World News: ATX identifies three pillars of third generation telematics

World News:  ATX identifies three pillars of third generation telematics

A new generation of data-centric services gradually emerging in today’s international telematics market will eventually transform the traditional telematics business model away from annual subscriptions for primarily emergency-related, location-based services, says ATX.

The core benefit of future telematics services will likely be always-on virtual connectivity with the vehicle, enabling telematics to become standard on every vehicle.

That is the prediction that will be offered next week at Telematics Update Detroit by Steve Millstein, president & CEO of ATX Group.

“What we've long considered as the basic tenets of the telematics business will change, essentially becoming ancillary, added-value benefits to a new core of services that leverage the fact the car is simply a node on an information network,” says Millstein. “These new services will be data-centric and will integrate vRM (vehicle relationship management), driver interactive vehicle applications (DIVA), voice-activated Web access into the vehicle, information about the environment in which the vehicle is operating as well as real-time diagnostics information about the vehicle's operation and performance.”

However, Millstein says that, unlike subscription services today, automobile manufacturers will continue to include basic telematics services in the total price of the vehicle because their customers now expect them.”

Millstein lists four specific areas where telematics is in the process of expanding beyond its traditional core of location-based emergency, security and navigation services:

Recent advances in the integration of natural language voice technology into the vehicle has finally enabled the delivery of an IP address to the driver's seat. Content providers are now ready to deliver "geo-casts" – information that could be pushed or pulled to the vehicle depending on customer choice. This enhanced information – most notably navigational directions, pinpoint location, and localized point-of-interest information – will yield more relevant value to drivers and replace many of the navigational-oriented information currently provided through embedded and aftermarket navigation devices.

DIVA applications enable the driver to continuously communicate with his vehicle, using any networked communications device to remotely control vehicle functions, to poll the car and its browser for information, or to download information to the car.

Remote diagnosis of the car's environment – In the past, remote polling of vehicles has primarily focused on potential traffic flow information, but in fact the car can also probe in real-time the temperature, precipitation, air quality and road conditions at any given location as well as in-vehicle consumer behaviour.

To date, vRM has been primarily associated with diagnosing "under the hood" problems prior to a vehicle's arrival to the service bay. Tomorrow, data pulled from the vehicle will be used to better manage aftermarket parts and service, warranty and maintenance, leasing and financing, and to assist in the process of insurance claims.

Millstein cites two key developments in North America that signal the emergence of T3 applications – BMW's decision to incorporate the four-year cost of its Assist telematics service, provided by ATX, into the MSRP of its vehicles, and General Motors' decision to make its telematics service standard on every one of its vehicles. Consequently, other Japanese and American automobile manufacturers are working on telematics deployment plans in North America.

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