TU Detroit Conference: Telematics is at a Crossroads


Telematics Update

Consultants attending the 13th annual Telematics Detroit conference, convened to explore the present state of the Telematics market, got an earful.

Find out what issues and ideas the conference brought out.

The 13th annual Telematics Detroit conference got underway today in Novi, Michigan, where the full spectrum of OEMs, telematics hardware and service providers, members of the media and consultants convened to explore the present state of the telematics market.

Telematics at a crossroads

The conference comes at an interesting juncture for the industry. Telematics solutions have never been so widely available and openly embraced by OEMs, yet the magic recipe for how to package and present telematics in a format that consumers view as a must-have remains elusive. Day One’s keynotes and expert panels expounded upon this friction.

“Everyone agrees that, yes, we have to do something about the connected vehicle, but in regards to what to do about it, there’s not a lot of clarity,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president for automotive vehicle ICT at Gartner, in the morning’s opening keynote. “That’s what needs to change in 2013 and 2014.” Koslowski floated some different possibilities: standardization, consolidation, increased collaboration and partnership.

This is a decidedly different challenge than what the industry faced in years prior. Even just a year or two ago, the conversation at TU Detroit was all about getting OEMs to notice, let alone embrace, all the exciting telematics solutions that were on display.

An increased focus on the consumer is one answer that emerged from the Day One presentations. More robust customer relationship management (CRM) platforms were a frequent point of conversation too, as were finding ways to make offerings more intuitive and contextualized for consumers.

Another general conclusion was that partnerships have become increasingly important. The idea of the telematics provider or the OEM as the one-stop shop is dead. Sure, some vendors may still view themselves in that light, but the reality is that the telematics ecosystem has become too complex.

Other topics of exploration included making big data useful data, creating dynamic HMIs for next-gen device integration and revolutionizing connected services through satellite and mobile networks. Day Two of the conference will include more keynotes, panels and demos on the exhibition floor.