Kevin Link: The connected car & Hughes Telematics

Kevin has a great interview up on Mashables today about the market dynamics around the connected car.  Hughes Telematics is a leader in the telematics field and Kevin has been their from the beginning.  Interestingly they are going to market with a new mobile health product later on this year called Lifecomm.

From the Mashables post:

Kevin Link Senior VP Marketing, Hughes Telematics

“One of the greatest global trends is related to how connected society has become. Like never before, we are connected to our home, our families, our phones, our work and our friends through a complex maze of networks that seem to be always on. The vehicle is the next node on the network, providing a plethora of connected services for the benefit of the consumer, dealer and manufacturer,” explains Link.

“As society increases its demands for constant connectivity, the vehicle becomes a mobile device that must safely connect drivers to the world around them. It used to be that your vehicle was no more than a means of getting to a destination. However, at Hughes Telematics, we believe your journey there should be just as important.”

All cars and light trucks built and sold in the United States after January 1, 1996 were required to be OBD II equipped.

“Another major trend just in its infancy is aftermarket connectivity — connecting vehicles with no embedded system. Most vehicles sold in the U.S. after 1995 have an on-board diagnostics, or “OBD-II” port, which is used to decode the “check engine” light and determine what vehicle systems are malfunctioning or need repair. If you’ve ever had a vehicle emissions test, it’s that port,” explains Link

The In-Drive Telematics comprehensive set of services is designed to satisfy the ever growing in-vehicle telematics demand for improved safety, security, convenience, maintenance and information services

“At any rate, you can connect an aftermarket telematics system to a vehicle through the OBD-II port, delivering many, but not all, of the same services (for instance, Automatic Crash Notification and emergency calling, plus smartphone connectivity, among others) you see offered by a system like Mercedes-Benz’s mbrace. This allows telematics services to be delivered to the hundreds of millions of vehicles that don’t have an embedded telematics system and would not otherwise have any access to telematics services. This is significant in places like the U.S. where the average vehicle age is over 10 years.”

Hughes Telematics sees four main demographic groups that “are influenced by the benefits of a connected vehicle.” One of these is the “affluent demographic” who, in Link’s words, “tend to want the convenience and peace of mind associated with connected vehicles.”

Link also identifies the “tech savvy” demographic as “the early adopters of connected vehicles. This group should not be confused with the young demographic, but pertains mainly to those who have a general and thriving interest in technology trends.”

“The ‘Out-and-About Parent’ demographic is drawn to and sees the value in the convenience of a vehicle, which provides safety and security services offered in telematics packages,” says Link.

Finally, Link says the “Gen-Y” demographic “feels excited about the idea that one’s vehicle is not just a mode of transportation anymore, but can be a way to both explore and connect to our world.”

A little more about Lifecomm –

Lifecomm™ is an innovative mobile health and wellness solutions company, which offers a portfolio of products and services included in our advanced Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (MPERS).

“The User and Caregiver have access to password protected Web-based tools to customize device settings and monitor User activity.

To ensure efficient communications and service interactions with the User and Caregiver, additional Web-based tools with unique interfaces are available for the following:

  • Customer Care Representatives
  • Emergency Response Specialists
  • Resellers – Distributors – Sales Agents – Business Partners”

About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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