Friday, February 13, 2009

Fiat’s innovative “concierge for cars” mobility service demonstrated at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Lancia DeltaImage via Wikipedia

Innovative mobile services for Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo cars will be showcased at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Spain), at the Fira de Barcelona conference center, from February 16 to 19, 2009. The Congress is the world’s largest conference and innovations exhibition for the mobile industry.

The new Lancia Delta – the first new car of Fiat Group Automobiles to offer these services -, will be at the Congress’s “Innovation Zone”, an exhibition showcasing the latest applications, services and technological advancements from the world’s foremost innovators.
Fiat Group Automobiles and Telecom Italia, in collaboration with Accenture, jointly developed the mobility service capability. Visitors will be able to discover and test these innovative services:

- Info Service and Drive Me: With a simple push of a button, drivers are able to speak with an operator to get information on hotels, restaurants, museums, and even cinemas. The address is received directly via SMS to the car’s navigation system
- SOS Emergency: Drivers can push a button to request assistance. The car’s position is sent automatically to a service provider so the vehicle can be located and emergency services dispatched. This can also happen automatically in case of an accident.
- On-line Insurance Services: the car’s position can be recorded through the onboard global positioning system receiver and sent to an insurance company, providing a “tracking service”, with benefits in term of insurance costs.

This innovative system is based on Blue&Me Nav, the latest development of Blue&Me, which was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show 2006 by Fiat and Microsoft. Fiat Group Automobiles was the first motor manufacturer with whom Microsoft worked at developing a completely new on board platform. In the subsequent eighteen month period, this platform was followed by two further satellite navigation versions, namely Nav and Map and environment friendly application EcoDrive.
Launched in June 2008, the Lancia Delta is the first car to be offered with Blue&Me Nav with this wide range of services, thanks to the partnership with Telecom Italia.
Since the launch three years ago, nearly 700,000 Blue&Me systems have been sold (of which 70,000 have been Nav versions), all fitted to Fiat, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Fiat Professional vehicles, with an average take-up of some 30%.
Within the Blue&Me, project Telecom Italia, supported by Accenture, has developed a dedicated ICT infrastructure, called “Infomobility Platform” enabling for Fiat Group Automobiles Service Delivery, Billing, Account Receivable & Credit Management and Mobile Communication Services to Fiat Group Automobiles for both consumer and business customers. The service is available within the major European markets (Italy, Spain, France, Great Britain, Germany).
This platform, using the underlying mobile telco capabilities, enables a multimedia connection between the car and the service; in addition a complete CRM – Service Desk feature set that allows to supply the complete, service creation, service delivery and order to cash processes.
“Blue&Me Nav” with all the on-line service suite is now available on all new Fiat Group Automobiles vehicles. In Europe Telecom Italia manages the Mobile connections between vehicle’s devices and the Infomobility platform, which also operate as a gateway for third parties support.
Telecom Italia plays the role of full service & business partner, supported by Accenture, in application design and service delivery platform implementation, which is integrated with the on-board electronic systems of Fiat Group Automobiles.
The Infomobility Platform is growing fast in order to be able to manage a wide range of services for OEM and Aftermarket Telematic Devices. Concerning this last market share, the tema.mobility consortium launched in 2008 between Telecom Italia and Magneti Marelli (Fiat Group) represents an important step to keep growing.
The fully integrated feature setof IT and Mobile Broadband capabilities of the Blue&Me Nav project represent one of the first and more advanced experience in market as a result of a complete synergy between Automotive and ICT Service Leaders.
Olivier Francois, CEO Lancia Automobiles, said: “The new Lancia Delta compact sedan introduced a new car concept in the automotive business. The fact that Lancia Delta was chosen to represent the latest developments in terms of info-telematics is an acknowledgment of our leading technology applied to customer care and service which always has been in Lancia's DNA. It also recognizes the great job done with all our partners."
Pasquale Ruggiero, Telecom Italia’s Marketing Manager for Transportation & Infomobility Services, said: “Telecom Italia is driving the market towards a new generation of Networked IT Services where devices, networks and platformswork togetherto create aneffective and easy-to-use experience. Infomobility is a strategic area where this approach is necessaryin orderto achievegreat performance and business goals”
“This is an excellent example of the way companies are moving to incorporate mobile networking into their products and services, and the Accenture platform on which these services are based facilitates communications across devices,” said Andy Zimmerman, Accenture’s managing director of New Business.
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