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Sprint and IBM take the next logical step toward connected cars

John Day

John Day

Posted Jul 20, 2013

Sprint has become the first mobile carrier to use IBM MessageSight, which IBM describes as an appliance that enables organizations to manage and communicate with mobile devices and sensors in cars and traffic management systems as well as in smart buildings and household appliances.

MessageSight is built on Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) technology. It can support millions of concurrent sensors or smart devices and can scale up to 13 million messages per second. It’s said to require low bandwidth and to offer the speed and scale necessary for automakers to connect maintenance and operational sensors easily and economically back to dealers, or to link mobile devices, security, navigation and locking/unlocking capabilities.

The Sprint Velocity connected vehicle platform currently offers in-car connections such as music, news, weather, sports and other infotainment features, as well as security, navigation, remote connections for mobile devices, emergency services and engine diagnostics.

With IBM’s MessageSight as a foundation, Sprint is adding what it calls the Sprint Velocity Service Bus. The idea is that cars can be seamlessly integrated with drivers’ mobile devices and customized to their specific in-vehicle infotainment, security and convenience feature preferences.

The preferences are stored in the cloud and updated and synched via the driver’s smartphone every time the car is turned on. And since the preferences are in the cloud, the driver can port them across multiple vehicles.

“With the adoption rate of smartphones steadily on the increase, users have come to expect their preferences to transfer from one device to another,” said Bob S. Johnson, director of development for Sprint Velocity.

“Transfer of your personalization and customization settings to the connected car is the next logical step for automotive manufacturers looking to drive innovation in a very competitive market.”

IBM, IBM MessageSight, connected cars, Sprint, Sprint Velocity, Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT), Smartphone

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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