Internet of Things

Internet Of Things Tracker: IoT Offers Roadside Assistance With Push Of A Button

Cars, too, are jumping in on the connectivity ride. This year’s L.A. Auto Show rebranded itself as AutoMobility L.A. to call attention to how connectivity is increasing among cars, trucks and SUVs. November’s Internet of Things Tracker™ includes an interview with Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly, who discussed how IoT could have applications in roadside assistance and other vehicle-related markets. That, along with the latest news and our directory of 129 providers from the IoT space, inside the Tracker.

From cars to clothes, our world is becoming more connected.

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand its reach with more companies rolling out new opportunities for consumers to stay connected. These opportunities take the form of wearables, like smart jackets or devices that can transform cars into moving Wi-Fi hotspots.

But the greater availability of IoT products and connectivity also means a need for heightened and effective security protocols. Several companies are investing and partnering to protect consumers and IoT infrastructure from data thieves and hackers.

News highlights from around the world of IoT

2November has seen some ups and downs for wearable products with IoT capabilities. A new smart jacket from Rochambeau promises to provide its owner with discounts and exclusive access to cultural events, like restaurant tastings and gallery openings. Meanwhile, the smartwatch market saw a significant drop of 52 percent in the third quarter.

With IoT becoming more prevalent, several companies are taking steps to keep users, companies and infrastructure secure from digital threats. Visa and Intel teamed up to merge the payments company’s encryption technology with Intel’s microchip hardware, and Alibaba and Gemalto are working together to improve security for China’s IoT ecosystem.

There were some notable developments in the IoT transportation world, too. T-Mobile rolled out a connected car solution to allow customers to get Wi-Fi in their vehicles. Meanwhile, BMW announced plans to build a motorcycle that is so safe it would allow riders to go helmetless.

Check out the Tracker’s News section for a comprehensive look at what’s happening across the IoT landscape.

For the November Tracker cover story, PYMNTS spoke with Chris Spanos, CEO and cofounder of Urgent.ly, an on-demand roadside assistance company that allows motorists to summon help, get quotes on help and pay for a service by using their smartphones. Urgent.ly was among the exhibitors at the L.A. Auto Show, which was renamed AutoMobility L.A. this year to highlight the latest connected technology products and developments across the automotive landscape.

Here’s a preview:

While conventional motor clubs have been longtime players in the roadside assistance space, Spanos said these businesses have been slow to alter their business plans for a more connected market. While entrenched companies, like AAA, require loyalty contracts from consumers, Urgent.ly offers consumers a more flexible pay-per-service model.

“No one was attacking the roadside assistance market,” said Spanos. “It was dominated by legacy players who had no incentive to innovate or provide a better service for customers or better service for towing providers.”

“We saw a number of unique factors that said, ‘Hey, this is an industry that needs to be reinvented, and no one’s doing it,’” he continued.

To download the November edition of the PYMNTS.com Internet of Things Tracker™, click the button below…

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About The Tracker

The PYMNTS.com Internet of Things Tracker™ showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem and in several categories, including Personal, Home, Retail, Transportation, Wearable, Mobile, Infrastructure, Data and more.

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