The connected car's growing global footprint Weekly Brief—11.12.2012

In this week's Brief: AROBS Transilvania Software, be-mobile, Telematics Taiwan 2012, Telematics Update, MapmyIndia, BMW, Honda, Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Fiat, Renault, Waze, Google, TomTom, Nokia, Garmin, Trimble, Meridian, and the Car Connectivity Consortium

This week in telematics provided further evidence of the connected car’s expanding global footprint.

In Romania, a local software company specializing in customized automotive solutions (AROBS Transilvania Software) teamed up with be-mobile to launch TraficOK, a comprehensive traffic portal for the Romanian public. The portal provides live traffic content sourced from an extensive fleet and enhanced by journalistic data managed by a dedicated team of traffic operators located at the TraficOK headquarters in Cluj-Napoca.

TraficOK provides detailed and up-to-the-minute traffic information for in-car navigation systems, smartphones, mass media, and public authorities. “Romania’s continuing surge towards an increasingly smart society makes this the perfect time to launch TraficOK,” says Voicu Oprean, CEO of AROBS Transilvania Software.

“be-mobile provides live speeds and travel times for highways and local roads, includes upcoming travel expectations, road works, obstacles, speed cameras, weather conditions and petrol prices — this is cutting edge technology and is ideal for the Romanian market.”

In Taiwan, thought leaders in the telematics space gathered for Telematics Taiwan 2012, a conference geared toward exploring global trends in telematics and Asia’s growing role in the sector.

Precksha Saksena-Sood, managing director at Telematics Update, will deliver a presentation at the conference about cloud computing and the auto industry in Europe. Saksena-Soon will argue that the presence of the cloud and the increasing demand for infotainment has already begun to change the automotive paradigm and is increasing the complexity of safety requirements.

In India, MapmyIndia announced that a suite of India’s top-selling car models now offer GPS navigation powered by MapmyIndia. The car models represent many of the world’s top OEMs, including BMW, Honda, Ford, Jaguar-Land Rover, Fiat, and Renault.

MapmyIndia has upgraded its navigation solution to cover 7.1 million places of interest, 1.9 million road kilometers, nearly 5000 cities with street-level details, and 600,000 towns and villages, an impressive feat considering the large holes in coverage in other emerging markets, such as Brazil.

In Israel, mobile satellite navigation company Waze, which recently received a boost in usership when Apple CEO Tim Cook recommended that iPhone users download Waze’s map app, released a new location-based advertising platform.

The platform shows local merchants and large brands in areas nearby to Waze's customers, based upon the satellite signals on those customers' phones. Waze is a crowd-sourcing app that delivers real-time traffic based upon the satellite signals of its customers, which it now will be using to send ads.

Waze’s main rivals of Google, TomTom, Nokia, and Garmin are expected to respond with some form of location-based advertising of their own.

Trimble released new enhancements to the Trimble GeoManager Driver Safety solution, which enables organisations to manage driving behaviours by identifying and rewarding good drivers, and recognising and coaching drivers who put the company at risk.

The latest enhancements include new report formats, an improved executive dashboard and driver scorecards, and real-time delivery of idling and speeding alerts, all increasing visibility into risky driving behaviour. With the ability to inform multiple stakeholders within a business from human resources to the board of directors, Driver Safety allows both trends and individual behaviours to be recognised and addressed.

Meridian, the mobile-software company that launched the first indoor navigation app for the iPhone, made this same indoor-navigation technology available to other app developers.

Previously, the indoor-positioning experience provided by Meridian has been available only to customers building apps from the ground up with Meridian's proprietary content management system.

Now, third-party developers can use Meridian's software development kits to implement Meridian's turn-by-turn directions tools and capabilities to achieve an indoor-GPS-like experience into new or currently available apps.

The Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC) announced plans to open the MirrorLink standard to mobile app developers. In the first quarter of 2013, CCC will release MirrorLink version 1.0.1, which will come with a revised set of certification guidelines aimed at streamlining the process of creating and approving apps with drive-mode functionality that conforms to Auto Alliance guidelines for minimal driver distraction.

On the product side, there are already more than 40 MirrorLink-certified cars, smartphones and aftermarket head units available to consumers for purchase.

“Opening MirrorLink to app developers is a key factor in getting as many MirrorLink apps as possible into the marketplace and available to consumers,” says Mika Rytkonen, chairman and president of the CCC.

“Availability of apps is also a critical validating component for the standard as more product manufacturers deploy MirrorLink in cars, phones and aftermarket head units.”

For exclusive business analysis and insight about automotive apps, read Telematics and the future of automotive apps.

For exclusive insurance telematics business analysis and insight, read TU’s Smart Vehicle Technology: The Future of Insurance Telematics report.


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