Telematics Update award winners announced

Telematics Update award winners announced

A panel of independent consultants and industry experts picked a prestigious group of leaders and innovators for the 2010 Telematics Update Awards, handed out at a gala dinner the night before the Telematics Detroit 2010 Conference. BMW was the big winner with awards for Telematics Leadership, Best Embedded Telematics Service, and Car Manufacturer Innovation Award. Kia UVO won for Industry Newcomer, Zoombak for Best Aftermarket Device, and Google for Best Portable Navigation System. Accepting Google’s award, Jens Redmer, principal of new business development, said, “These products show the power of making rich Web content, particularly through Google's geographic tools, available across more platforms. We look forward to continuing to explore ways to work with automakers to bring more connectivity to drivers."

Google Maps forges new partnerships

At the Telematics Detroit Conference, Google Maps unveiled new partnerships with GM and Ford to allow drivers to easily transfer directions from computers or smartphones to cars. Ford plans to integrate Google Maps into its SYNC service for all 2010 and 2011 models. GM plans to do the same for OnStar; the service will be available starting in July.

Continental in new technology alliance

Continental announced that Deutsche Telekom, INRIX, Navigon, NAVTEQ, Pandora, and Ygomi have joined the AutoLinQ platform. One of the platform’s primary goals is to forge technology alliances with companies and the Android developer community to provide drivers with access to new information and content relevant to the driving experience. On the exhibition floor at the Telematics Detroit Conference, Continental revealed a demonstration vehicle that, with the press of a button, connects to smartphones, social media, online music, and more.

Airbiquity’s Mobile Integration Solution

Airbiquity announced a new Mobile Integration Solution that helps carmakers seamlessly integrate mobile applications and smartphone connectivity into the car. With the solution, OEMs can define what apps from smartphones or the Cloud will work in their cars and how they will behave while the car is at rest, moving slowly, or blazing down the highway. The goal is to make the vehicle synonymous with online connectivity for the consumer while maintaining a safe environment that keeps driver distraction laws in focus.

Audi selects QNX Software Systems

QNX Software Systems announced that Audi, which won a 2010 Telematics Award for Best Embedded Navigation Product, has selected its QNX Neutrino operating system for Audi’s infotainment systems of the future. Audi picked QNX for its visually compelling and media-rich infotainment software. QNX’s multimedia suite will help the new Audi systems better integrate smartphones and media players, and QNX’s transparent distributed processing will help drive down overall hardware costs.

Nav N Go’s cost-effective in-dash navigation

Nav N Go showcased its latest product for the automotive sector, iGO primo, which enables industry players to considerably reduce the cost of built-in navigation. iGO primo presents both a turnkey navigation function and a fully customized solution for low-cost and ultra-low cost automotive projects. “Our combination of low hardware requirements, a mature and robust software engine, and an extensive feature set focused on the future of navigation, make iGO primo the most suitable solution for ultra-low cost projects,” says Tamás Vahl, Nav N Go's CEO.

Telematics forecast: Sunny skies

After the Telematics Detroit Conference ended, IMS Research released a report suggesting that telematics is about to enter a period of sustained and dynamic growth. Vehicles outfitted with telematics solutions are forecast to balloon from 9 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2017. If the numbers prove correct, that will translate into six million vehicles on the road with Internet access in seven year’s time. The report predicts that all major OEMs will sell an increasing proportion of their vehicles with telematics systems, though the applications they provide will differ greatly.

Research In Motion acquires QNX Software

Research In Motion announced the acquisition of QNX Software, whose technology is licensed for more than 17 million in-vehicle systems worldwide. Research in Motion plans to expand opportunities for QNX in the automotive sector and other markets, like air traffic control and nuclear power plants. They also hope to leverage QNX Software to allow BlackBerry smartphones to control in-car audio and infotainment systems.

Kia to roll-out UVO in Europe

Finally, Kia announced plans to introduce UVO throughout Europe in 2011. UVO allows drivers to control smartphones, MP3 players, and dashboard controls through voice recognition. Among some of its state-of-the-art perks, vehicles equipped with UVO have the ability to read out text messages and reply with drivers’ dictated comments. Kia co-developed UVO with Microsoft and envisions the platform as a rival to Ford SYNC. The system is already available for US drivers.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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