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AI speaks to Precksha Saksena, project director for Telematics Detroit 2008

AI speaks to Precksha Saksena

This May, automotive and mobile telematics event, Telematics Detroit will kick off on the 21st and 22nd at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Detroit. The organizers promise that this year’s event will be even bigger than the 2007 edition. Into its eighth year, Telematics Detroit will have over 90 speakers, 40 innovative sessions, 20 interactive debate forums and four focuses mini-conferences.

Speakers will include Rajiv Saxena, Engineering Team Leader, Chrysler LLC, Tsuguo Nobe, General Manager, Nissan, Joe Berry, SYNC Product & Business Development, Ford Motor Company, Michael Lawless, Product Manager, Yahoo! Maps and Clint Steiner, Senior Manager, Garmin. Others include Thilo Koslowski, vice president of automotive of the manufacturing industry advisory service at Gartner Inc, Francis Dance, telematics business development manager of BMW North America, Sascha Simon, program manager of telematics for Mercedes-Benz USA, Paola Carrea, director at Magneti Marelli.

The guest speakers will cover topics ranging from navigation and location, infotainment, intelligent vehicle safety, asset management and monitoring. Last year, the Telematics Detroit Conference had 500 senior level executives attending and this year, the show’s organizers say this number will increase substantially.

“Every single presentation will go through a rigorous review process in advance with a few, chosen industry experts who provide support and partnership to this event to ensure consistently high quality presentations and provide you with relevant, real-life examples of how to increase profits and drive commercial excellence. We know that each and every company in the digital automotive and mobile value-chain has unique business needs, so that is why we have created an agenda to suit your learning needs. After the morning sessions and keynotes, you can choose from a range of sessions and speakers on navigation and location, infotainment, intelligent vehicle safety and asset management and monitoring over 2 knowledge-packed days to ensure you go home with a blue-print for success,” says the show organizers.

Telematics Detroit 2008 promises participants access to a hand-picked assortment of companies that are global names in automotive telematics. Nearly 1200 delegates are expected from around the world which, say the organizers, offer unparalleled opportunities for networking.

Some of the issues to that will be discussed at Telematics Detroit 2008 will be how internet-related technologies are changing the telematics business. Plus how to win over fickle end-users to maximize repeat business and new customer acquisition. Other issues that will be addressed will include connected navigation – how successful business models work for interactive navigation and how to harness the power of vehicle safety systems and services. Participants will find out about latest innovations, road-tests and future capabilities.

Automotive Industries spoke to Precksha Saksena, project director for Telematics Detroit 2008.

AI: What will be some of the highlights of Telematics Detroit 2008?

Precksha: The highlight of this year’s show is that instead of just focusing on the automotive industry, we’ve expanded our scope to include the mobile community and the web based community because the meaning of Telematics has been re-defined to include all these three elements. Despite that we will continue to have strong focus on pure-play automotive telematics at the 8th Annual Telematics Detroit 2008.

AI: What are some of the issues that have become more important in the telematics market since last year?

There are a few key issues this year which will change the telematics landscape. Namely the influence web-based companies and search engines. Also the battle between mobile telematics, in-car telematics and web-based telematics is getting even more intriguing. I’m also very keen to observe the power-play between traditional telematics service providers and the search engines.

AI: What are some of the latest trends in the telematics market?

One of the key trends in the telematics market is that automotive telematics is finally coming to its own and for the very first time not only is it working from a business perspective but is winning consumers’ hearts. Also our platinum sponsors “Hughes Telematics” will be discussing the latest trends in “connectedness” from traditional to non-traditional applications such as: gaming, m-commerce and social applications.

AI: Do you see a difference in approach to participants this year – are there any pressing issues that are cropping up for auto makers around the world vis a vis telematics?

At these years’ events participants are more willing to discuss controversial issues. Automakers are willing to discuss the latest automotive partnership models involving service providers, suppliers and search engines. They will also discuss the push towards an open-source/open-platform model. An issue all automakers are battling with is how to integrate systems to provide telematics services, navigation and infotainment and yet make the systems affordable for end-users.

AI: How different are the speakers and the topics they have chosen this year?

All the topics and speakers for this year’s conference have been very carefully hand-picked. We conducted over 6 months of intensive research to determine the scope and agenda of the conference to reflect key industry challenges, solutions and opportunities. Each and every speaker has been hand-picked by me. For this year’s show we’ve completely re-vamped the structure. In the morning of day 1 and day 2 we have keynotes. After which the conference splits into four multi-tracks each focusing on the following topics: Navigation &, Location, In-Car Infotainment, Asset Management & Monitoring and Intelligent Vehicle Safety.

For the very first time this year not only have we got the top automakers such as BMW, Honda, Toyota, suppliers such as Alpine, Visteon, Panasonic, wireless carriers such as T-Mobile, AT&T and telematics service providers such as Hughes Telematics and ATX speaking – but we’ve managed to get companies like Yahoo! to discuss and debate the future of location-based services and in-car telematics

AI: What are some of the biggest challenges facing in-vehicle systems applications today?

Cost is the biggest challenges facing in-vehicle systems applications. The entire value-chain is trying to un-cover the business model to ensure that technology is cheaply and readily available in order to make it endearing to end-users. Telematics Detroit 2008 will be discussing some of the most successful business-models and case-studies to ensure that the rest of the players can learn from the collective success of the industry.

AI: How helpful are conferences like Telematics Detroit in dealing with these challenges and why?

Telematics Detroit 2008 Conference & Exhibition is refreshingly different from the usual run-of-the-mill event. Over the past 8 years, it has grown into a must-attend calendar highlight for the industry’s most prominent figures and industry executives. Telematics Update Magazine does not endorse a product or a particular company. We endeavor to provide industry intelligence in a un-biases and informative format so that attendees can derive immediate business value from it. Also, Telematics Detroit is the annual networking hub for the industry. This is the one place where you are guaranteed to meet, discuss and do business with all the prominent telematics companies from across the value chain – automakers, device manufactures, suppliers, wireless carriers, systems integrators, search-engines, hardware manufactures, software developers, content developers, consultants, government reps – all will be there at Telematics Detroit 2008

AI: What do you think the future of automotive telematics is?

I believe that climate change in the automotive telematics industry is happening now. In a fast-changing consumer lifestyle landscape, automotive telematics is under threat from the mobile industry. The battle between pure telematics and location-enabled-survives through mobile devices is becoming even more brutal and intriguing. There is no place on the fence. Pick your side now and be at telematics Detroit 2008 to laud the winners and strike strategic alliances and partnerships with the players in-the-know.

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