Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has made it clear; the telecom company is all in when it comes to connected car technology.
Hesse outlined the company's machine-to-machine (M2M) technology initiative at a keynote address at the Detroit Economic Club. Sprint Nextel has already worked with Aeris Communications to bring the Sprint network and provide cellular connectivity to the Hyundai Blue Link connected vehicle program in 2011.
At Sprint, our vision goes beyond connecting millions of cars. We want to provide 'Connected Transportation' to trucks, buses, subways, taxis, planes, police cars and ambulances so that they can be instantly linked through voice, data and images, Hesse said.
The idea behind Sprint's M2M initiative goes beyond a consumer interest. It is also to help companies better manage logistics to optimize, schedule, monitor and track deliveries, personnel and vehicles. This in turn, would help reduce carbon emissions through less fuel waste. It's also used for safety purposes.
Blue Link incorporates safety and security, entertainment, productivity and convenience features into a touch screen interface on the car's dashboard. Among the services Blue Links are automated crash notification, SOS assistance and stolen vehicle recover.
These capabilities can turn a vehicle into a multi-dimensional communications center to improve driver performance, help reduce accidents, provide significant safety benefits, enhance fleet management logistics for businesses and have a potentially profound impact on environmental sustainability, Hesse said.
Blue Link isn't the only connected car initiative Sprint is a part of these days. Its also working with PACCAR, the parent company of Peterbilt and Kenworth Class 5-8 commercial vehicles to integrate Sprint technologies into a similar system.
Sprint is a technology leader and we look forward to offering its outstanding mobile connectivity service as a benefit to customers in Kenworth trucks factory-equipped with Kenworth NavPlus, Bill Kozek, Kenworth general manager and PACCAR vice president, said in a statement.
Sprint also said its working with ECOtality, a company which manufactures advanced transportation and energy systems and alternative fuels wireless connect to more than 15,000 residential and commercial electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Sprint's data network and technology will also help to process a variety of electronic payments, and even deliver digital content for advertising and information to these charging stations.
We are pleased to continue to partner with leading, innovative companies like Sprint. With Sprint's M2M technology, our Blink EV charging stations are provided with the reliable wireless connectivity necessary to conduct a variety of business services - from monitoring and electronic payments, to advanced capabilities via the Blink Network, stated Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality.