The Geneva Motor Show gets underway in Switzerland, as Towers Watson and Vodafone deliver big news on the insurance telematics front
In this week’s Brief: Vodafone, Towers Watson, Qualcomm Life, WebMD, TomTom, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Fiat Group, Opel, Apple, Chevrolet, Dacia, Garmin, and Infiniti
All eyes turned to Switzerland this week for the start of the Geneva Motor Show, but several announcements from outside of Geneva stole the spotlight on the telematics front. First up was Vodafone and Towers Watson, which solidified a strategic alliance to fast-track the development and introduction of telematics usage-based insurance offerings for motor insurance companies operating outside of North America.
The partnership's first offering enables insurers, with the customer’s prior consent, to gather detailed per-second interval data on driving performance and to offer customers optional value-added services, such as automated emergency calls and the tracking of stolen vehicles.
UK insurance company AIG Europe Limited is the first company to sign up to run a pilot.
“Launching and maintaining successful telematics motor insurance products involves more than simply sourcing a device and considering basic driving events,” says Duncan Anderson, global head of pricing and product management at Towers Watson. “From our experience of doing work for clients in the United States, we know that analysing granular data allows a much deeper understanding of the context of driving behaviours, which gives a much greater understanding of the likelihood of claims.”
Then along came Qualcomm, whose subsidiary Qualcomm Life joined forces with WebMD, a leading source of health information online, for a new partnership on the telematics mobile health frontier.
Qualcomm Life will integrate its 2net Platform with various WebMD offerings, a collaboration that will establish an open ecosystem of digital health apps and third-party devices across various disease categories and lifestyle interests where consumers and physicians can select solutions that suit their preferences and healthcare needs.
The show at the Geneva Motor Show (GMS) did go on, however, and a number of companies made important announcements and debuts there. TomTom was particularly active in the early days of the show, which runs from March 5 to March 17.
The telematics leader revealed that Daimler will equip upcoming Mercedes-Benz vehicles with TomTom HD Traffic in 12 European countries throughout starting this summer. The real-time traffic information will automatically be included in the high-end COMAND navigation system as a three year service.
TomTom went on to announce that Toyota will offer TomTom HD Traffic as standard in all vehicles in Europe with Toyota's next generation Touch&GO navigation and infotainment systems, starting 2014.
TomTom will also provide a new navigation solution for Fiat Group, continuing the four-year partnership between the two companies. For the first time, TomTom navigation will be built-in as part of the Fiat Group's new Uconnect 5" Radio Nav infotainment system.
Opel announced at GMS that it has integrated Apple’s intelligent assistant Siri into its small car “ADAM.” The car comes with an onboard infotainment system called IntelliLink that synchs to the driver’s smartphone and makes selected content from the phone available in the car.
IntelliLink functions in the ADAM now include Siri Eyes Free voice recognition and the TuneIn app for global radio streaming.
Chevrolet also rolled out new Siri Eyes Free voice recognition technology at GMS. The new Chevrolet Cruze station wagon will come with enhanced MyLink technology that aggregates content from compatible smartphones, both IOS and Android onto the onboard touch screen display.
A new dedicated navigation app dubbed “BringGo” will offer features like lane guidance and real-time traffic via the smartphone connectivity.
Across the GMS expo floor, auto OEM Dacia was demonstrating an updated “Duster limited edition” PND from Garmin. The Romanian-headquartered carmarker has named its new PND “The Duster Aventure,” which semi-integrates a Garmin satellite navigation system into the dashboard.
This version comes with a European-wide map and a topographic map for off-roading. The new PND will debut in April.
Finally, Infiniti officially debuted its new Q50 model with the InTouch infotainment system. The car stands out from other Infiniti offerings thanks to its Active Lane Control, which aids the driver in steering so that the car always stays magnetized within its lane.
Active Lane Control is part of Infiniti’s ADAS package called “Safety Shield.” Stay tuned next week for more news from GMS.
For exclusive business analysis and insight about telematics applications, see Industry Insight: Telematics and Apps
For all the latest information and trends in fleet management, visit Telematics for Fleet Management Europe 2013 on March 19-20 in Amsterdam.
Coming up in 2013: Insurance Telematics Europe 2013 on May 7-8 in London and Telematics India and South Asia 2013 on April 17-18 in India.
For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports on In-Vehicle Smartphone Integration Report, Human Machine Interface Technologies and Smart Vehicle Technology: The Future of Insurance Telematics.
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