Telematics Update released a new report that presents the key to a successful smartphone integration business ventures. The report, titled “In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration”, is a comprehensive analysis of smartphone integration dynamics and the strategies of key industry players.
After interviewing 19 leading stakeholders within the telematics industry, such as Mercedes, Hyundai, Volvo, Microsoft and Verizon, and also over 100 experts in this industry, Telematics found that nearly 50% of the companies interviewed are making a “substantial effort" in the development of smartphone resident apps, while one third of respondents said simplified in-car app interface is the most important element of a smartphone interface when making their next vehicle purchase.
According to the report, almost half of companies across the telematics industry are focusing their development budget on smartphone resident applications. Other key focus points are embedded apps and comms in head unit as well as embedded apps using smartphone connectivity.
Microsoft’s Walter Sullivan believes there are prospects for embedded communications in the car. He said: “There are some markets where there is limited ability to establish the data connection over Bluetooth from the car via a tethered connection…Having the embedded approach is one way to get around that.”
In the report, OEMs reveals that two key drivers behind strategies to integrate apps into the vehicle are:
• meeting customer expectations
• improving product attractiveness
Hyundai’s Michael Dietz explains that the company’s Blue Link-branded telematics solution is about more than the technology: “Blue Link is a telematics offering that enables us to develop a direct relationship with our consumers. At the end of the day, it’s all about forming the relationship.”
The report is created for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 companies and also for Automotive OEMs, which will be able to gather information and learn from OEMs using their already-in-place smartphone apps.
The report is equipped with case studies of existing OEM smartphone applications from OnStar, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz USA, BMW and Mini.
In one of the case studies, Nick Pudar, Vice President of OnStar Planning and Business Development, has explained the importance of their relation with General Motors, and how the two companies have learned to work together:
“When we design services that have an impact on the car and the hardware, it’s like a family discussion. OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM and we have a tightly integrated set of requirements with the vehicle. Historically we have been focused on safety and security services. When it comes to infotainment, we began working together several years ago. The growing overlap with connectivity and infotainment means we have to work even more closely together.”
Today, OnStar has over six million subscribers, is offered in over 50 different GM vehicles, and provides a number of telematics services including subscription-based communications, in-vehicle security, hands-free calling, turn-by-turn navigation, and remote diagnostics systems throughout the US, Canada and China.
Driver distraction is a key concern for all OEMs, and lines of responsibility within the eco-system have been blurred for many implementers. Pudar was asked about who is ultimately responsible in the GM – OnStar partnership for driver distraction and defining the HMI:
“It’s a team effort. The GM HMI organization has the ultimate responsibility for driver interaction with the vehicle. What we can do from inside OnStar is to provide options. One example is around text messaging. Clearly texting while driving is not a good thing as it exists. There are two profoundly different mindsets. The first is to make it impossible to text while driving. The other is to address the issues around texting. There is a societal expectation that people will respond immediately. Ideally, texting solutions should work in two modes. Mode number one is where the car should automatically respond on your behalf to any texts saying that you are driving and that you will respond as soon as it’s convenient. The other mode should enable texts to be read out – some may be very important to your journey or to your job – and should allow you to respond with a short verbal response that can be transcribed into text.”
“Finally, the system could be set up into a mode that most teenagers seem to know nothing about, which is to use the phone to call back and have a conversation. The key thing is that the car and phone should know when the phone is in the car, and modify behavior appropriately.”
Combatting the ever growing issue of driver distraction Telematics Update’s report examines these concerns and the potential legislation surrounding them. Driver distraction, as well customer experience, is accounted for guiding the creation of lucrative smartphone integration business models.
Find more about the report here.
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