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Honda, Telstra partner on tech-savvy Accord

Telstra’s road freight experience to offer Honda Accord buyers superior connectivity

6 May 2024

HONDA Australia announced a technology partnership with Telstra at the recent media launch of the eleventh-generation Accord sedan in Melbourne. 
The Internet of Things (IoT) partnership will see the Telstra network support the technological and connectivity advances offered within the new Accord via an embedded SIM card connected to the Telstra 4G and 5G cellular broadband network. 
A Google technology suite built into the Thai-made Accord offers a broad range of apps from the technology giant – in addition to standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity – as well as the latest generation Honda Connect telematics system, emergency call functionality, and over-the-air software updates. 
“To make all of this possible, we have partnered with Australia’s largest and most reliable (cellular) network to deliver the data needed for Google built-in,” said Honda Australia senior product planner Arjun Nidigallu. 
“Honda Australia and Telstra will work together to enable this incredible technology (and) we’re excited about what the future of telematics and data connectivity holds for our customers.” 
The newest Accord is the first Honda vehicle to feature Google built-in, which includes Google Assistant, Google Maps, and the latest apps and services via Google Play. 
It is said to provide seamless integration of navigation and live traffic updates, as well as a more user-friendly Google App interface that offers improved response time and several new features. 
The vehicle also offers a range of Honda Connect services enabled via the owner’s mobile phone, including digital key functionality, remote vehicle immobilisation, vehicle statues and remote control, as well as automatic collision detection. 
With assistance from the Telstra network, Honda is able to securely access the vehicle’s telemetry data, which collects, transmits and analyses vehicle data including engine performance, fuel efficiency and environmental conditions for improved vehicle maintenance and diagnostic monitoring, and new and improved infotainment system with entertainment, navigation, and weather updates. 
From Telstra’s standpoint, the partnership is as much learning exercise as business deal, the arrangement the first of its kind in the OEM space. 
Applying learnings from Telstra’s experience in the road freight and logistics industry, it will look at how the network can be advanced to meet the ever-changing requirements of increasingly connected passenger cars. 
“This is one of the biggest advancements we are seeing in the industry, and when the opportunity to work with Honda came up about 24 months ago – to work with a consumer vehicle manufacturer – we absolutely jumped on it,” said Telstra agribusiness, retail, and supply chain logistics executive Jon Young Flores. 
“Not only is this exciting technology, but it’s also a partnership that is quite unique. 
“Honda has stepped into an interesting space which has raised some interesting and foundational discussions around things like obligations, policy, our roles and responsibilities, risk, and all the things you need to take into consideration when you take the step into the technology enablement and connectivity that is offered in this car. 
“This car is effectively connecting to our 4G/5G network, and it is through that connectivity that the car will leverage some of the more important elements of what our network can offer.” 
Mr Young Flores said there are three key pillars the Honda Connect system will draw upon in offering Honda customers the very latest connectivity advances, including telematics, infotainment, and most importantly, safety. 
“Telematics is instrumental to be able to give security and safety to customers,” he explained. 
“All of those over-the-air services, and being able to monitor where the car is, serve a purpose, as does the infotainment piece. Like telematics, all the apps and streaming technologies offered in the Accord need really fast, seamless connectivity, and that is exactly what our network is purpose built for. 
“The third point, and the most important, is around the concept of safety. 
“Being able to provide the consumer with a seamless and safe experience is something everyone should experience when driving, and that is why for us, this partnership with Honda is one that is both courageous and exciting in advancing what is possible in the consumer vehicle market.” 
On the safety front, the new Honda Accord can implement 24/7 support in the event of airbag deployment. Honda’s support centre will contact the vehicle following an airbag deployment and contact the emergency services if the vehicle occupant is unable to be reached. 
“I think this is the beginning of what’s going to happen next, especially regarding V2X (vehicle-to-everything) technology. This is the start of what V2X is really going to be able to offer consumers in Australia,” he added. 
In the future, V2X technology will connect smart devices to the car and allow the vehicle to interact with things around it. 

The 2024 Honda Accord RS e-HEV is on sale now.

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