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Telenav Seeks Disruption With Free In-Car Services

Location-based solution provider Telenav is seeking to disrupt the in-car services industry with a new monetization platform designed to offer a variety of in-car services such as free navigation to consumers and monetize them through advertising. Originally announced at Las Vegas, Nevada-based Consumer Electronics Show in January, Telenav's offering is effectively targeted at bringing the ad-supported software business model that already proved its worth in the mobile industry to the in-vehicle tech segment. The company's internal studies and a number of independent surveys suggest the vast majority of consumers "would prefer free in-car services monetized through ads rather than pay for them" like they would traditionally, Telenav Executive Director of Strategy Ky Tang told AndroidHeadlines in an interview.

Telenav says its in-car solution can be applied to a wide variety of use cases and technologies that consumers have come to expect from contemporary vehicles. "Maybe you want to start up your car remotely and have it warm up by the time you get to it outside," Tang says, referring to ad-based remote access as one of many potential integrations of Telenav's new offering. Telenav's In-Car Advertising Platform is targeted at Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seeking to monetize their cars after they've been sold while simultaneously making additional services more accessible to consumers.

Tang claims safety and privacy were Telenav's top priorities while developing its in-car ad platform; in regards to the former, the official described a scenario wherein a car owner gets inside their vehicle and sees an ad on their dashboard but has it disappear the moment they shift into reverse and start backing out of their driveway. The same ephemeral content philosophy would be applied to other situations like waiting at a traffic light, with the system delivering an ad once you stop but making it disappear as soon as you shift into drive so as to not distract you. As is the case with other contemporary marketing technologies, Telenav's offering is meant to serve highly targeted ads based on your preferences and prior trips, as well as your current whereabouts and destination of choice.

Tang is also confident Telenav's technology cannot be misused in a manner reminiscent of Facebook's recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, having clarified Telenav doesn't share the data with any third parties. The company's solution hence allows advertisers to target a particular segment of users such as "coffee lovers nearby a Starbucks," but doesn't disclose the actual list of individuals that belong to that demographic. "The data belongs to the auto OEM and we're simply the ones helping them power the advertising solution, so we do not share the data with other parties," the strategy chief says. Telenav is presently already collaborating with "several" partners seeking to leverage the solution going forward and is also in the process of pitching its in-car advertising offerings to additional auto OEMs, Tang said. Telenav is hoping its technology will ultimately allow it to continue growing and disrupt the in-car service industry by delivering targeted advertising to a large number of consumers who presently spend around an hour per day driving. "That's a very captive period [for serving advertisements]," Tang concluded.

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