Yesterday for “Wireless Wednesday” we started looking at the connected car and how it’s changing/emerging with today’s technological advances. Yesterday we looked at the industry as a whole, and especially focused on safety and security. Today we’re looking at one of the most obvious use cases for connected cars, navigation and location services. Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s post here.
Adding connectivity puts a new spin on older navigation services that used CDs or static databases to bring points of interest into cars. And, by leveraging connectivity and information from the cloud, car makers can create more personalized services.
Audi Connect offers a range of services including access to Google Earth.
Pom Malhotra, manager of connected vehicles at Audi America, noted that the car maker’s Audi Connect service (which will come with LTE connectivity in the U.S. starting next spring), is based around enhancing the driving experience. He said the company’s customers expect to get information in their cars that is “instantly accessible and of high quality.” He also said the Connect service has been designed “so you don’t have to reach out to your device.”
For example, if a driver wanted to find a nearby restaurant that serves spicy chicken, Audi’s service would leverage Google Earth and Google search to provide a voice-based search that would read the results out loud. “This leads us to believe that connectivity can do a lot more in terms of improving your driving experiences,” Malhotra said. In the future, he said, a car with access to multiple calendars in the cloud could help a driver better plot out their routes between appointments.
Malhotra also asserted that 30 percent of inner city traffic is caused by people searching for a place to park, so Audi Connect lets users search for parking garages based on their destination and allows them to sort the results via price.
Similar services underpin Nokia’s HERE Auto platform, an embedded navigation system that uses Nokia’s HERE location and mapping software. As GigaOM recently noted, a user’s bookmarked destinations, preferred routes, contacts and preferences are stored in the cloud and synced among phones, PCs and cars. The platform also comes with an SDK that lets car makers and carriers build services on top of it, ranging from streaming music services to hotel or restaurant finders.
“We design our solutions with everyday usage in mind. Turn-by-turn, voice-guided navigation is a service you don’t need every day,” said Floris Van-De-Klashorst, vice president of connected car at Nokia’s HERE division. “But real-time traffic information on your daily commute or parking availability close to your destination or the most affordable gas station on your route are valuable services you need every day.”
One other element of location services that could develop further is car makers’ ability to use their relationship with the customer to send them special offers as they’re driving. Pat Watkins, director of global client management and business development at Sprint’s Velocity program, said that based on geolocation and set preferences, automakers could send customers coupons or special offers–especially if they are part of a subset of drivers, such as Jeep drivers, for example.
What do you think of this article? Is the connected car something you are interested in? Let us know in the comments section below, or on Twitter/Facebook.
Monday we’ll look at Entertainment / hotspot in the connected car, so make sure to check back then. To read the rest of this article, click here.
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