DALLAS-FORT WORTH, Texas, May 19 /PRNewswire/ --

- Telematics Provider Requests Connected Vehicle Trade Association to Organize Coalition to Promote Tools for In-Vehicle Web Design

ATX Group, the world's largest independent telematics services provider to the automotive industry, today announced an initiative with the Detroit-based Connected Vehicle Trade Association (CVTA) to convene an international work group to address how to safely access internet content through embedded and nomadic devices in vehicles.

ATX, as the convener of the working group, and CVTA will launch an immediate effort to invite automobile manufacturers and interested parties in the automotive electronics value chain to participate in an open discussion and process for setting requirements for in-vehicle Web browsing. An industry forum on the proposal will follow when the industry meets in Detroit from Oct. 20-22, 2008.

ATX also is proposing a generic top-level domain - dot.car (.car), similar to dot.com (.com) - that would enable Web sites to be specifically designed to meet the challenging safety and consumer requirements for delivering Web content into the vehicle.

"The Web has become such a daily part of our lives, its pervasive use in the vehicle is inevitable and demands that the industry agree on specific formats that will adapt the traditional Web browsing experience to the driving experience," said ATX President and CEO Steve Millstein. "This proposal is similar to the adaptation that was required to develop and interface between the smart phone and the Web. Browsing the Internet in the vehicle is a unique environment with unique characteristics."

"ATX is a valued member of CVTA, and we fully support their thought leadership in convening this initiative," added Scott McCormick, president of the CVTA (www.connectedvehicle.org). "Internet content is beginning to enter the vehicle environment, and we need to bring together all the stakeholders addressing safe means of obtaining, viewing and interacting with this content. This is a timely and important topic that we hope will draw global interest across a variety of affected industries."

In addition to Web content, it is envisioned that dot.car Web sites could also utilize such telematics-centric, real-time data as vehicle performance and maintenance diagnostics data, as well as vehicle location data. Also proposed is a telematics firewall process specifically designed to ensure the total protection of the vehicle from content that is delivered over the air to the in-vehicle browser for the entire life cycle of the automobile.

As envisioned, the initial users will be automobile manufacturers and their technology and communications partners and suppliers. This group would need to define requirements in regards to the expected user experience. While the primary vision of the dot.car domain is to give motorists the ability to surf the World Wide Web and experience customized Web browsing, automobile manufacturers would benefit from the process by:

-- Ensuring flexibility to adapt the embedded user interface for the life of the vehicle; -- Dramatically reducing lead time to market compared to the current embedded software design process; -- Achieving the capability to customize according to vehicle model, country and motorist; -- Facilitating easy customer access to content and updates; -- Meeting customer expectations of web browsing while keeping a safe and convenient driving experience.

Anyone interested in participating in early discussions or receiving notice of the October forum is encouraged to send their contact information to CVTA at sjm@connectedvehicle.org.

ABOUT ATX: Based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, and Dusseldorf, Germany, ATX Group is the world's largest provider of customized telematics services to the automotive industry, serving both North America and Europe. ATX telematics services are designed to provide enhanced safety, security and driving convenience to vehicle owners. These services include location-specific emergency and roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle recovery, remote diagnostics and real-time traffic and navigation assistance. ATX also customizes telematics services to help automobile manufacturers and their affiliated dealerships to use telematics data to reduce costs, enhance vehicle servicing, and more closely manage customer relationships. ATX services are provided to vehicle owners through the brand names of its customers --- BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. For more information, visit www.atxg.com .

Web site: http://www.atxg.com

Gary Wallace, VP, Corporate Relations, +1-800-511-5891, +1-972-753-6230, gwallace@atxg.com