OEMs are Wrestling with Connectivity Standardization

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In a CNET article last week, Paul Mascaranas, Ford Motor Company’s Chief Technical Officer, talked extensively about Ford’s goal to standardize the way app developers work with auto manufacturers, bringing the entrepreneurial tech startups into the fold with some of the world’s largest auto manufacturers. Mascarenas’s comments hit home at Zubie, where we’ve developed an AlwaysSmartTM connectivity solution that delivers the kind of high data quality that customers, OEMs, dealers and service providers require to help customers with their automotive service needs.

“Currently, if a developer wants their app to work in the most popular cars in the world, their job is far more complicated than it needs to be,” reads the article from November 26th, 2013. “Each manufacturer that supports smartphone connectivity has its own way of doing it, and so those poor developers are having to continually add support for more and more systems. In some cases, like Toyota’s Entune service, developers need to completely rewrite their apps.”

There are a handful of solutions that attempt to do what Zubie does, but our greatest differentiation is how we connect: Our AlwaysSmartTM platform is completely independent of a mobile device, providing on-board GPS, an on-board cache, T-Mobile cellular data connection and engine-off monitoring.

The result is a seamless customer experience, something that’s not evident in some of the solutions that have come on the market that purport to do similar things as Zubie. In a recent review of a competitive device, Engadget pointed out the major differentiation: Reliance on Bluetooth technology:

Essentially, [it] relies on Bluetooth to wake up the app on the iPhone when you start a trip. Well, anyone who’s relied on the iPhone’s BT knows how this is going to turn out. The only way we ensured every trip was correctly captured was to manually check that the app was running before we embarked. This is hardly automatic and begs the question: Why would a company rely on the iPhone to track something when it has built its own hardware?

It’s a significant difference, and we’re betting that our solution going to be able to provide not only a superior customer experience, but also the high data quality required to help OEMs, dealerships and other service providers with the information they need to help make a customer’s interaction with them much more proactive and positive.

The early feedback has been relentlessly positive, and we gain confidence every day in our solution.