Cooperative Effort Points the Way to Future Lifestyles

Vetronix Corporation, Inc. is demonstrating their Internet Car at Cisco’s Internet Home Briefing Center in San Jose, California.

This technology joins wireless, Internet and mobile computing capabilities to establish a bold new standard for connectivity both in the home and on the road.

The Cisco Internet Home and Vetronix Internet Car are no longer dreams in some distant future time; they are a reality that exist in the 1,700 square foot home and car operating out of Cisco’s headquarters. Cisco’s Internet Home Briefing Center and Vetronix’s Internet Car demonstrate the value of anytime, anywhere Internet access. This is enabling a threshold of personal connectivity that has heretofore been impossible.

“Our goal is to enable a variety of Internet Home devices and applications,” said Jared Headley, consumer solutions manager, Cisco’s Consumer Line of Business. “Vetronix’s Internet Car is a natural extension of the Internet Home and adds a new dimension to the reality of an ‘Internet Lifestyle.”

The Internet Car

Vetronix Corporation is a leader in the automotive electronic diagnostics industry and has recently turned its attention to the area of In-Vehicle Telematics, which began with a strategic partnership with Microsoft and Clarion for their in-vehicle AutoPC. The company’s efforts have since focussed on a total end-to-end solution of hardware and software that enable a wide range of monitoring functions for both commercial fleet and consumer applications. The heart of the system is an interface module called “WirelessRoad(TM)” which provides navigational data via Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) technology, as well as a gateway to the internal workings of the vehicle utilizing serial data that is channeled through the vehicle’s on-board computers. Moreover, WirelessRoad is nothing less than the convergence of Internet, wireless infrastructure and mobile computing in one integrated system. Because WirelessRoad is wireless, the Internet Car is connected to the Internet Home regardless of location.

For example, from the comfort of your own home, it is now possible to monitor the Internet Car’s location, speed, fuel level, oil level, coolant temperature and trouble codes (diagnostic codes that signal the vehicle’s on-board computer when a failure occurs in a sensor or other working part, such as ignition). In addition, it is possible to thwart a potential car-jacker by sounding the horn, flashing the lights and engaging the Internet Car’s vehicle disable function — which means that when the vehicle is in a safe mode, the engine can be turned off and cannot be started again without a cancel command. The list of features is limitless. Concerned individuals can, for example, now monitor their loved ones as to location and condition of vehicle, and can even set specific driving parameters where the vehicle’s horn will sound when either a set speed or driving distance has been exceeded. Notification of Airbag deployment is another feature of the system, and can be programmed to contact you via a variety of Internet-enabled home devices in case of accident where the airbag has been deployed. The best part of this scenario is that this technology is currently available. Now there is no reason ever to be disconnected from family, home, office or car.

Vetronix President, Jim Zaleski, is enthusiastic about the company’s involvement with the Internet Car. “We’ve been developing this advanced technology in our WirelessRoad(TM) product for some time,” he stated. “Our primary focus has been on commercial fleets, but we’ve always had an eye on the consumer market,” he said, adding, “it’s exciting to be demonstrating our technology as part of Cisco’s Internet Home Briefing Center.”

Vetronix a Worldwide Leader in Technology

Founded in 1984, with headquarters in Santa Barbara, California and offices nationwide as well as Japan, Vetronix Corporation is a leading supplier of automotive electronic diagnostics. The company is notable for having developed the very first serial data scantool, and currently has cooperative development relationships with such OEMs as General Motors, Toyota, Honda and Nissan. Today, over 40% of all vehicles manufactured worldwide are serviced at the dealership level by equipment and software developed by Vetronix.

The company expanded its field of influence several years ago with a cooperative partnership with Microsoft and Clarion, forming a partnership that developed the AutoPC for passenger vehicles. Vetronix’s first product was CarPort® for Clarion’s AutoPC®, which provides on-board vehicle data for interface to the in-dash AutoPC. Since that time, the Vetronix’s In-Vehicle-Products (IVP) Group has branched out into commercial fleet applications with WirelessRoad(TM) which is the heart of a fleet management system developed by Vetronix. In 1998, Vetronix was selected as the first strategic partner by Computer Associates for the development and market introduction of its Unicenter TNG Fleet Management System package. Early in 2000, the Vetronix IVP demonstrated an Internet-enabled Car as part of Cisco’s Internet Home Briefing Center.

The company participates in high-profile trade shows and will be exhibiting both at Automechanika/Frankfurt in September, Industry Week (AAPEX) in Las Vegas in November, and the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.