By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
FREMONT, CALIF. -Code Alarm here, announced it will join with @Road, Madison Heights, Mich., to deliver telematics services to new Code-Alarm aftermarket products that could be available early in 2001, including the new Power Elite series.
Code-Alarm will use @Road's expertise in wireless Internet services that focus on location-based technology.
The companies plan to offer early next year products that deliver vehicle diagnostics, stolen vehicle recovery, emergency roadside assistance, location-based yellow pages, real-time traffic reports, interactive navigation, and concierge services such as localized information on nearby hotels, restaurants and gas stations. A pilot program testing these services is under way in Detroit through the end of the year.
Code-Alarm chairman/CEO Rand Mueller said the move into telematics is a natural extension of the security market.
"In the '80s, we had a product which used Loran C tracking, [and] it was expensive," Mueller explained. "But today, we have convergence of GPS and the wireless networks, which are both coming down in price, and the car itself, which now has bus language available so you can literally gather vehicle-specific data. And the final piece is the Internet, which can make the technology available to anybody."
Code-Alarm expects to announce alliances with other companies in the future. Service fees for the new telematics products have not yet been determined.
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