Vodafone will provide Machine-to-Machine (m2m) communication services for the recently launched electric vehicle, Mahindra e2o: Vodafone Business Services has inked an exclusive partnership with automobile maker Mahindra Reva to provide connectivity between the vehicle and the central application. The application allows Mahinda e2o users to do the following:
– Know the state of charge in the battery of their car and how far they can travel with the available charge,
– Remotely control its air-conditioning and set schedules to pre-heat or pre-cool the car before they use it,
– Lock or unlock the car doors,
– Find the nearest charging stations,
– Receive alerts on various events with the car such as a disruption in charging due to power cuts,
– Get safety related reminders such as a door being left unlocked or a parking brake not applied,
– Get an emergency boost charge with a command on the smart phone to go an extra 8-10 kms, and
– Have the Mahindra Reva Tech Help Desk remotely do prognosis and diagnostics of the car.
This was probably the first instance of automobile M2M connectivity services being deployed in India with automobile manufactuers, but there are instances of people installing devices to enable the sending of alerts: famously, Indiagames founder and Digital MD for Disney India Vishal Gondal had learned that his Audi, which had been sent for servicing, had been taken out for a drive in the middle of the night, because of a GPS tracker and an SMS alert service. Last month, AssetTrackr, a company which intends to provide real time car tracking services, providing its present location, information on performance, setting of speed limits and tracking of car speed, raised $500,000 in funding. Car rental service Zoom, which also recently raised money, uses an Android app and SMS to lock and unlock cars, and also gives Zoom’s back-end system the ability to stop the ignition if needed.