INRIX acquires OpenCar, challenges Apple and Google
Connected car services provider, INRIX, has announced its acquisition of automotive software and services provider, OpenCar. The acquirement of OpenCar will extend the INRIX cloud platform into the dashboard with a broad portfolio of third-party content and applications in a customizable user experience (UX) automakers fully control.
Google's Android Auto and Apple CarPlay limit automaker-specific customization and require access to sensitive car data.
The OpenCar framework is fully controlled by the automaker and enables for brand-, model- and region-specific touch and voice interfaces across the entire platform. While OpenCar is designed to understand the data generated by advanced vehicle systems, control of how it is used, shared and stored remains with the automaker.
"Today, over half of the connected vehicles in the world use INRIX services. By 2020, more than a quarter billion connected cars will be on the road," Bryan Mistele, president and CEO of INRIX, said in a statement.
"With the OpenCar acquisition, INRIX is in the driver's seat to provide those connected services and expand into the digital dashboard with unique, easy-to-use applications designed especially for next-gen automotive experiences."
OpenCar provides developer tools and services to create apps for an open, industry-wide ecosystem. It also enables app deployment across different makes and models while allowing each automaker to create a unique customer experience.
The application ecosystem covers accommodations, city guides, fuel, internet radio, parking, reviews and more. Automakers can manage the complete in-car app lifecycle worldwide, including over-the-air updates, validation, and model or regional specifications.
"We're excited to see additional competition in this important connected car segment," Marcus Keith, Head of Audi connect and HMI development at AUDI AG, said in a statement.
"The combination of INRIX and OpenCar should be very compelling for bringing new applications."
"OpenCar enables automakers to create an end-to-end ecosystem for in-car applications that make it easier, safer and more enjoyable to be behind the wheel," said Jeff Payne, CEO of OpenCar.
"INRIX gives us the opportunity to grow the footprint of our app platform much faster, both geographically and with more OEMs."
INRIX is also announcing the availability of Autotelligent, a next-generation driver assistance platform. Its cloud-based machine learning enables predictive routing based on where and when drivers go, frequently visited places and preferred routes.
Autotelligent automatically creates a daily, personalized itinerary of anticipated trips by accessing the user's calendar and contacts. It provides intelligent pre-drive and drive time alerts based on route preferences, congestion, hazardous road conditions and vehicle sensor data.
"The standardization of in-vehicle app development is a major milestone for the industry and will be a key differentiator for our customers," Andreas Hecht, executive vice president and general manager of automotive at INRIX, said in a statement.
"Combine that with the power of smart learning and cloud technology, and INRIX is able to offer automakers a legitimate in-car alternative to Apple and Google."