinations. BMW of North America also added free Pandora streaming through the iPhone app for all MY 2011 and 2012 BMW vehicles.

NavInfo Co, a Chinese manufacturer that has produced pre-installed, in-vehicle navigation systems for major automobile models worldwide, introduced a new in-car service system called “Telematics.” The integrated solution combines GPS, wireless voice, and digital communication technologies to provide the driver with everything from weather info to turn-by-turn navigation to emergency services and long-distance vehicle diagnosis.

Also in China, NAVTEQ launched its location-based mobile ad network, NAVTEQ LocationPoint, which delivers hyperlocal ads to on-the-go mobile users as they approach local retailers. LocationPoint ads have built-in features like ‘click to map’ that can guide consumers to the doorstep of those businesses. NAVTEQ LocationPoint launched in 2009 in Chicago and has since become one of the fastest-growing location-aware mobile ad networks in the world.

Autotxt and Telekom announced a collaboration in the field of vehicle location
and telematics services. Telekom will help Autotxt extend the service range of its Vehicle Tracking System in the areas of location-based vehicle and function remote control, breakdown emergency calls, and remote diagnostics. Autotxt, in turn, will help Telekom develop solutions for safe, efficient, and comfortable driving; for economically and ecologically sensible fleet management; and for networking of electric cars.

SatNav Technologies announced that its live traffic smartphone app is officially up and running in India. SatNav partnered with Waze Inc. to produce “SatGuide-Waze,” a suite of offerings that range from free navigation to live traffic updates to social networking features that offer rewards for daily driving. Fifteen-thousand users logged in more than 175,000 times while SatGuide-Waze was in beta testing, offering co-commuters live information for traffic info all over the country. This “innovation can help solve the most important problem in [India], that of traffic, and give citizens a way to beat it, [ensuring] they never get lost in the wilderness or in traffic,” said Amit Prasad, founder and managing director of SatNav Technologies.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.


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