Deutsche Telekom, one of the world’s leading telcos when it comes to Connected Car, has teamed up with telematics company Un-Blinking Technologies, to create a system based on the iCar platform and can be “bolted” on to any car irrespective of model. Designed to be vendor-independent, the M2M solution initially targets the US market and equips vehicles with a host of connected functions.
Car owners can use iCar for a range of functions including: access to vehicle data such as fuel consumption and car location, the evaluation of driving behavior with feedback on how to conserve fuel (Eco Drive), location data, roadside assistance, maintenance notifications and tracking technology.
On the dealer side, iCar provides the seller with the opportunity to offer value-added services, such as oil change reminders, creating an additional contact point between dealer and customer.
Un-Blinking Technologies provides the iCar platform, while Deutsche Telekom supplies telemetry hardware for the vehicles, SIM cards, and data connectivity. iCar is available with Android and iPhone apps, and a Web portal.
Currently the technology is available to the Barrier Motors automotive group in Bellevue, Washington, with iCar technology being used in 1,500 cars as part of the system’s initial launch. Soon, Deutsche Telekom and Un-Blinking say they plan to introduce iCar in 300 additional dealerships in the U.S.
We are beginning to see a few of these solutions around now, but this one looks rather well featured. What do you think?
Here’s the press release in full:
- U.S. car dealers can now offer intelligent car solutions directly to their customers:
- Customers benefit from iCar services for better performance, protection and maintenance of their vehicles
- Barrier Motors in Seattle equips 1,500 vehicles with iCar in initial launch
Deutsche Telekom and Telematics provider Un-Blinking Technologies (a division of SkyTrace Inc.) have launched a vendor-independent machine-to-machine (M2M) solution for vehicles in the USA based on iCar. This telemetry solution creates an intelligent car with functionality tailored to the needs of both car dealers and their customers.
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.
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.
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 U.S.
“To date, car dealers have been unable to offer a connected car solution directly to customers,” says Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer, Deutsche Telekom. “They can now generate additional revenue streams and offer their customers new value-added services. The supply of M2M solutions directly to car buyers will be game-changing for the whole industry.” For Deutsche Telekom, the cooperation with car dealers is part of an expanding M2M portfolio for connected cars. With huge 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 are proud to work with an internationally recognized industry leader like Deutsche Telekom. They give us the capability to scale this innovative solution around the globe,” said Robert Smith, co-founder of both parent company SkyTrace and its Un-Blinking Technologies division.
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. This is a useful feature when valet parking, for example, as it ensures that the valet doesn’t go for a secret joyride after being handed the keys. 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.
About Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies with 140 million mobile customers, over 31 million fixed-network lines and more than 17 million broadband lines (as of September 30, 2013). The Group provides fixed network, mobile communications, Internet and IPTV products and services for consumers and ICT solutions for business customers and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in around 50 countries and has 230,000 employees worldwide. The Group generated revenues of EUR 58.2 billion in the 2012 financial year – more than half of it outside Germany (as of December 31, 2012).
About Un-Blinking Technologies
Un-Blinking Technologies is an idea company focused on the creation of unique intellectual properties in the M2M space. They provide customers with GPS telemetry products combining creatively-intuitive user interfaces with practical and innovative functionality. A division of SkyTrace Inc., Un-Blinking Technology’s mission is to become the preeminent provider of marketplace analytics – garnered from the aggregated data provided by customers using their service platform solutions.