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Tizen gizmo adds a WiFi hotspot and cloud services to your car

Feb 24, 2016 — by Eric Brown — 967 views

Samsung’s Tizen-based “Connect Auto” hooks into your car’s telematics system to offer driving analysis, alerts, and an LTE hotspot for in-car WiFi.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung announced an automotive accessory that runs Tizen Linux, and offers real-time alerts, driving analytics, hotspot services, and more. Samsung Connect Auto connects to the OBD II diagnostics port under the steering wheel where it analyzes telematics and fuel efficiency data, and delivers reports for improving driving behavior.

Connect Auto’s integrates a GPS chip and a 4G LTE radio to communicate with outside entities including emergency response teams and insurance and fleet management companies. The LTE radio can also generate a hotspot to deliver WiFi to passengers. The device is equipped with Samsung KNOX security technology.



Samsung Connect Auto
(click images to enlarge)

Connect Auto is accompanied by a Samsung service that interacts with a smartphone app that “can monitor their driving habits and helps them improve their driving behavior,” says the company.


Connect Auto smartphone cloud service and smartphone app
(click image to enlarge)

Connect Auto is a developer focused platform, and will likely be sold as an accessory by car companies and other entities. It’s unclear whether it will be sold directly to consumers. Connect Auto will ship in the second quarter, and will initially be supported by AT&T’s LTE service.

A Tizen-based Software Development Kit (SDK) will enable a wide variety of applications. For example, a fleet management company could use the device to keep tabs on driving behavior, and insurance companies might offer it as part of a rewards program for good driving, says Samsung.

Connect Auto features mentioned by Samsung include:

  • LTE hotspot for WiFi service
  • Fuel efficiency analysis including miles traveled, time on road, and price per gallon info
  • Driving behavior analysis
  • Automated alerts to emergency response
  • Virtual mechanic that recommends maintenance and repair services
  • Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) reports
  • Journey logs for tracking expenses
  • Fleet management applications
  • “Find My Car” app

Connect Auto will be supported with a partner ecosystem of carriers, insurance companies, roadside assistance operators, and maintenance networks, says Samsung. Samsung has also partnered with some unnamed auto manufacturers. The current list of partners includes Amdocs, AT&T, AXA, Blink by Agero, China Unicom, Cisco, Crawford & Company, Ericsson, Europcar, HERE, IBM, Jasper, Oberthur Technologies, Openbay, Orange, Tantalum, and Willis Towers Watson.

Samsung’s news site provided the following Connect Auto Introduction video below, which demonstrates some of Connect Auto’s features. Unfortunately, at the time of this post, the video lacked an audio track.




Connect Auto introduction
(currently lacks audio track)

 
Further information

Samsung Connect Auto will be available in the U.S. in the second quarter. More information may be found in the Connect Auto announcement and this overview of the company’s The Car, Connected presentation at MWC.
 

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