Whereis Maps recently staged the first BeyondMaps Forum, bringing together international leaders from the navigation, automotive and connectivity industries to discuss trends and introduce new technologies to enhance our connected world.
Using the forum as a platform, Fred Curtis, General Manager, Location and Navigation, Sensis announced that it is working with US-based Media Tuners, to create Sensis Aggregation Services Initiative (SASi).
SASi is a voice-activated solution that accesses multiple cloud-based data feeds, to allow drivers to find and share information on location, weather, social media channels, live traffic services and Yellow Pages Search points of interest.
“We know Australian consumers want connected, personalised services to ultimately make driving easier and safer. SASi is about simplifying the way consumers search for, and engage with, relevant, quality content, and the voice-activation means it’s as easy as having a conversation to arrange plans on the go. We are delighted to work with Media Tuners to be the first to market in delivering this service.”
Available to car manufacturers for tailored vehicle installation, SASi will allow drivers to use the device simply by speaking to it, sourcing all the information they need to connect with the world around them. Integrating Whereis Maps extensive map database and all of Sensis’ points of interest information, the B2B technology will be available over the coming months.
Panelist David Frerichs, President, Media Tuners added, “The technology behind SASi aggregates a range of information into one user interface and allows full user interactivity to personalise search and stay connected, all while driving safely.
“The flexibility of SASi’s cloud-based technology will allow it to continually adapt to changing internet usage trends, as well as driver needs, to ensure that in-car connectivity remains relevant over time. We believe it has the capacity to revolutionise the in-car experience in Australia.”
International navigation and social location expert Marc Prioleau agreed, highlighting the need for the in-car experience to adopt the core aspects of the mobile experience in order to keep pace with rapid developments. “Smartphones are very much driving user expectations across all aspects of life, and this is true even at the wheel. Consumers feel the need to stay in touch and to always have accurate and immediate information at their fingertips.”
Andrew Scott, Emerging Technology Manager, Chief Technology Office, Telstra further contributed to the debate around the future of in-car connectivity with discussion of the upcoming availability of Near-Field Communication on mass-market handsets. This will allow further personalisation of the user’s individual car experience, for example, car ignition, driver identification and application of personal driver preferences such as radio station, seat position etc.
In closing, Sensis’ Fred Curtis commented, “AtWhereis Maps, we’re excited to be forging a new era to bring together our rich mapping data and live services, as well as our extensive points of interest content through a new, connected voice-activated experience. We understand that it’s not simply a matter of mapping locations any more, it’s also about mapping lifestyles.”