What’s next for NGTP?


Puja Pankhania: What is WirelessCar focusing on at the moment?

Greg Geiselhart (WirelessCar): We currently have a number of focal points.

Firstly: geographical expansion. Due to the sale of WirelessCar Inc a few years back, we were unable to operate in the US because of legal restrictions. Now the restrictions have been lifted, we have trials underway in North America and China.

Secondly: extending our service portfolio – most recently with an on-line portal called My Vehicle Homepage, where we package a wide range of services and present it to the end user.

Finally: the Next Generation Telematics Protocol (NGTP) – an initiative to make it easier for OEM's to provide services and have greater control over their service offering.

PP: Can you explain the crux of this initiative?

GG: It's two-fold: first to simplify vehicle communication and reduce the complexity of managing of different hardware equipment, and second to enable the delivery of new services more quickly to meet changing market demands.

The issue of managing a long product life cycle becomes easier because of the reduced dependency within the embedded telematics control unit.

PP: You developed this protocol with BMW and Connexis; what was the motivation for each of you to set this up?

GG: The joint motivation was to develop a tool that provided new opportunities for industry players and new entrants. Ultimately, we wanted the ability to easily add providers who can bring faster, better services to the end users.

PP: What are the implications of this standardised infrastructure for other industry players in the value chain?

GG: The main benefactors are the content suppliers and aggregators. Having the ability to easily switch in and out service providers will mean more opportunities for those supplying content.

WirelessCar's focal point is car-centric services, and this infrastructure would enable us to partner with many different content providers to provide a set of services that complement one another.

PP: What doors does this open up in terms of functionality for the consumer?

GG: The beauty about NGTP is that the consumer is the ultimate winner. Content can be tailored and then adjusted to meet the changing needs of any customer.

The issue of trying to pair the life cycle of quickly changing content with that of a vehicle with a ten to fifteen year life cycle disappears.

PP: How do you foresee this standard developing in the next few years?

GG: It's completely dependent on the uptake from the industry. Consumers don't want to be limited by their choices, and we believe that NGTP is a tool that can be used to provide limitless choices.

PP: What are the medium and long-term implications of the standardised infrastructure for other industry players in the value chain?

Axel Moering (BMW): Since NGTP is an open protocol, free for use to all telematics players, the standardised infrastructure is the framework for the telematics service delivery. For those who don't have an existing telematics infrastructure, NGTP specifies how to establish the standardisation itself in both the maintenance and support for NGTP.

PP: What will it change for the user? Will they see a difference at all?

AM: Not necessarily from the beginning, but, after establishing such a flexible technology, the customer will see new services coming much quicker than today in car telematics, like in mobile services or in the Internet.

PP: Do you expect other OEMs to join in the future?

AM: Absolutely. We've already started very promising dialogue with other OEMs.

PP: How do you see the protocol evolving in the next few years?

AM: There are many other existing telematics services not yet covered by NGTP, and there'll be new services coming to market quickly (as mentioned above). All these new services and requirements will be covered by NGTP.

Greg Geiselhart is responsible for establishing WirelessCar's sales and marketing organisation in North America.

Axel Moering is a senior engineering project manager at BMW.

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