Telematics Update interviews Ralf Lamberti, Director, Infotainment, Telematics and Cabin E/E, Daimler AG.

Telematics Update interviews Ralf Lamberti, Director, Infotainment, Telematics and Cabin E/E, Daimler AG.

For example, while we have re-routing based on real-timetraffic data in our cars today, improved quality and wider coverage ofsuch data will make re-routing based on it an attractive and reliablefeature. Also, parking-spot availability will make POI more useful andrelevant. Finding an unoccupied charging station for your e-vehiclewill become more important than just finding a charging station.Accessing your own private music collection from the cloud will offerunparalleled convenience. Services offering voice-based contents thatare customized around current user environment and location will bevaluable. Additionally, some of our future customers will make use ofsocial networking tools and download applications in their vehicles aswell.

Aspart of your presentation at Telematics Munich 2009 Conference &Exhibition, you will be discussing Daimler’s myCOMAND system. Could youtell us a little bit more about this innovative in-vehicleentertainment system?

Connectingour Head Unit to the Internet and a reliable and secure backend willenable shorter development cycles and open the door to upgrading itsfeatures and functions during the life-cycle of the car. We all seethat the functionality of PNDs and Smartphones is migrating primarilyto the Internet. Future Head Units will beInternet-based, leveraging Web services and delivering highly relevantcontent through a vehicle-optimized HMI. Integration of CE devices willstill be a part of such Internet-based Head Units. Enablingtechnologies such as broadband wireless networks with high bandwidthand global coverage will eventually become available.Wirelessnetwork providers and technology experts do not expect broadbandwireless Internet coverage and performance to be a reality until a fewyears from now. Daimler already proved how lower latency and higherbandwidth can boost automobile Internet-run functions like those inmyCOMAND, which is an entirely Internet-based Head Unit solution.During the Nokia Siemens Networks Solutions Forum 2009 in Munich,myCOMAND was run for the first time on a 4G wireless high-speed LTE(Long Term Evolution) network. At the test-ground in Munich, a LTEnetwork was built up and we experienced bandwidth of 5 to 25 Mbps whiledriving; this is about two to eight times greater than with today’stelecommunication networks. The improvement in performance issignificant. Most myCOMAND features run smoother, maps load faster,higher quality audio and video can be streamed and street view imageswith brilliant resolution can load quickly. Our visionaryInternet-based infotainment system, myCOMAND, has now passed its firston-road test.

What partnerships is Daimler currently forging or aiming to forge to offer next-generation telematics services to consumers?

MakingHead Unit a connected device will require that many constants in ourcurrent telematics ecosystem will have to evolve. Supplier roleaugmented by large, vertically-integrated Internet players increasesthe need for partnering and new co-branding opportunities might emerge.We started along that route when we offered connected features such asreal-time Traffic and Search & Send. For example, we partnered withGoogle for our Search & Send feature in the U.S. And we workedclosely with Apple for connectivity to iPod and iPhone in our vehicles.

Afterseveral years of discussion, eCall is still one of the hottest topicsfor the European market. How does Daimler plan to integrate eCallservices into their future offerings?

InAugust, the E.U. commission laid out a revised deployment plan foreCall in the E.U. member countries until 2014. The new deployment plandetails the eCall Minimum Set of Data (MSD) and other serviceimplementation requirements. Daimler is fully committed to the eCallinitiative and is currently evaluating all possible technical optionsas well as organizational models to assure the implementation of aneCall solution for Mercedes-Benz vehicles is in compliance with therevised E.U. eCall deployment guidelines.

We have been hearing more and more about insurance telematics.How do you think OEM’s will leverage this service?

InsuranceTelematics, or better known as Pay-As-You-Drive (PAID) programs, wherethe insurance premium will be calculated based on the actual usage ofthe vehicle, are still in an early phase. In the U.S., a few of theinsurance companies such as Progressive Insurance have already beenoperating PAID programs successfully for a couple of years. Also, GMoffers a PAID insurance program for OnStar Telematics-equipped vehiclesthrough its GMAC finance and insurance subsidiary. In Europe, we haveseen some PAID pilot programs in the U.K. (Norwich Union) and Italy,but the success of such insurance programs mainly depends on if theycan provide enough incentives for customers to sign up. The right setof incentives varies widely from E.U. country to E.U. country.Ultimately, insurance telematics programs have to be initiated anddriven into the market by the insurance industry itself and not byautomotive OEMs. Once such programs are accepted in the market, OEMscan then work with the insurance industry to make the necessary datafrom the vehicle (i.e. odometer readings) more easily available to theinsurance companies and maybe also bundle vehicle financing offers withsuch insurance programs at the point of sale.

Could you give us an insight into what you will be discussing at our European flagship show Telematics Munich 2009?

Iwill talk about the unique opportunity for future Head Units.Navigation has evolved into more than just getting from Point A toPoint B; it involves finding the most efficient route, lowest gasprices, the best restaurant, and connecting to ones social networking.As we deliver these services and applications and even more informationto drivers, how and when it is presented becomes really important. Withfeatures expanding and evolving, we at Daimler are in a unique positionto make their use both practical and in accordance with our very highsafety standards. On top of that, only factory-installed telematicssystems will be able to integrate and interact with vehicle systems andfeatures. With these capabilities, it will be more and more feasible tocombine the abilities of telematics features and safety-orientedassistance systems, thus empowering even more the core values of ourbrand.

Interested to find out more about the latest trends, facts and stats. Then, visit more information on Telematics Munich 2009 and see how you can bookyour pass for Europe's most successful and biggest telematics strategyforum.

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