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Telenav on the right track! Extends partnership with Amazon to offer Alexa voice – first navigation

08 Jan Telenav on the right track! Extends partnership with Amazon to offer Alexa voice – first navigation

Telenav Inc (NASDAQ: TNAV), a pioneer in the Automotive and Mobile Navigation segments, announced that it will extend its collaboration with Amazon to offer voice-first navigation through Alexa, providing drivers with a hands-free, intelligent navigation option, even in cases of poor or non-existent mobile reception. The integration of Telenav with Alexa will enable customers to use voice for their navigation requirements even when faced with cloud connectivity issues. In addition features such as zooming in and out of the map, adding stops en route to the destination, guidance on lane changes and turns and information about points of interest, have been voice-enabled for enhanced customer convenience.

Sal Dhanani, Telenav co-president, automotive business unit opined,

“The number of consumers that make car-buying decisions based on in-car technology continues to grow. Expanding our work with Alexa’s voice-based services to work offline allows us to provide consumers with technology-aided benefits at all times. Our collaboration with Amazon is another step in our efforts to enhance drivers’ safety as well as enrich the convenience of hands-free driving, no matter where drivers are headed.”

Some of the features enabled by the integration with Alexa are Map Interaction, addition of stops on en route, turn and lane guidance, navigation to the previous destination, navigation to user favorite places, search for places of interest nearby the destination or find points of interest along the route as per a Company Statement.

Roger C. Lanctot, director of mobility research for Strategy Analytics stated

“The enhancements to on-board Alexa integration to work with navigation, even when offline, will delight users and change the consumer perception of built-in navigation systems, Telenav is leveraging Alexa to revolutionize this application space.”

Telenav and Amazon entered into a partnership in January 2019, to offer Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa as a part of Telenav’s in-car navigation systems. The aim is to make Alexa a truly integrated part of the in-car navigation system. Amazon had previously launched Exho Auto, an in-car accessory that enables the installation of Alexa into cars, besides providing Alexa through certain cars from the BMW line.

Telenav Inc (NASDAQ: TNAV)

Market Cap: $211M; Current Share Price: 4.34 USDChart
Data by YCharts

The Global Automotive Navigation System is expected to exceed $ 6 billion by 2024, according to a report by ResearchandMarkets. Automotive Navigation systems use computer mapping techniques and Global positioning systems to provide information about traffic conditions, distance, optimal route etc. An increasing consumer demand for vehicles, government regulations and the rise of ride sharing apps such as Uber and Ola will drive the growth in the market.

In addition, ecommerce and logistics industries will contribute to the demand for these systems, owing to need for monitoring and transparency. Furthermore customers seek the convenience offered by these systems that enable real-time traffic updates, alternate routes, places of interest nearby to name a few. The market for portable navigation devices that can be easily transferred from one vehicle to another will see the most growth owing to their cost and convenience. The industry is seeing ground breaking innovations and adaptation of advanced technologies to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) are entering into collaborations with players in the navigation industry to integrate their offerings and offer a better customer experience, which can differentiate them from the competitors. OEM’s are one of the fastest growing segments of the industry and are popular owing to numerous advantages such as warranty, durability and aesthetics that come with a built-in navigation system.

The industry may face challenges in achieving its full growth potential due to presence of alternatives and tough competition. Moreover the latest systems offer a mix of navigation information and entertainment, as in the case of infotainment systems offered by high-end brands such as Uconnect 8.4 by Fiat-Chrysler, Blue Link by Hyundai and iDrive by BMW to name a few. These come at a premium price, driving the demand for aftermarket products offered by companies such as Pioneer, Kenwood, Alpine, Delphi, Fujitsu, etc as per a report by Inkwood research.

Telenav is focussed on creating innovative products that are smarter and safer and offer an improved connected car experience to the consumers. The Company offers a plethora of services ranging from Smart Navigation, ADAD safety, Semi-Autonomous, Cloud Services, Location-based ads and commerce and data intelligence services, in addition to providing sensor and AI-based dynamic road information. The platform is helping leading automotive brands to deliver personalized and much safer user experiences for customers.

Image Source: Company

The Company’s offering include Telenav LBS SDK, a flexible scalable platform with functions such as routing guidance, positioning, rendering and search to name a few. Furthermore the platform was also used to create a mobile companion app that allows user to experience seamless navigation with features like vehicle finder and personalization.

Telenav’s leading-edge technology, predictive cards provide assistance to drivers using the vehicles driving history and sensor data to suggest destinations, Expected time of arrivals, traffic alerts and route suggestions. Furthermore the driver is also given personalized routing assistance to overcome traffic hurdles, besides offering a personalized one search box that offers an enhanced search experience, regardless of connectivity.

Image Source: Company

The Company also caters to customers who drive Electric Vehicles by offering them information on charging stops, range accuracy and routing information that helps optimize battery life. It also offers integration of voice –assistance with smart speakers that act as virtual-assistants.

Telenav’s other offerings include the VIVID infotainment system, a cloud-first that integrates internet-based entertainment services with native vehicle functions. The Company also offers full app design (HMI layer only) to Tier-1 and OEM’s through their world-class research and experience design team.

Risk Assessment

  • As per its Q1, 2020 financial results, the Company experienced a 39 percent Y-o-Y growth in its revenue, with total revenue reaching a five-year-high of $64.5 million. The Company also declared a record high cash position of $122 million including cash on hand, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. The results serve as validation of its technology and the leadership of the management team.
  • Telenav is aiming to build a momentum for sustainable growth and to this end the Company has increased its connected car base to 16 million to attain the number 1 position in market share U.S as per the Company. It is using a three-pronged strategy by focusing on diverse areas namely In-car software and services, In-Car commerce and communication and road intelligence.
  • The Company is building a robust network of strategic partnerships such as those with Amazon, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Grab, by helping them to add value-added services to their offering through integration. In addition the Company is also making strategic investments such as Motion Auto, a location-based insurance company and MOOVE.AI, an AI/ML based technology startup that provides road risk safety data.
  • The Company faced a setback with the announcement by General Motors that it would be installing Google apps directly into its cars touchscreen displays affecting its market capitalization by nearly 40 percent. However Telenav is confident that the move will have little effect on its relationship with GM or its 2020 and 2021 forecasts. The Company is currently working with Microsoft to integrate its intelligent connected-car solutions into Microsoft’s connected vehicle platform that runs on Microsoft Azure.
  • Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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