Post-CES 2016: Exciting Connected Car Announcements To Share From Abalta Technologies

January 21, 2016  |  By Michael O'Shea  |       

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CES is always a whirlwind of activity, innovation and excitement and a great environment to be around each January. We at Abalta Technologies were very much in the thick of things and thoroughly enjoyed our time at the conference. Not only that, we made some exciting announcements that will impact the automotive and mobile tech industries in big ways.

Multi-Screen Demo

We put our WebLink® product front-and-center again this year. We have shown how we can leverage the power and capability of a smartphone to drive the user experience in the car. This year we went a step further and demonstrated how a smartphone can be used to drive multiple screens at a time.

We were able to show CES 2016 attendees that WebLink® can be used to manage a car's center stack, digital instrument cluster and even the Heads Up Display (HUD) simultaneously. Needless to say, it was impressive to quite a few people. Through WebLink®, drivers enjoy a fresh layout and a smooth experience on the different screens that can be customized to create a unique branded experience for OEMs.

WebLink® is a technology that's pushing the boundaries of in-vehicle innovations and adding serious value to cars, exemplifying what Abalta Technologies is all about.

Movimento

One of the big announcements made by Abalta Technologies during CES 2016 was a new partnership with Movimento. The two companies are working together on a solution for providing over-the-air (OTA) software updates for vehicles that don't actually have connectivity embedded.

The solution combines two elements:

  1. Movimento OTA Platform: Supports OTA and big data management of diagnostic info from cars. The in-vehicle client and server-side components combine for this comprehensive solution.

  2. Abalta's SmartLink®: Provides a secure, managed data link for vehicles that have no modem, using the owner's smartphone instead. This allows for cloud to car data movement, even on older models.
There are several ways this combined solution benefits OEMs:

  • Security Patches: As new updates are issued, vehicles without embedded modems are still updated. This boosts public safety and perception of the brand.

  • Functionality Improvements: No software is perfect, so as issues are uncovered, OEMs have the ability to fix them immediately. As the user experience improves, customer satisfaction increases as a result, helping deepen loyalty. This can also cut down on owner attrition.

  • Reduced Recalls: Instead of having to recall vehicles for updates to the software, OEMs can simply perform an OTA update. This takes care of the problem quickly and doesn't involve clogging up dealership service departments, helping to reduce costs as well.

Pushing Out Updates

Abalta is helping to make issuing updates even more practical and less expensive for OEMs, benefitting everyone. We enable updates to be pushed through multiple channels, thanks to the option of using owners' smartphones as well as embedded vehicle connections.

Another tremendous advantage SmartLink enable is to allow updates to resume automatically even if they are interrupted for some reason while they are underway.

Thanks to a seamless design, SmartLink can actually switch between different connectivity options without the driver doing anything. It automatically chooses which connection is most suitable for the location of the car.

Big Data Management

Big data management is a hot area right now, not just in tech but also the auto industry. This new partnership means that Movimento's in-vehicle client and server-side components combine with SmartLink®'s secure smartphone connections, improving management of diagnostic data captured from vehicles.

Not only can OEMs push out updates to solve problems quickly, they can use the solution to pull car data whenever needed. This allows the analysis of the information so OEMs can better understand the user experience and make changes to improve it.

SmartLink® Advantages

When it comes to vehicle connectivity, SmartLink® provides some serious advantages that make it a compelling offering:

  • Connections: The technology works not only through USB and Bluetooth connections, but also with WiFi. This kind of flexibility makes it convenient to use no matter where people travel.

  • Compatibility: SmartLink® works on all Android and iOS phones, which covers virtually all modern consumer smartphones.

  • Speed: While others have said that using a Bluetooth connection to update navigation maps, Abalta found a way to use it efficiently. As a result, it's as much as 10 times faster than a standard implementation, making SmartLink® highly practical.
As of right now, we're anticipating that consumers will be able to perform OTA updates in their vehicle using a smartphone sometime in 2017.

Zomato

Abalta made one other exciting announcement at CES 2016. We're teaming up with Zomato for an in-car version of the popular app to WebLink®. That means drivers and passengers can use the head unit to search for restaurants and read reviews.

Key Partnership

Zomato is popular in international markets. Back in January of 2015, Zomato acquired Urbanspoon and gained a presence in the United States market. While it's based in New Delhi, India, the Zomato has a presence in 23 different countries, making it one of the largest search and discovery platforms around the world.

Zomato Features

With the Zomato app available through WebLink®, car owners enjoy a number of useful benefits:

  • Search: Users will be able to look for restaurants near wherever they are. This is perfect for unplanned meals out, making it easy to find somewhere to eat without hunting. Users will also be able to specify a location if they anticipate being somewhere else later.

  • Filtered Results: Instead of just being hit by a deluge of restaurant info, users will be able to filter results based on price, cuisine, reviews and other metrics. This makes answering the question of where to eat a much more manageable task, even when users are in an unfamiliar city.

  • Menus: Instead of just guessing what a restaurant serves, Zomato allows users to see menus and make decisions ahead of time, eliminating hassles.

  • Basic Info: Users can see contact information, the address and other essential items for any restaurant. Instead of having to look for additional info elsewhere, it's all quickly and conveniently accessible through the app.

  • Maps: To help guide them to a specific location, users will be able to see restaurants on a map. The exact distance for each restaurant is also displayed.
This means drivers no longer have to wonder about a roadside stop, because information about what it serves, how others rate it, and more it’s all conveniently at users' fingertips.

Overall this year at CES, the automotive industry saw a host of practical advancements, and we are excited to share in the innovation and advancement of connected car technology.

What were some of your favorite automotive announcements at CES 2016?

Topics: Product Updates/Announcements

Michael O'Shea

Michael O’Shea is the Founder and CEO of Abalta Technologies. He is responsible for all aspects of executive management of Abalta and a direct participant in many client engagements, particularly in management advisory projects.

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