Improving Efficiency for Transport Providers with Navigation Expertise

Solution for Car Rental Operators

Connected Services to Resolve Mobility Challenges
Using Navigation Expertise to Enhance Transport Business Efficiency

Alps Alpine and group company Alpine Electronics Marketing, Inc. have teamed up to launch a solution for car rental operators and other transport providers, used car dealers and logistics mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) providers having developed a navigation app, equipped with an advanced user interface (UI), and a vehicle location management system.

Devised and Developed by a Navigation System Maker
ALPINE Smart X – The Comprehensive Navigation App

Inheriting know-how built up through the Big X Series, the top-ranked aftermarket navigation system in terms of customer satisfaction for eight years in a row, the “ALPINE Smart X” app realizes positioning accuracy, route quality and operability you would only expect from a manufacturer of car navigation systems. It includes the industry’s first1 countdown guidance feature that counts down the number of traffic lights leading to a right or left turn rather than show the distance. Instead of quoting the distance, in number of meters, like other existing apps, it will say something like, “Turn left at the second traffic light,” aiding the driver with simple guidance you might expect from a person in the passenger seat. In addition, map data is automatically updated once every two months, taking advantage of the connectivity provided by the app. This enables guidance for recently opened roads and inclusion of new destinations in the search feature.

1. According to Alps Alpine research as of October 2020

Besides linking location information to other Alpine Electronics Marketing smartphone apps, it is also possible to deliver single-package solutions encompassing a wide range of mobility-related services offered by transport providers, used car dealers and logistics MaaS providers, including customer-specific communication specs, development of dedicated devices and linked webpage creation. And on the navigation data server, an application programming interface (API)2 provides extensibility, allowing accommodation of other companies’ services, reducing the customer’s service development workload.

2. An application programming interface (API) provides partial access to software to enable sharing of functionality with other software.

Location Monitoring System for Preventing Late Vehicle Returns and Assisting Preparations

Alps Alpine has also started provision of a Location Monitoring System, a new solution for car rental operators packaging together a vehicle positioning application, smart devices (tablets/smartphones) containing the application, and a location management console to enable deployment of centralized fleet management at low cost.

Using the management console, vehicles equipped with a smart device can be easily located. Input the scheduled return time and a reminder will be sent to the smart device, taking into account the distance of the vehicle from the designated rental outlet. Meanwhile, the management console will display a pop-up notification for administrators. This lowers the risk of delays being caused by either user or outlet.

Package Including Admin System, App and Devices Solution for Car Rental Operators

In addition to the abovementioned vehicle positioning function, Alps Alpine offers a single package containing the smart devices lent to users, the application on those devices, and location management consoles. The solution reduces the costs incurred by customers to introduce such a system and it can be deployed immediately after purchase. Navigation app “ALPINE Smart X” is a standard inclusion in the package.

Looking forward, Alps Alpine seeks to make progress on new service proposals revolving around data analysis, such as reporting on vehicle operation and identification of relevant topics utilizing vehicle location data and linked time and schedule information. Alps Alpine will also explore other areas, including automation of maintenance features making use of a variety of data from sensors fitted to vehicles.

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