In June Verizon announced its plan to acquire Hughes Telematics and this week Sprint and Chrysler announced their strategic partnership for in-vehicle communication. Sprint and Chrysler said they are evolving Chrysler’s Uconnect with new features and services designed to help keep drivers focused on the primary driving task – and Sprint, heretofore a wireless services provider, is now also a systems integrator.
The announcement was short on specifics regarding the new features and services but apparently they will surface first on the Ram 1500 pickup and SRT Viper, and presumably they will be impressive: the firms cited as one example on- and off-board voice recognition technology for composing text messages or entering destination information into the navigation system in one step. They also mentioned one-touch 9-1-1 calling and roadside or vehicle assistance.
Sprint will be the system integrator for Uconnect Access, leveraging its ecosystem and delivering built-in vehicle connectivity via the Sprint Connected Vehicle Platform architecture and Sprint Velocity for Vehicle Manufacturers. VVM, if we may call it that, is said to reduce complexity and to facilitate technology updates in ways that help generate greater customer loyalty.
“Key factors in our decision to choose Sprint included Sprint’s best-in-class end-to-end telematics platform, secure and reliable network, unparalleled relationships within the telematics and broad Machine-to-Machine (M2M) ecosystem, and nimble consumer market experience, including a deep understanding of how customers experience and interact with wireless-based applications, both in and out of the vehicle,” said Marios Zenios, head of Uconnect Systems and Services at Chrysler Group LLC.
“Sprint has broken out of the industry norm and re-invented the enablement model for in-vehicle connectivity,” said Matt Carter, Sprint president, Wholesale and Emerging Solutions. “We are expanding the wireless core competency to include integration of the complex components and partner ecosystem needed to harness the full power of wireless technology inside the vehicle.” Let’s see how they do.