Taking the Connected Vehicle Experience Outside the Car

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Telematics Update Interview with Lars Möreke

In an exclusive interview with Telematics Update, Lars Möreke, Mobile Services, Volkswagen Financial Services, explores using the smartphone to reach customers while away from the vehicle and to speed up the launch of new connected services.

Lars will be speaking at the Content and Apps for Automotive conference in Munich, Germany in June, bringing further crucial insights on using connected service inside and outside the vehicle to better understand your customers.

Lars Möreke will elaborate on his perspective at the conference in June. Meanwhile, dealers can take advantage of Möreke’s insight as he expounds on some of the issues arising from connected services and putting people in touch with services when they are not in their vehicles.

What is your perspective on the use of smartphones as a new space for interaction with customers?

Traditionally, OEMs were interacting with customers while they were in the car or at the dealer. Now, thanks to the smartphone, we are able to tell them, ‘Get in your car 15 minutes earlier because a traffic jam is imminent.‘ This ability to reach customers while they are away from their vehicles has given us a couple of new things to work with. One thing is providing relevant information before they get into the car, and after they leave it. This is, for example, information that gets them from the car to their final destination.

The other thing is we can use portable devices that are tied to the vehicle for new services. This is really the fun part of smartphones for us as an OEM. We are thinking about car sharing; we are thinking about rental models. You can actually improve the process of renting with smartphones, when you start using them for information, for booking, for payment, for door open and door close.

How much of this is already in place?

There are various projects happening at Volkswagen group at the moment. For example, Volkswagen just launched the iBeetle app. You can have a lot of fun using your iPhone. You have a special docking station, you can stream media, you can share information, etc. We, at financial services, are doing several things as well. One is thing is we provide fuel prices, real-time traffic and commuter information through an app called AutoKarte. We have a car-sharing pilot in Germany with Quicar. And we have apps that let you book online, check if a car is available, stuff like that. We will expand this by going more into fleet management, where it’s about optimizing total cost of ownership and providing information about cars, again through mobile devices.

What are some of the advantages of using the smartphone?

For an OEM, time-to-market is an issue. This is why we rely on the smartphone. It’s a lot easier to get things started. But, of course, it will be more convenient, more sophisticated once we have a particular solution fully integrated in the car. Still, it’s not an A or B decision, it’s A and B.

It is our understanding that some of these changes are reflective of changing mobility patterns. Car ownership becomes less important. Rentals and car sharing come to the fore.

We see this happening especially in large, metropolitan areas, where it’s a hassle to find a parking place. It gets you thinking about driving a car without looking for a parking spot and paying for parking. This is where car sharing kicks in. But it’s not just private customers who are changing. It’s also companies. They too want to have more flexibility in their fleets.

Lars Möreke has been with Volkswagen Financial Services since 2011 and is currently responsible for new business models, automotive-related apps and services, and key partnerships. Read the full article here.

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