Autonet Mobile, the maker of in-car WiFi hotspots, is expanding into a full in-car telematics platform for OEM and the aftermarket.
The company (which supplies in-car hotspots to Chrysler, GM, VW and others) will offer an auto grade 3G/WiFi and Bluetooth device about the size of an iPhone that can deliver car tracking, geofencing, door lock unlock and other apps from the cloud securely to your vehicle.
It should be ready for the car companies in Q1, and an aftermarket version should follow in Q2. The aftermarket version will require professional installation.
The company finally revealed in an interview that it has sold 20,000 units of its Autonet Mobile WiFi hotspot through aftermarket and dealer options as well as some standard equipment through Chrysler.
In its new car tracking venture, Autonet Mobile is competing with companies like Hughes who offer soup-to-nuts telematics platforms for the car companies. But Autonet claims its system is the first to offer addressable IP (Internet) in an automotive grade device that is secure and that connects directly to the auto’s bus system (or OBD II port).
“What’s kept the factories from delivering their own product is that no one has been able to build a TCU [telematics control unit] that is secure and that’s completely Internet based and designed to be embedded in the car. You have to take into account temperature conditions, vibration and size. Ours will be the smallest one out there,” said CEO Sterling Pratz.
For the car companies, the device will allow them to manage their apps from the cloud and update them as needed, creating their own app store, said Pratz.
Autonet Mobile will also offer a version of the new telematics system for fleet managers.
Source: Autonet Mobile