Reinventing the carphone Weekly Brief—2.25.2013

In this week’s Brief: Accel Telecom, Waze, TASS International, NNG, NAVTEQ, Nissan, ALK, Microsoft, Deutsche Telekom, ATrack Technology, and Telenav

If you assumed that the smartphone revolution had permanently done away with the carphone—you know, those clunky relics that, back in the ’80s and ’90s, were as big as a shoe and lodged somewhere near the driver’s elbow—think again. This week Accel Telecom reintroduced the carphone in 21st-century form.

Named VOYAGER, the device is the first standalone connected car smartphone device to hit the market. The phone operates using an existing phone number via a twin-SIM and combines Android-based smartphone technology with an HSUPA Qualcomm module to deliver safer in-car calling, easy navigation via a dedicated Waze launcher key, and multiple car focused applications. It also offers an in-car 3G WiFi Hotspot connection.

“We expect strong demand for the new generation VOYAGER Connected Car Smartphone device in both European and U.S. markets in line with recent industry reports and our own research with industry influencers,” says Marc Seelenfreund, CEO of Accel.

In other news, to support the growing market for connected vehicle (V2X) systems, TASS International extended its PreScan software to include new DSRC antenna models that enable virtual design and verification of connected vehicle systems.

The PreScan simulation software can be used for design and evaluation of active safety systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and intelligent transportation systems (ITS). The antenna models are compliant with the SAE J2735 protocol, which is the standard for V2X communication in the U.S.

In Russia, NNG integrated NAVTEQ Natural Guidance into its iGO primo navigation package. NAVTEQ Natural Guidance generates directions the way a friend would; for example, “turn left before the green building” rather than “turn left in 500 meters.”

The service will debut as part of the iGO primo package along with the NAVTEQ Traffic service. NNG plans to implement the solution for other countries over the course of 2013.

Nissan announced that it will make its world debut of the new Note for Europe at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. The Note is a small car built specifically for the B Segment, and it offers a host of ADAS features under its “Safety Shield,” including a blind spot warning system, lane departure warning and an advanced moving object detection system.

All three systems operate using data from the rear wide-view camera.

ALK said it plans to release a series of CoPilot GPS Navigation apps for Windows Phone 8 by summer of 2013.

The apps will include CoPilot Premium, a paid app that includes turn-by-turn navigation and 12 months of ActiveTraffic; CoPilot GPS, a free offline trip-planning and maps app with in-app purchase for turn-by turn navigation; and CoPilot Truck for truck-specific GPS navigation.

These will be the first CoPilot apps that ALK has designed for Microsoft since Windows Mobile 6.

The Deutsche Telekom M2M Marketplace added the AX5 OBDII Plug & Play Vehicle Tracker from ATrack Technology. The app enables fleet managers to monitor the location, speed and parameters of their vehicles without the cost or time of installing a physical GPS tracker.

The AX5 comes in two versions, with one including an OBDII module for OBDII readability, while the other comes without the OBDII module, for simple track and trace functionality.

The AX5 can be used as a platform for multiple applications, such as wireless panic buttons for emergency purposes and a fuel-cap sensor for anti-fuel theft.

Telenav updated Scout, its free iPhone navigation app, making it easier for users to share locations and turn-by-turn navigation. With the touch of a button, users can now share any address, place or local event with friends or family via text message, email or Facebook.

Friends and family do not have to download the Scout for iPhone app or even have an iPhone to receive navigation to the event or location.

“We’re always on the go — whether it’s our morning drive to work, taking our kids on an adventure for the weekend, or going out with our friends,” says Dariusz Paczuski, general manager of Scout at Telenav.

“Being able to easily discover local bands and venues, share them with our friends, tell our friends that we’re on our way, and know when they’ll arrive, are great examples of how we’re focused on making Scout even more helpful and more personal for each of our users.”

For exclusive business analysis and insight about telematics applications, see Industry Insight: Telematics and Apps
For all the latest information and trends in V2X and driver safety, visit V2X for Auto Safety and Mobility Europe 2013 on February 20-21 in Frankfurt.
Coming up in 2013: 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 7-8 in London and Telematics India and South Asia 2013 on April 17-18 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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