Vodafone says its technology is powering India’s first connected cars after signing a deal with Mahindra Reva, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Mahindra Group, to supply M2M technology for the manufacturer’s e2o range of vehicles.
The operator says the partnership will allow e2o drivers to access a range of in-vehicle services using smartphone apps or dedicated web pages.
These include checking on battery power, remotely controlling temperature settings and finding details of local charging stations.
Vodafone (Newbury, UK) claims that its M2M platform ensures there is secure connectivity between the vehicle and the central application.
“The high performance telematics solution developed by Mahindra Reva [Bangalore, India] for the e2o offers one of the richest set of telematics enabled features offered on any car in the world today,” said Chetan Maini, the founder and chief of technology and strategy for Mahindra Reva. “We are sure that our association with Vodafone will provide an even greater value proposition to our customers and enable new innovations in this exciting space in the future.”
Claiming to manage 9.7 M2M connections and employ more than 250 M2M specialists around the world, Vodafone sees the connected-cars opportunity as one of the most important vertical markets for M2M services.
But the operator faces strong competition in this area from other multinational operators, including Deutsche Telekom, which has formed a number of important partnerships over the first part of 2013, including deals with carmakers Audi (Ingolstadt, Germany), BMW (Munich, Germany) and Daimler (Stuttgart, Germany).
Vodafone also has a relationship with BMW in Germany that dates back to early 2012, and recently teamed up with professional services provider Towers Watson on the development of usage-based motor insurance services.
Nevertheless, the deal in India could be a lucrative one given the size of the population and the ongoing rise in living standards, which is making car ownership a possibility for a growing number of people.