New Honda Accord To Become Safer With Telstra SIM Cards

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In an effort to make Australian roads safer, Honda and Telstra have partnered to turn cars into smartphones on wheels.

Telstra SIM cards will now be installed in new Honda Accord models. This will provide a connection to a range of apps on Google without the need for a phone.

This new partnership is part of a move to focus on not only how a vehicle drives, but the experience of it.

The biggest feature of the partnership is safety. The Vice President of Honda Australia, Carolyn McMahon revealed the cars can detect when it’s involved in a crash and call emergency services.

Honda has said the partnership will also improve vehicle performance by collecting telemetry data, analysing engine wear, fuel efficiency, and environmental conditions. The company also says it will provide tailored maintenance, servicing the car based on how it’s driven.

The motoring market is tipped to be worth U$1.5 trillion (approx. A$2.3 trillion) and is placing automakers and technology giants in competition with each other, as they challenge car dashboards.

This dashboard fight centers on digital subscription services. Auto makers are ditching software from the likes of Apple and Google in cars in favour of creating their own software to generate more revenue.

The new technology is expected to eventually allow cars to “talk” to each other on a mesh network, which is tipped to improve traffic safety.

McMahon said, “If the call centre representative cannot contact the customer, emergency services are deployed to the vehicle’s location – this service provides additional comfort to family members and customers, knowing that someone is always looking out for them.”

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The service will be part of a complimentary five-year Honda Connect subscription.

Other car manufacturers are using subscriptions and Elon Musk said, “technically we could sell for zero profit for now and then yield actually tremendous economics in the future through autonomy” and other subscription services.

McMahon at Honda said it was about strengthening its competitive advantage.

“It makes the technology more intuitive and simpler to use, meaning you don’t even need your phone to access the Google built-in features.”

Telstra Industry Executive, Jon Young Flores said “If they’re {the driver} on the highway and going above a certain speed limit, you can get a notification and they get an annoying beep until they slow the car down.”

He also said Telstra was testing how the technology could be implemented into the trucking industry.

“We’ve been doing a lot of policy work with government, but mostly focused on heavy haul logistics and the big trucks that go up and down the east coast, and especially on the west coast for mining towns.”

In coming years, he believes cars will “truly start talking to each other in kind of like a mesh network.”

In similar developments, back in 2014, Telstra had a similar agreement with Tesla to provide machine-to-machine connectivity (M2M) for Tesla’s Model S car in Australia.

Telstra provided mobile connectivity in order to power multiple features in the Model S, including the infotainment and remote diagnostics systems.

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