Krystyna Grant interviewes Reinhard Jurk, Head of Product Management for BMW Group’s telematics program ‘ConnectedDrive;’ in the lead up to Telematics Update’s annual and biggest European conference – Telematics Munich 2009 (November 10-11, Munich Germany.) as Reinhard Jurk is speaking at the forum.
Krystyna Grant: BMW is one of the leading OEMs and a major player in automotive telematics. Based on this fact what is your future vision for connected services in Europe? What sort of innovation in services will European customers witness and why?
Reinhard Jurk: I would expect the onboard infotainment systems to become “connected” by default. There will be online information merged into every screen you will see on your in-car infotainment system. Customer benefit will be the ease-of-use and quality they are rightly expecting from the automaker’s built-in navigation systems.
K.G.: BMW ConnectedDrive recently launched an intelligent fuel saving navigation platform. Please tell us what makes this offering unique?
R.J: BMW Group is always researching new and innovative functions for our customers. BMW EfficientDynamics is a set of measures to maximize the driving experience while lowering energy consumption. It is therefore a necessary step to integrate the navigation system into this philosophy. The research project works on a navigation system which learns its drivers’ habits and therefore can provide input to energy management about the upcoming route even when no destination is entered.
K.G.: What partnerships is BMW currently forging or aiming to forge to offer next-generation telematics services to consumers?
R.J: BMW Group is always looking at best practices across the industry and will establish working relationships with leaders in technology and customer experience.
K.G.: After several years of discussion, eCall is still one of the hottest topics for the European market. How do BMW plan to integrate e-Call services into their future offerings?
R.J: BMW has an e-Call solution available for more than 10 years now. The solution is the technologically most advanced system available today. It not only offers a manual as well as an automatic emergency call including the exact position and data about the car but furthermore transmits data about the severity of injuries and the kind of accident (e.g. rollover, side or front impact). We are actively working to bring in our experience in all major initiatives currently under way.
K.G.: We have been hearing more and more about insurance telematics, how do you think OEMs will leverage this service?
R.J: The use of telematics for insurance applications currently needs a further market pull. As soon as market demand is foreseeable, BMW Group will consider an offering. Another point is the need for standardization, since customers want to have continued freedom of choice for their insurance.
K.G.: The telematics market has witnessed several OEM and PND partnerships. How will this impact market dynamics?
R.J: We observe an increasing market dynamic for telematics and navigation related functions also in the lower price segment. This will in the long term increase the customer’s awareness for this kind of functionality and will improve the differentiation possibilities in the information and communication functional domain for automakers.
K.G.: Could you give us an insight into what you will be discussing at our European flagship show Telematics Munich 2009? What cutting-edge techniques and strategies will our audience take away from your speaking engagement?
R.J: Since I appreciate the personal discussion with all participants to the Telematics Update conference, I do not want to discourage participation at the conference by giving away the insights in advance. However, I will surely let you know about the latest features of BMW ConnectedDrive in detail.
Mr. Reinhard Jurk has held various positions in IT architecture and in-car information and communications systems development at BMW Group. He is currently Head of Product Management for BMW Group’s telematics program BMW ConnectedDrive