IBM and Sprint working to release car apps

Cars will remotely change temperature, offer custom entertainment and give directions via tablet or smartphone.


IBM announced that Sprint is using IBM MobileFirst solutions to deliver a more personalized, responsive connected car experience. Through new enhancements to the Sprint Velocity connected vehicle platform, cars can be seamlessly integrated with drivers' mobile devices and customized to their specific in-vehicle infotainment, security and convenience feature preferences.

Sprint Velocity, an end-to-end mobile integration solution developed specifically for auto manufacturers, is a pioneering capability that enables automakers around the world to develop and market connected services for cars and passenger trucks. As part of this collaboration, Sprint becomes the first mobile carrier to use IBM MessageSight, an appliance designed to enable organizations to manage and communicate with the billions of mobile devices and sensors found in systems such as automobiles, traffic management systems, smart buildings and household appliances.

Based on IBM MessageSight, the Sprint Velocity Service Bus is a new communications architecture that lets smartphones, tablets and other devices communicate through the cloud. This new architecture enhances the Sprint Velocity platform by simplifying and speeding the delivery of connected car services. The result is increased flexibility for auto manufacturers and an improved driver experience that can anticipate needs and make consumers' lives easier and more convenient.  

For instance, in addition to instantly unlocking a car with a smartphone or tablet, an action that used to take 60 seconds, or allowing a dealer to proactively communicate service suggestions based on sensor readings, the new platform is expected to improve the consumer experience with features that are delivered more quickly and accurately. The Sprint Velocity Service Bus can now support enhanced services, including:    

  • Mobile Concierge Service: After finishing a meal at a restaurant and searching for a local coffee shop on a smartphone, the directions can be sent to the car's navigation system, so as soon as the driver turns on the car, the directions will be queued up and ready to go.
  • Automatic Cabin Temperature Adjustments: Temperature sensors in the car automatically adjust cabin settings based on established driver preferences that are stored in the cloud. For example, using a remote auto start on an unusually hot summer day, when the driver enters the car, it will be just the right coolness.
  • Preferred Alternate Routes: An internal navigation system captures route and travel preferences in the cloud and based on time of day and traffic alerts, can suggest alternate routes.
  • Location Tracking: A smartphone app for the driver to quickly find their car, which can be helpful in crowded parking lots.  

"With the adoption rate of smartphones steadily on the increase, users have come to expect their preferences to transfer from one device to another. 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," said Bob S. Johnson, director of development for Sprint Velocity. "To make this a reality, Sprint Velocity is working with IBM to provide open access across a select group of platforms and partners so vehicles can seamlessly connect a wide array of services and mobile devices."

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