Deutsche Telekom and Un-Blinking Technologies introduce iCar M2M solution for US car dealers and their customers
21 December 2013
Deutsche Telekom and Telematics provider Un-Blinking Technologies (a division of SkyTrace Inc.) have launched a vendor-independent machine-to-machine (M2M) solution based on the iCar telemetry package for vehicles in the US. iCar is an onboard system that taps into OBD II data. Deutsche Telekom provides both the telemetry hardware for the vehicles as well as the SIM-cards and data connections. Un-Blinking Technologies supplies Android and iPhone apps, along with a Web portal to give customers access to their vehicle-provided data.
The solution enables car dealerships to offer value-added services to purchasers of any vehicle, un-tethered to the proprietary technology of individual vehicle manufacturers. This allows dealers to maintain an active relationship with their clients on an on-going basis—offering tangible customer benefits from automated reminders for the next oil change, to remote diagnostic information, and a wealth of other location-based services.
Progressive Seattle-area automotive group Barrier Motors in Bellevue has already equipped 1,500 cars from their Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, and Volvo brands with the iCar Intelligent Car Technology Package. After the successful completion of this initial launch Deutsche Telekom and Un-Blinking plan to introduce the product to 300 additional car dealerships across the US.
For Deutsche Telekom, the cooperation with car dealers is part of an expanding M2M portfolio for connected cars. With potential for new services and revenue streams, the connected car concept has been a strategic core business segment at Deutsche Telekom for several years.
We designed this service with SkyTrace, where we offer value initially for the dealer, as an inventory management system, a way to find specific vehicles on the lots. But the owner also can do inventory management, to see if anyone is trying to break in. This also extends to the consumers themselves.—Niclas Andersson, Director of North American Sales at Deutsche Telekom
For car owners, the iCar M2M solution offers previously unavailable control over their vehicles. By using either a mobile app or a Web portal, owners can monitor a wealth of information including consumption data and the location of their cars at all times. In addition, an Eco-Drive feature evaluates driving behavior and provides measurable data to help be more fuel-efficient.
By means of its geo-fencing function, iCar allows customers to create customized “electronic boundaries” which trigger automatic notifications if their vehicle moves either into or out of these designated areas. The solution also gives owners peace-of-mind with a roadside assistance feature and advanced notice of approaching necessary maintenance work. A further benefit is the tracking functionality which leads to higher recovery rates in case of theft, resulting in reduced insurance tariffs for the customer.
SkyTrace, Inc. is Software as a Service (SAAS) commercial services organization formed to specialize in Machine to Machine (M2M) in the Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigation and Location Based Service (LBS) market.
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