OnStar data "in customers' hands" Weekly Brief—10.3.11

OnStar data "in customers' hands" Weekly Brief—10.3.11

In this week's Brief: OnStar, Google, INRIX, Intel, Telmap, TomTom, Abu Dhabi, J.D. Power and Associates, Alpine Electronics, SANYO Automotive, DENSO and Fujitsu Ten

OnStar reversed its proposed Terms and Conditions policy changes that would have enabled the company to keep data connection to customers’ vehicles after the OnStar service was canceled.

According to the company, maintaining the data connection would have allowed OnStar to provide former customers with urgent information about natural disasters and recalls affecting their vehicles even after canceling their service. It also would have helped in planning future services.

Some OnStar customers who received an email from OnStar delineating the proposed changes viewed it as an infringement on their privacy.

“We realize that our proposed amendments did not satisfy our subscribers,” OnStar President Linda Marshall said.

"This is why we are leaving the decision in our customers’ hands. We listened, we responded and we hope to maintain the trust of our more than six million customers.”

Google awarded real-time traffic information company INRIX a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract to provide crowd-sourced traffic data for Google Maps and other Google mobile navigation applications.

Google will use data from other sources, such as government departments of transportation, private data providers, and users of Google Maps for mobile who contribute anonymous speed information through our traffic crowdsourcing feature.

The live traffic data is already accessible by selecting the new Traffic option in the top right corner of Google Maps.

Intel acquired Telmap, the Israel-based navigation and location-based services provider, for an undisclosed amount. Telmap will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel.

Intel views the move as an expansion of its mobile software services capabilities, especially in the area of end-to-end mobile local search, mapping and navigation services.

Intel also believes Telmap will increase Intel’s ability to direct location-based services to developers on multiple platforms.

TomTom introduced the VIA series of their PND range in India. The PNDs will supply automotive-grade quality maps of India that cover the entire country with street level details.

The VIA series will be available at leading retailers starting in October with features like landmark navigation, hands-free calling, and advanced lane guidance and voice control. TomTom plans to add points of interests to the PNDs in the coming year.

TomTom also launched the TomTom International Traffic Foundation, a non-for-profit dedicated to fostering collaboration and nurturing talent in the field of traffic management.

The Foundation will bring together key stakeholders from academia, industry and policy-making with the aim to help reduce traffic congestion.

It will also endeavor to nurture talent in the field of traffic management, funding PhD and post-doctorate research, publishing research papers and hosting a number of traffic-related events.

Transport authorities in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, announced an Intelligent Transportation Systems strategy that aims to turn the Emirates into a leader of transportation.

The plan will start with the erection of the Abu Dhabi Transportation Management Center, where traffic experts will harness technology to coordinate emergency response, streamline public transportation, and integrate urban traffic management.

The Emirates averages in roughly 3 fatalities a day due to traffic accidents, which cost the country more than $5 billion a year.

New-vehicle owners report more problems with their multimedia systems as the complexity of the systems grows, according to a new J.D. Power and Associates study, the 2011 U.S. Multimedia Quality and Satisfaction Study.

Owners report an average of 4.8 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) when the system includes AM/FM radio, a single CD player and satellite radio. This rises to an average of 12.1 PP100 when a navigation system is added.

The study evaluated various suppliers on the quality of their products. Alpine Electronics and SANYO Automotive ranked highest in the AM/FM/single CD player segment.

The split-sourcing arrangement between DENSO and Fujitsu Ten ranked highest in the AM/FM/single CD player/satellite radio/navigation segment.

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