Top industry analysts select the most exciting telematics products and services of the past year. Susan Kuchinskas reports.
The results of the 10th annual Telematics Update Awards are in, and the winners are as varied as the multifaceted industry they have come to define.
The winners were chosen from more than 500 nominations by a panel of six judges and announced yesterday during a dinner at the Suburban Collection Showplace conference center in Novi, Mich.
This year’s judges were Thilo Koslowski, VP & distinguished analyst, automotive, Gartner; Dominique Bonte, VP and practice director, Telematics & M2M, ABI Research; Roger Lanctot, associate director, Strategy Analytics; Andrew Hart, head of advanced research, SBD; David McNamara, president, MTS; and Precksha Saksena-Sood, managing director, Telematics Update.
Saksena-Sood commented: "Winning an award is brilliant, we all love to win. However, believing enough in what we do and figuring out how to do it better is more important. And that’s what defines a winner; not just a trophy."
1. Global OEM Infotainment Solution Award: Volvo Car Corporation
Coming on top of impressive global sales and outstanding technology innovations, such as the new Cloud-based Sensus Connect infotainment system, Volvo also scored highly for its alliance with AT&T and its pledge to deliver a crashless car by 2020.
2. Best Telematics Service Provider Award: Ericsson
Judges noted Ericsson's continued drive to innovate despite an already strong industry presence, singling out a new payment platform for the connected car as an example.
Magnus Lundgren, strategic sales director and head of Connected Vehicle Cloud at Ericsson, reaffirmed his company’s direction. "The connected car is really about services outside the car – in the Cloud,” he said. “We took our battle-proven, telecom back-end server product and built connected car services on top of it, leveraging our experience in other areas. The next step is the car being connected to the greater networked society."
3. Best Telematics Content Aggregator Award: INRIX
In this highly competitive category, judges found INRIX to be the most effective in expanding its coverage and said the company’s strong push into BRIC countries was especially noteworthy.
4. Best Aftermarket Device or Solutions Award: Delphi Automotive
Delphi's aftermarket telematics device, Delphi Connect, which provides a broad range of insights into vehicle health, location and past trips, stood out for its versatility and distribution partnership with Verizon, judges said.
5. Best Telematics Safety and Security Technology Award: Elektrobit & OnStar
Elektrobit was honored for pushing the envelope on driver assistance systems. OnStar won recognition for offering the widest set of safety and security services while continuing to innovate.
6. Best Telematics Service or Solutions for Commercial Vehicles Award: Daimler & Telogis
Daimler Trucks North America got high marks for its comprehensive set of telematics features and services. Telogis won in part by being ranked first in a fleet manager survey, as well as for its recent acquisitions and Cloud-based commercial navigation.
7. Best Navigation Solution or Product Award: Audi & Total Traffic & Weather Network
Judges honored Audi of America for the intuitiveness of its new human-machine interface (HMI), first showcased at the 2014 International CES. Total Traffic & Weather Network received kudos for combining weather and traffic with other dynamic content and services.
8. Best Automotive Application Award: Xtime
Judges admired Xtime's drive to deliver end-to-end customer-retention solutions for automotive retailers, saying the company had the potential to become a key enabler for the industry.
9. 2013/14 Industry Newcomer Award: NissanConnect
10. Best Telematics Product or Service Launch in an Emerging Market (BRIC Region): Qoros Automotive
This Chinese automotive upstart, founded in 2007, fielded its first production model – Qoros 3 Sedan – in the 4th quarter of 2013. Judges were particularly impressed with its telematics offer, which provides more than 30 services, such as connected navigation, traffic information, social networking and vehicle health reports.
11. Best Insurance Telematics Product or Service Launch: Octo Telematics
While Octo is already well-established in insurance telematics, judges found it is still pushing the boundaries, notably with new concepts in driver profiles and new form factors.
12. Telematics Leadership Award: Mary Chan, president, global connected consumer, General Motors
Judges cited GM’s product excellence, vision, ambition and drive as reasons for honoring Chan. Chan responded: "Leadership, in our position, is creating a platform for other partners and the ecosystem of developers to innovate on our platform. Enabling the innovations within the entire automotive industry is what we're about."
Susan Kuchinskas is a regular contributor to Telematics Update.
For all the latest telematics trends, check out Telematics Detroit 2014 on June 4-5 in Novi, Michigan, Advanced Automotive Safety USA 2014 on July 8-9 in Novi, Michigan, Insurance Telematics USA 2014 on Sept. 3-4 in Chicago, Telematics Japan 2014 in October in Tokyo, Telematics Munich 2014 on Nov. 10-11 in Munich, Germany, and The Open Mobile Summit on Nov. 10-11 in San Francisco.
For exclusive telematics business analysis and insight, check out TU’s reports: Insurance Telematics Report 2014, Connected Fleet Report 2014, The Automotive HMI Report 2013 and Telematics Connectivity Strategies Report 2013.