Sunday, May 18, 2014

MB connected and CUE

MB connected

As telematics solution provided by Benz, MB connected is very similar with BMW ConnectedDrive, both provides I/I/E call solutions, RTTI etc. But unlike BMW CD, the service activation mode is more like onstar's, the system can place call even without activation the account, the call can only reach to call center but without any vehicle information. Unlike iDrive system, MB's embedded computer has the dialing pad, which greatly increase the flexibility for the user to interact with IVR system. And i/b/e call is designed as three buttons which also greatly facilitate to service request process. And in back-end, it seemed that MB has the same CC structure as BMW does, icall center and CIC, and icall is not responsible for guiding the customer how to use on vehicle computer or any icall irrelevant questions, instead the agent would forward this request to CIC or somewhere where/who can answer this question. The call is transferred by agent so the customer does need to dial again the 400 number. This is sth that better to be improved, since right now MB's activation ratio is very low, %0.3 only, if such basic requirement takes more than 15 min to have the answer, the customer would get annoyed or even angry somehow.
Another very big problem for MB is that, the screen is too small, when you are driving, it is really hard to see anything clear on that screen, even it is a touch screen but it really feels suck.(the testing car is a top luxury E series...) And because of sales consultant's insisting, we have no chance to test its e-call service, when we did last time for e-call, the agent can not see the vehicle position they need ask the driver to grant them to do so by oral confirmation, then some DTMF likewise voice was heard from the phone, the GPS info is sent thru voice channel, then agent can see us. But this time, the icall agent can see us when we are calling and when she sent POI to us no service interrupted, maybe MB did something to change its data transmission method, maybe use SMS instead of 3G data channel. 
On vehicle computer


Cadillac's GUI for onstar, fancy looking, the same onstar service. They even provides three differences dash board GUI, which would greatly attract some young men. And I also found that only Cadillac at least from my experience, only highlight its onstar or CUE services to customers. I've seen it a little in Buick and Chevrolet dealer's shop but not like Cadillac, they even build a specific area only for CUE. But I noticed a very notable fact, it will take more 20 sec to get the onstar to make the call to ecall center, last time I did not try this in Chevrolet, (20 sec after, some music playing in the phone...). It takes too long to life saving service. 

CUE system

CUE Advertisement

Monday, May 12, 2014

On-star experience in China

Today I went to a Chevrolet dealer shop to do some a research for on-star telematics product. There are some interesting points there:

1. Dealer shop could use on-star button to demonstrate the on-star usage for POI sending and some remote service.
2. On-star must be explicitly activated by first call, it must be registered customer him/herself, it is like credit card activation process.
3. On-star has a turn-by-turn navigation, which could work even on some vehicles those without navigators, this is very interesting.
4. The voice recognition is still not well developed, now it is still recommended to use touch screen.
5. The on vehicle computer in Chevrolet is not very good, like Chinese low quality, but it provide the same service as some luxury brand, only looks and feels bad, but indeed they are the same. (May be CUE looks better, but on-star use the same back-end system only in vehicle computer differences)
6. There are two ways to extend the service, thru on-star button or thru on-star taobao shop ( The on-star button activation process is very much like credit card activation process, for taobao one, it is just a like on-line shopping.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Golo3, "future telematics"

Today, I made some testing for Golo3, an after-telematics product. This production is made by a Shenzhen based company, now it is listed in HK stocking market. ( Golo is a small OBD reader which can read output from OBD interface and send out those data thru 3G to cloud and then someone could analysis those data for you. (

But after today's test I found a lot of problems:

1. for vehicle, the vehicle must support those parameters, if not this function would not be enabled at all! If yes, the car itself can support this function itself the customer does not golo again for this help. (must be some app can support this).
2. 3G internet, this is very useful, but it only cost 180 rmb for 3G package, not 300;
3. Driving record, it is workable, but it is hard to say it is OK for customer, even the car parks in parking lot, sometime, golo would still record that parking spot in driving history?! At least, I do not get it how Golo determine what kind of driving behavior is driving which is not! And the time I got the notification from Golo, it is really random, sometime I got a notification when I am still driving the car, sometimes I got the message like 30 min later I parked the car!!
4. For technician and hot-line support, I never succeed to reach them!
5. For Car Inspection, like point 1, it really depends on whether OEM open those diagnosis data to Golo or OBD or not, if not, Golo really can do nothing, like today, I took a 2008 Buick, really less useful data from OBD, so only vehicle tracking function is properly worked, and diagnosis info, really helpless, I got some output, but those are only readable by professional engineer, not a normal car driver. (refer to vehicle health report)And for this, it is always reachable from cell phone, maybe because our test vehicle is too old or maybe golo is not well crafted, just not as my expected or as golo advertised.
vehicle health report
Even, I found a lot of problems today, I should say Golo is still a very good idea for after-telematics market, and I think after several around improvement, this product is still very competitive in the market. But right now, I should say, Golo is still far away from a reliable product, at least not worth 300 RMB. It adds more problems than it solved. But as a good idea, I think golo has a very bright future, if he can growth well and health. And for OEMs, I think it is time to sit down together and format some standard now ASAP, in the future, vehicle business will be more like PC business, car itself will become less and less important, it only matters which kind of value added service can you provide to customers or how can you make different with other OEM in terms of service but not engine itself.

Here are some pix I took today,


working status

Golo App