Ahead of the Broadband World Forum 2012, we speak to Andrei Iordache, product management specialist at the European division of Korean car maker Kia, which revealed plans earlier this year that it is developing a new telematics suite for its 2014 range being sold in the North American market.
“Currently we are considering all possibilities to introduce a full telematics program for the European market, covering the entire range of telematics services in order to reach all Kia cars,” says Andrei. “The main challenge is to align and exploit all the possible revenue streams in order to deliver the best value for customers.”
The Kia exec is quick to acknowledge that input from the communications industry, and mobile carriers in particular, will be key: “Partners are very important, as not just Kia but most of the OEMs are stepping into the less explored telematics territory. An OEM without the collaboration of major players from the communications industry cannot reinvent the wheel and build telematics from scratch.
“Mobile carriers in particular will play a major role in telematics, as they need to adapt their products in the automotive context and propose the most suitable solutions to satisfy drivers’ needs – and for this they also have to understand the automotive business in order to build up a synergy.”
Regarding the future of Kia connected vehicles, Andrei believes that they should offer something more than just connectivity: “The Kia connected vehicles should democratise telematics and not just offer connectivity (which will be a commodity in the future), but capitalise on services that increase customer satisfaction and enhance the brand perception.”
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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