Taking the Connected Vehicle Experience Outside the Car

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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