World News: Airbiquity launches VIAaq

World News:  Airbiquity launches VIAaq

Airbiquity has introduced VIAaq, a managed telematics data service that makes it easy for automotive OEMs and PND suppliers to custom-design vehicle-centric applications.

As its core communication protocol, the turnkey VIAaq service uses aqLink, Airbiquity’s end-to-end wireless data communications technology. VIAaq provides seamless connectivity between telematics service providers and a vehicle or PND device for a relatively low cost of entry.

By using VIAaq, OEMs and PND suppliers eliminate operations and maintenance costs associated with hosting or managing their own data centres. Moreover, the new VIAaq managed service broadens their options when considering service providers – choices are no longer limited only to those providing data hosting.

“Telematics leaders will leverage collaboration with technology, service and content providers to create innovative and flexible telematics solutions,” says Thilo Koslowski, vice president & automotive practice leader at Gartner. “The goal is to create service offerings that can be updated over time to address changing consumer preferences and to meet the business expectations of vehicle and consumer electronics manufacturers.”

There are more than 233 million wireless subscribers in the US, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that almost one million US drivers are talking on cell-phones at any given moment.

Experts predict that 80% of cell-phones will be Bluetooth-enabled by 2009, and Bluetooth is becoming standard in cars and PNDs. Experts also predict that vendors in the crowded PND market will need to offer more than just navigation to survive.

Because VIAaq provides seamless data transport over Bluetooth, it can offer PND suppliers entry into the largest possible market for enhanced telematics services via cell phones in the vehicle.

PND suppliers subscribing to the VIAaq service may offer any number of services to their customer base including: remote diagnostics, eCall, enhanced navigation, concierge services, traffic information, CRM applications, and other telematics services.

Airbiquity is developing channel and content partner programs for the VIAaq service this year.

Airbiquity is a Gold Sponsor for the 7th annual Telematics Detroit 2007 on May 22-23 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Michigan, US. Airbiquity is also a finalist in four Telematics Awards categories; winners will be announced on May 22 in Detroit.

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