Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 07:20 PM
General Motors believes that OnStar finally may be ready to leapfrog other automotive "telematics" players who got ahead of the brand over the last several years even though OnStar was the industry's original infotainment platform.
The key? GM's deal wtih AT&T to provide 4G LTE connectivity—the fastest type of wireless Internet connection now available—through Onstar next year, according to Automotive News. OnStar already is a profit-margin powerhouse for GM, but CEO Dan Akerson told analysts recently that the 4G deal will open up "what I think are potentially lucrative lines of business that don't exist in OnStar today. So when we look at what we can do with a 4G pipe into a car," said Akerson, whose background is in telecom, "you can change the business model almost entirely."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 28, 2013 09:24 AM
Uniqlo kept out of Bangladesh safety pact by owner Fast Retailing.
Renault suffers blow from failure of Better Place EV startup.
ESPN layoffs underscore sports-network battle and soaring rights fees.
Acura eyes emerging markets.
BMW hints at bringing out super-luxury coupe with a Pininfarina touch.
BuzzFeed, CNN and YouTube plan online-video channel.
Club Med buyout sees large role for Chinese investors.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 26, 2013 06:56 PM
Many brands are respectfully coming forward with various kinds of support for the victims of the Boston bombings last week and for Beantown itself. And then there's Mercedes-Benz, whose products played a singular role in actually bringing the crime and terror spree to its end.
"It's a great feeling to have been able to assist with that," Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman Donna Boland told brandchannel.
It was common knowledge that the Tsarnaev brothers allegedly had carjacked a Mercedes-Benz ML 350, taking its owner on a rambling journey around the Boston area on the night of April 18—a trek that ended up in the death of one brother and the capture of the other that same night in Watertown, Mass.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on April 23, 2013 08:02 PM
It was inevitable that, as infotainment has risen in importance as a consideration for auto purchase, the value of the "info" part of infotainment would rise as well.
Now, that evolution has reached a likely and logical next step: Infiniti is making the information core of its concierge "personal assistant" service available to you even if you choose not to buy or drive an Infiniti.
The Nissan-owned luxury make, newly under the global leadership of Johan de Nysschen, has been telling dealers to give out free access to the Infiniti Personal Assist service as a tool to stimulate floor traffic, according to Automotive News. Dealers have been authorized to sign up showroom visitors for free 60-day trial subscriptions to the feature even if they have no interest in buying an Infiniti.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 26, 2013 11:26 AM
General Motors and Ford have been traveling down different lanes in their connected-car race right from the start. With their latest advancements, the two biggest U.S. automakers have continued to pursue quite different paths for getting to the same goal: clear leadership in automotive connectivity with the outside digital world.
GM shared the details at Mobility World Congress in Barcelona today of its plan to hard-wire 4G capabilities into its vehicles through the OnStar "telematics" platform that it introduced in 1996. Beginning with 2014 models sold in the U.S. and Canada, the company plans to connect its Chevys, Buicks and other brands to the Internet or Wi-Fi at speeds that are 10 times faster than current market offerings. Applications could include the display of real-time traffic jams or construction sites through the car's own brains on its in-dash screen and the piping of a robust video stream to screens in the back seat.
"We are going to make the experience of streaming or connecting more productive, which should help to make that road trip shorter," Mary Chan, president of the global connected consumer at OnStar, told the Wall Street Journal. Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 1, 2012 01:16 PM
Here's to the many brands that have been stepping up in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation on the U.S., providing everything from money to food to power and their employees, products and services to help disaster relief efforts. A partial list of charitable first-responders follows (and if we miss any, please let us know in the comments):
AT&T will extend late-payment windows for wireless and wireline customers, waive late payment fees and not disconnect services because of non-payment, and in an unprecedented open-network arrangement with T-Mobile, will enable roaming to customers of both companies in the impacted areas. AT&T wireless customers can make a $10 donation (up to $50) for Hurricane Sandy relief by texting to relief organizations. AT&T and T-Mobile also joined forces on a wireless roaming agreement, while Verizon Wireless is offering free charging for all cellphones.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 11, 2012 09:02 AM
American Airlines and United 9/11 lawsuits may finally get resolved.
Andy Murray is poised for endorsement deals after historic U.S. Open win.
Apple will boost carriers and U.S. economy with release of iPhone 5 as Samsung is ready to sue and iPad Mini pictures leak.
Burberry rocks luxury sector with warning of lower sales and profits.
Chevrolet disputes Reuters' Volt report.
Chrysler unveils new models to dealers, prices new Viper around $100,000.
Dallas Morning News launches social-content marketing company.
FedEx and UPS gain ground in China.
GM stops deliveries of several popular 2013 vehicles to fix OnStar glitch.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on June 11, 2012 06:06 PM
Turns out that maybe American drivers are more sensible than either the U.S. government or automakers give them credit for. New research shows that when it comes to "infotainment" and "telematics" in cars, auto owners are much more interested in Point-A-to-Point-B applications such as navigation than they are in making sure they can feed their Twitter account from the driver's seat.
Mobile applications are encroaching in the vehicle — look at Ford's Sync voice-activated technology, Hyundai's Blue Link, GM's OnStar, the Mercedes-Benz "iPhone on wheels" concept and Apple's iOS 6 announcement that it's integrating Siri voice recognition as an "eyes-free" (from the device, not the road) digital sherpa. Look for Siri voice command buttons on the steering wheels of upcoming vehicles from nine automakers: Land Rover/Jaguar, BMW, GM, Mercedes, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda. (Update: the news took at least one of the auto brands by surprise — Fast Company reports that Chrysler wasn't aware of being included in Apple's announcement.)
But for all the push of technology and connectivity into the passenger seat, consumers don't want Facebook and Twitter integrated into the driving experience, nor are they looking for a Zooey Deschanel-style chat about adding reminders or what to listen to (sorry, Siri).Continue reading...