J.D. Power Clubs' carclub.com will be the first eAuto site to offer Airbiquity's Global Positioning System (GPS) wireless Accessory and thereby create a nationwide mobile location-based service with unprecedented affordability and privacy for consumers. The service is expected to include roadside assistance, accident assistance, route support, and concierge services, such as locating hotels, restaurants, ATMs and hospitals.
Unlike expensive in-vehicle GPS systems, J.D. Power Clubs plans to make it available to its carclub.com members for under $200.
For Airbiquity, an integrator of wireless voice and data solutions for mobile devices, this marks the first distribution agreement for its GPS Accessory. Bringing great advances to wireless technology, this innovative device enables in-vehicle and mobile information services combining wireless communication and personal privacy control.
Thanks to Airbiquity's first-in-market feature for privacy protection, this GPS Accessory addresses growing customer concerns that "Big Brother" would be able to unknowingly track a user's whereabouts. Individual consumers control the distribution of their location data with a unique "opt in" button that transmits the unit's precise location only when activated by the user. Consumers can access the service anywhere they would use their wireless phone -- at work, at home, or in their vehicle -- using only their natural voice.
"This offering puts J.D. Power Clubs squarely in the forefront of the wireless revolution and location commerce," said Michael London, chairman and CEO of J.D. Power Clubs. "As a company providing a lifecycle solution to consumers, we believe wireless is the most fundamental way to communicate with and help our club members. Not just in the car, but also on the go."
For Airbiquity, carclub.com offers an ideal consumer audience for affordable GPS products that suit mobile lifestyles. "We are pleased with our agreement with J.D. Power Clubs because of its strong reputation, growing member base, and ability to quickly offer quality services," said Dan Allen, president and CEO of Airbiquity. "The ease, convenience and affordability of this service will certainly appeal to carclub.com members, who will be among the first consumers anywhere to have a chance to purchase the service."
Research by J.D. Power and Associates shows that, while the volume of new vehicles with factory-installed GPS systems is still less than one percent of the total market, consumer demand for the feature is growing. With this GPS Accessory, J.D. Power Clubs and Airbiquity aim to make portable wireless technology within reach of most consumers for the first time. And with more than 105 million wireless phones in use nationwide, the potential market for this GPS Accessory is huge.
The GPS Accessory, which is compatible with Nokia 5100, 6100, and 7100 series wireless phones, will instantly and privately send caller origin information during a wireless voice call to the J.D. Power Clubs Service Center. Member Service Advocates will be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to offer real-time, location-sensitive customer service. The GPS Accessory will be available to select carclub.com members during its pilot phase beginning this month and available to carclub.com members during its rollout early next year.
The first product of its kind, Airbiquity's GPS Accessory quickly and easily attaches to millions of Nokia wireless phones in place of a traditional battery. Airbiquity's GPS Accessory can be used with most other wireless phone accessories, including chargers, car kits, cradles, and cases. The Accessory provides the means to send and receive location-sensitive information by simply pressing a button on the back of the unit.
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