Will Verizon decide what connected car you buy?

verizonracecargroveVerizon is busy getting into the Internet of Things and your cars with promotions and announcements surrounding cars that could lead to the conclusion that some point in the near future Verizon will be offering services to not only automakers but also to drivers in cars.

Verizon follows AT&T History

The two major carriers in the United States are AT&T and Verizon Wireless. AT&T is the first to offer Wi-Fi hotspot service in GM cars by a monthly service through OnStar or by adding it on to an AT&T share plan.  AT&T was the first carrier to offer the iPhone and a  few years later Verizon was the next carrier to offer iPhones.  Let’s look at what road Verizon Wireless is taking to be your carrier of choice. The wireless market has become very competitive and Verizon has expanded its network on the roads of the US and the next place may most likely be inside cars too.

Marketing to Auto Enthusiasts

In late August, for the  Indy races in Fontana, Verizon invited the media to go along for the ride at 200 mph. Verizon set up a stage at The Grove in Los Angeles with race car drivers and Verizon Enterprise engineers to show how race cars equipped with Verizon technology can broadcast video. Video from the race cars was streamed  to Verizon  INDYCAR 14 app. Verizon set up the interactive Verizon Fan Village for Indy races. The media was given access to races to see how the Verizon Wireless Network is used by the pit crew to view and deliver car data. (See video from the Grove event below).

App-lifying Car Rentals for Customers with in-car Wi-Fi

verizonnewsreleaseToday, Verizon announced Verizon Auto Share, an enterprise car sharing rental and return cars platform for the end of 2014.  A smartphone app lets the driver “Scan & Go” to gain access to a vehicle of their choice and drive it within minutes. The smartphone scans a code and the person is verified and then given access to virtual keyfob to unlock the car.  The news release stated, “Drivers can also receive promotional offers such as in-car Wi-Fi and advanced fuel/refill purchase options.”

Mmmn here’s the clue we’ve been looking for, we at AUTO Connected Car News do not think that Verizon would offer “in-car Wi-Fi” from AT&T.

Confused News Sources

Bloomberg news reported, today

“[Web connection]The capability is just down the road. GM this year is equipping more than 30 models with 4G LTE, while Hyundai Motor Co, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Toyota Motor Corp. have struck deals with Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) to provide wireless service in their cars.”

We contacted the Verizon PR rep Marie McGehee in Detroit at the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) World Congress in Detroit who did verify that Verizon has an agreements with Toyota and Hyundai to provide wireless connectivity for the automakers. Verizon  bought Hughes Telematics in 2012 and provides Telematics services for Mercedes, Nissan and Volkswagen.

Verizon is providing wireless service safety, diagnostics and infotainment, however in a previous Bloomberg report it was stated that “video streaming” and wireless hotspots will eventually be offered in  the Hyundai BlueLink connected car service.

Verizon Telematics services give Verizon a foot in the door or trunk to offer wireless connections to consumers in their cars. There were other reports that Verizon will offer Wi-Fi service in cars as an add-on to the share plan similar to what AT&T offers in GM cars.

The world of connected cars is getting just as complicated as wireless plans.  If drivers have a choice of two car models with similar features and one requires a change of wireless plans, they may just buy the car with the wireless plan they already know and love.  The average wireless plan is two years and smartphone life less than two years.  The average age of light vehicles is 11.4 years with most people keeping their cars for six years.  Or on the other hand drivers may change their wireless plan to match their car.

GM advances connected cars with V2V, hands-free & feet-free driving in 2017 Cadillacs

santamonicfwyGM will begin offering advanced “intelligent and connected” vehicle technologies in 2017 starting with Cadillac and make driving less work for the hands and feet of drivers with Super Cruise (semi-automated driving) and V2V (Vehicle-to-Vehicle) communications.

Super Cruise will offer hands-off the wheel lane following, braking and speed control in certain highway driving conditions. GM semi-automated driving technology will also work in stop-and-go driving. This will make driving in heavy traffic and on long road trips easier.

AT&T drives connected car apps for its connect car platform

ATTdrivestudioAT&T announced six voice activated apps for its AT&T Drive connected car platform.   The apps will be available to auto makers for  weather, audio, locations nad parking.

Apps include AccuWeather, Glympse, iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Streetline, Inc. with the Parker app, and Tribune Digital Ventures. AT&T has partnered with TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. at the AT&T Drive Studio.

Telematics West Coast Discount Reminder: 9/5 Best Rate Ends

250-250telematicsIf you are planning to go to Telematics West Coast in San Diego, October 30-31, Friday, September 5, is the last day for the early bird discount for $200, combine it with the AUTO Connected Car coupon code and you will receive a discount of $300.

Here are some of the highlights of the West Coast’s premier connected car event:

A Connected Car Review of News: Smartphone UBI, Delphi Tech Board & Green Hills

Renesas_0814There are new announcements for connected cars, Agero UBI (Usage Based Insurance) for smartphones, Green Hill Software for Renesas processors and a new technology board for Delphi.

Agero, announced its new mobile usage based insurance (UBI) platform with PolicyPal with real-time driving tracker,  and Auto Crash Notification (ACN) using mobile device sensors.

Agero’s mobile telematics platform provides UBI predictive analytics that tracks how often and far a policyholder drives; how hard they brake or accelerate; if they travel during peak urban traffic hours and other information to tailor in

Safer Cars with Seeing Machines to Stop Distracted Connected Cars

seeingdrivingIf there were people watching you in your car they would see if your eyes were not on the road, if you were sleeping and if you are incapacitated.  Soon some sources claim GM Chevy, Cadillac owners will have a friend seeing what they are doing to help them drive. Seeing Machines’ eye tracking systems using Takata hardware.

Seeing Machines is an Aussie tech company that uses Takata safety equipment. In a press release on Monday stated that Seeing Machines has an agreement with Takata and that the partnership has signed a contract to deliver the first ever mass-manufactured implementation of a driver-monitoring for a “Major Global Automotive Manufacturer.

Wearable safe connected car driving ready from IMS’s DriveSync

CCE_AngleIntelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) will premeire the IMS totally connected car at Telematics Insurance in Chicago this week. The car knows if the driver is sleepy or hungry and also knows the whether the weather needs more attention. The system is more than a back seat driver, it is a connected front seat driver, giving the driving voice commands to drive better.  And better drivers, get better insurance rates.  This system is live and working on a Fiat and is not a concept car. It uses the DriveSync platform.

It is system that severely injured Tracy Morgan wished Walmart drivers used.

They’ll show  real-time driver coaching, wearable health monitoring  and distraction-free technology for smarter driving.

With wearable tech connections in the DriveSync system data is extrapolated into anticipated driver behaviors.

The sensors detect sleep patterns, glucose levels and abnormal heart rate detection to learn drowsiness and potential health risks. Before each journey, DriveSync analyzes weather and traffic information to predict expected road conditions.

While driving, the DriveSync connected car platform also instructs drivers when when unsafe behaviors are observed;  speeding, harsh cornering and tailgating.

DriveSync also connected to UBI insurance systems with:

  • accident detection,
  • notice of loss,
  • claims management,
  • green driving reports
  • roadside assistance.

IMS claims that DriveSync’s infotainment system gives safe access to: email, text notifications, music and social media integration.

The IMS Connected Car Experience will be at the Insurance Telematics USA conference in Chicago from September 3-4, 2014.

It may be too late to attend the conference in Chicago, but its not to too late to register for Telematics West Coast in San Diego, October 30-31. Subscribers to AUTO Connected Cars daily email news get a code for an additional $100 discount. Contact pr[at]autoconnectedcar.com for code.

The last day for early bird registration is September 5.