The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

ATX Proposes In-Vehicle Web Browsing Work Group

May 22, 2008

FORT WORTH, Texas --- ATX Group, a major telematics service provider to the automotive industry, announced plans to convene an international work group to address how to safely access Internet content through embedded and nomadic devices in vehicles.

The project represents a collaboration between ATX and the Detroit-based Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA).

ATX, as the convener of the work group, and CVTA will invite auto manufacturers and other industry parties to participate in an open discussion and process for setting requirements for in-vehicle Web browsing. An industry forum on the proposal will follow when the industry meets in Detroit from Oct. 20-22.

ATX also is proposing a generic top-level domain -- (.car), similar to (.com) -- that would enable Web sites to be specifically designed to meet safety and consumer requirements for delivering Web content into the vehicle.

"The Web has become such a daily part of our lives, its pervasive use in the vehicle is inevitable and demands that the industry agree on specific formats that will adapt the traditional Web browsing experience to the driving experience," said ATX President and CEO Steve Millstein. "This proposal is similar to the adaptation that was required to develop and interface between the smart phone and the Web. Browsing the Internet in the vehicle is a unique environment with unique characteristics."

"ATX is a valued member of CVTA, and we fully support their thought leadership in convening this initiative," added Scott McCormick, president of the CVTA. "Internet content is beginning to enter the vehicle environment, and we need to bring together all the stakeholders addressing safe means of obtaining, viewing and interacting with this content."

In addition to Web content, Web sites might also use such telematics-centric, real-time data as vehicle performance and maintenance diagnostics data, as well as vehicle location data. Also proposed is a telematics firewall process specifically designed to ensure the total protection of the vehicle from content delivered over the air to the in-vehicle browser for the entire life cycle of the automobile.

As envisioned, the initial users will be auto manufacturers and their technology and communications partners and suppliers. This group would need to define requirements for the expected user experience. The primary vision of the domain is to give motorists the ability to surf the World Wide Web and experience customized Web browsing.

ATX said auto manufacturers would benefit from participating in the work group by:

-- Ensuring flexibility to adapt the embedded user interface for the life of the vehicle

-- Dramatically reducing lead time to market, compared to the current embedded software design process

-- Achieving the capability to customize according to vehicle model, country and motorist

-- Facilitating easy customer access to content and updates

-- Meeting customer expectations of Web browsing while keeping a safe and convenient driving experience.

Anyone interested in participating in early discussions or receiving notice of the October forum can send their contact information to CVTA at [email protected].



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