Through a mutual cooperation, the two companies have developed a ground-breaking application that, through a “telematic box” (easily installed on the vehicle) equipped with mobile phone SIM card, interacts with the driver via the hands-free set or a dedicated display. This system connects automobiles to the high-speed UMTS network, ensuring on-the-go mobile broadband connection and the resulting access to infomobility services.
tema.mobility features “open” technology made available to all service providers capable of offering new automobility applications, precisely for the purpose of fostering the development of forward-thinking services designed for the world of public and private transportation, automobile insurance companies and for the management of company fleets.
With regards to public and private transportation, drivers will be able to rely on information services on access restrictions, limited traffic areas, incidents that affect normal traffic flows (events, accidents, road works), the possibility to pay toll and parking fees, remote vehicle breakdown diagnostics, and safety services ranging from emergency calls to anti-theft technology, including vehicle localisation in case it is stolen.
The application can also store data on vehicle use: number of kilometres travelled, type of itinerary and vehicle conditions. This type of information will allow “pay per use” insurance policyholders to pay less for their insurance coverage, and insurance companies to have an increasingly “personalised” relationship with their clients.
Future tema.mobility applications will include in-vehicle multimedia entertainment, such as movies and music, and the possibility to provide drivers with information salient to their work and lifestyle. The potential economies of scale deriving from this open-technology platform will result in more accessible costs for service providers and end-users alike: indeed, service providers will free themselves from the need of having to build their own platform through which to deliver their services.
This initiative is expected to contribute to the growth of the ITS (Intelligent Transport Services) market, which the Italian Ministry of transport estimates will be worth € 400 million in 2007, up to €900 million in 2011.
More specifically, the system’s technological architecture allows for perfect integration between the automotive and ICT environments, thanks to an in-car telematic system and a platform that connects the vehicle on-board systems with the software applications of the different service providers. The in-vehicle telematic system interfaces with the mobile telecommunications network, ensuring connection while the vehicle is moving, and interacts with software applications developed by third parties: another reason why this venture represents an exciting business opportunity for pioneering service providers.
Eugenio Razelli, C.E.O. of Magneti Marelli is the Consortium’s Chairman, while the Board of Directors consists of Stefano Pileri, General Manager of Technology at Telecom Italia and Mauro Nanni, Head of the Top Client Division at Telecom Italia; Giovanni Roso is the Consortium’s Manager.
“As far as we are concerned, developing intelligent systems capable of connecting cars to the surrounding environment – says Eugenio Razelli, C.E.O. of Magneti Marelli – is a major challenge that allows us, on the one hand, to maximise the services and benefits available from the widespread use of the Internet and, on the other, to minimize the impact of traffic congestion and the resulting CO2 emissions. The Consortium with Telecom Italia was set up precisely to perform this dual task: ensuring continuous connection to information, entertainment and assistance services, such as e-calls remote diagnosis and many more, through access to the networks, and promoting more aware driving choices, in other words “ecodriving”.
“The Internet – added Giovanni Roso, tema.mobility’s Manager – has accustomed us to living, working and travelling with huge amounts of information, but as we soon as we get into our cars, using this information becomes extremely hard. While we are driving, it is not easy to say the least to use a mobile phone, PC, handheld device or other consumer electronics devices in order to obtain information. The challenge we have set for ourselves is to integrate the Internet into our cars in order to access and use information services, new ways of interacting with the environment and the people around us while we are travelling: all in a straightforward way, using commands and devices typical of automobiles.”