Two months ago German navigation vendor Infoware launched a mobile application for Android that offers e-horizon data. GPS Business News took this opportunity to ask a few question to their CEO, Thomas Schulte-Hillen, about their app and how he foresees the future between mobile apps and in-dash technologies.
GPS Business News: Infoware, what’s the background of the company?
Thomas Schulte-Hillen: We are specialists for navigation technology with a focus on cloud technology. We have been in the market with our navigation for about eight years. We come from the logistics market and now move into the automotive space. We provide navigation SDKs, white label apps and customized projects. We now even have our own app in the Play Store and it was just rewarded as the best traffic app of the year! We are a team of 25 people (20 of which are software engineers) located in Bonn, Germany. We are not funded by VCs but live of our cash flow instead!
GPS BN: And what about you?
TSH: I am the sole owner of the company. I am also a car guy, racing my historic Alfa Romeo GTAm from 1974 on the weekends.
GPS BN: You have released a mobile app that offers an “e-horizon“, what does it do?
TSH: The MapTrip Road Companion is a showcase for our competence and know-how regarding navigation, electronic horizon and cloud technologies. The app calculates the path you are most likely to drive for the next few kilometers. It then receives horizon information from the infoware’s Navigation cloud which contains information on what lies ahead of the driver. The horizon contains slope and curvature information from ADAS maps. It also contains live data like the speed at which traffic is flowing or safety relevant information like wrong way drivers or hard traffic jam ends. We will enhance the app further with additional live information on road conditions like icy roads, fog, rain etc.. The underlying technology can be licensed as an SDK for live use by OEMs.
GPS BN: Moving forward how do you see the balance between mobile apps and dashboard functionalities?
TSH: At Infoware we believe, that the mobile apps will lead the way and show which functionalities will be attractive and useful in the future. We are constantly moving ahead and releasing new functionalities every three months! This is much faster than anything conceivable for in-dash systems! We would like to see more possibilities to combine our capabilities with the comfort and ease-of-use of in dash systems. That is why we are investing in integrating technologies such as MySpin, MirrorLink or Applink. We prefer these OEM-technologies over Android Auto or Apple CarPlay as they provide (at least some) interfaces to the car’s data which we can use to create exciting, fun or useful apps!
Thomas Schulte-Hillen will be speaking about his developer’s views on the connected car industry at the upcoming ConnecteDriver conference in Brussels (January 27-28). Learn more here: http://www.connectedriver.events