Weekly Brief: Porsche builds new company devoted to digital mobility solutions

Thilo Koslowski, founder of Gartner’s automotive practice and a regular keynote speaker at TU-Automotive Detroit 2016, is fond of calling the automobile “the ultimate mobile device”. Now he’ll get a chance to turn it into one as the managing director of Porsche’s newly founded digital mobility solutions company, Porsche Digital GmbH.

The objective of the new enterprise is to develop Porsche into the leading provider of digital mobility solutions in the premium automotive segment. The subsidiary will build technologies that enable innovative customer experiences while forging partnerships and making investments in high-potential start-ups. The company will cooperate closely with all Porsche departments in testing and implementation from its head office in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. Further sites will be in Berlin, Silicon Valley and China.

In other news, truck maker Scania became the first company to test 5G networks in connected car and autonomous truck trials. Scania has installed three mobile base stations from Ericsson at its R&D facility in Sweden and says that its goal is to create a “priority lane” when it comes to autonomous driving and platooning, so that vital communications (like braking or directional information) aren’t interrupted by people streaming films, music and games. Scania will also test 5G’s ability to enable continuously updating maps for autonomous driving, stored on a central server, for distribution to other vehicles in the system.

Wondering how carmakers will ever make a dime from all those apps on their dashboards? Talk to AppCarousel and its new Monetisation Suite. The suite allows automakers and their Tier 1 vendors to easily deploy, manage, and monetise apps and software. It can be integrated into any third party automotive platform and can thus power commerce across the OEM’s entire range of vehicles and technologies.

Travelling around Europe in a connected car can be a drag, what with frequent zero coverage areas and expensive roaming fees. Audi’s solution: a factory-installed SIM card. Dubbed Audi connect SIM, the card will be available on the A3, A4, Q2 and Q7 range and will deliver a full range of Audi connect infotainment services with a flat rate data fee. New car owners get a complimentary three-month trial.

Hyundai launched a software upgrade that makes many of its existing models Android-Auto and Apple-CarPlay compatible. Customers can pay for the software upgrade at dealerships or can go the do-it-yourself route with a free download and instruction manual through MyHyundai.com. DIYers will have to plug in their VIN numbers and the SD card from the Hyundai navigation system to make the upgrade operational.

Finally, as connected cars get smarter, thieves are getting smarter too, according to stolen vehicle recovery firm LoJack. “The Connected Vehicle Thief”, says LoJack, targets high-end cars that are valuable on the black market and uses a host of digital techniques to break into them. These include illegally acquiring and copying smart keys, using GPS and manufactured keys to target rental vehicles, using stolen credit reports and creating false identities to finance vehicles at dealerships and VIN cloning. The two most targeted cars for connected vehicle thieves are the Ford F-Series pickup trucks and Toyota Land Cruisers.

The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU-Automotive analysis with information from industry press releases.

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