Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AT&T attempts to drive innovation in connected car market with studio and automaker alliances

AT&T announced major initiatives related to the connected car market: the AT&T Drive Studio, and a modular, global automotive platform called AT&T Drive.

Located in Atlanta, the more than 5,000-square foot AT&T Drive Studio features working garage bays, a speech lab, a full showroom to exhibit the latest innovations, conference facilities, and much more.  The AT&T Drive Studio integrates AT&T solutions across multiple companies and serves as a hub where AT&T can respond to needs of automotive manufacturers and the auto ecosystem at large.
AT&T Drive Studio
AT&T is the first carrier to open a dedicated facility for connected car innovation and research. Called the AT&T Drive Studio, it will be the premier location for creating the future of connected cars.  
Located just blocks away from AT&T’s newest Foundry innovation center in Atlanta, the AT&T Drive Studio is a working lab where AT&T tests and develops technologies to enhance the driving experience by improving safety, convenience and entertainment. 
The Atlanta Foundry, AT&T’s fourth such space, is dedicated to new wireless services, like the connected home, car and other consumer electronics.  Ideas started in these innovation centers will be integrated into AT&T Drive within the Drive Studio in Atlanta.
“We’re going to work here with automakers to build innovative new solutions to make the in-car experience better for the driver and passengers, all doing so safely, with a focus on minimizing driver distraction," said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, emerging devices, AT&T Mobility. "We’re also going to use this facility to extend our relationship with the developer community and drive new applications and services focused specifically on the car and their end users.”
AT&T Drive Studio showcases end-to-end solutions that AT&T and its contributors can provide automotive manufacturers around the world.  Significant ecosystem players are committed to the Drive Studio and will work alongside AT&T, including Accenture, Amdocs, Clear Channel’s iHeart Radio, Ericsson, Jasper Wireless, Synchronoss and VoiceBox.
AT&T Drive
AT&T Drive is the company’s connected car platform – a modular, global solution that allows automakers to pick and choose what services and capabilities are important to them in order to differentiate their solutions in the marketplace.  From connectivity and billing solutions to data analytics and infotainment, AT&T Drive will allow auto makers and developers to develop their own innovative and customized connected car solutions, now and in the future.
The platform allows AT&T to work with companies to bring new connected vehicle services to market quickly including:
  • Global SIM and Global Provisioning
  • Unique Global Billing Solutions
  • Safety, Security, and Diagnostics Solutions
  • Voice Enablement / Safe Driving Solutions
  • Service Delivery
  • Secure Firmware Updates
  • Application Store Capabilities
  • Policy Management Solutions
    AT&T Drive includes the leaders in the connected car ecosystem, including:
    • Ericsson - Global application delivery framework
    • VoiceBox - Natural language to vehicles
    • Synchronoss (NASDAQ:  SNCR) - Cloud platform solution that enables seamless network activation
    • Accenture - Connected vehicle  services and solutions, including telematics  and big data analytics
    • Amdocs – Customized billing solutions
    • Jasper Wireless – Cloud-based global connected device platform  
      AT&T already provides mobile internet access in vehicles manufactured by both domestic and foreign automobile makers. AT&T was the first to enter the market with a proprietary, global SIM platform which made it possible for automotive, consumer and M2M equipment makers to work through a single carrier to wirelessly enable and connect products across the globe, and cars are being sold throughout world today with this SIM.
      Alliances with automakers
      Already, AT&T has established alliances with Audi, Chevrolet and Tesla.
      For instance, Audi's new A3 series comes with the first-ever 4G LTE service car system. The collaboration between AT&T and Audi will provide faster downloads and high-definition video streaming for up to eight devices used by passengers over the in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot. The high-speed connectivity also supports picture navigation, social media and mobile app integration with access to more than 7,000.
      Starting this summer, the 2015 Chevrolet Corvette, Impala, Malibu, and Volt will be the first General Motors’ vehicles to come optionally equipped with OnStar 4G LTE. They will be followed by the Equinox, Silverado, Silverado HD, Spark and Spark EV. The majority of the 2015 Chevrolet lineup in the U.S and Canada will have a 4G LTE connection built-in at vehicle launch. More models will be announced later this year. The 4G LTE rollout will bring a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot to most Chevrolet vehicles.


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