India: SatNav moves away from OE navi and enters traffic & tracking markets

Sequoia Capital-funded SatNav Technologies’ attempts to align with carmakers to provide GPS-based navigation systems did not exactly take off. So the company is now working towards a range of new products focused on the Personal Tracking and Live Traffic Information market.

Announcing their tie up with Waze of Israel, SatNav said that SatGuide-Waze application is being launched in India with the vision to work in cooperation with smart phone users across the country to create a live driving map, providing users with the real-time road intelligence they need for better everyday driving.

Waze has been launched in many countries around the world and is funded by leading VCs.

Map and traffic updates are automatically collected and generated as users drive with SatGuide-Waze activated, but drivers can also actively report and update other users with what’s happening on the road including accident alerts, police patrols, weather hazards, sales / offers and more.

Because the map and all of its content is driver-generated, SatGuide-Waze is completely free for users.

Other Personal tracking products launched include a cutely styled SatGuide Child Phone for anxious parents who don’t want to give full fledged phones to their little ones for fear of misuse of the texting or calling features, but would still like to have a convenient way to track or talk to them in emergencies.

Another device suitable for tracking a Car or its driver is a matchbox size SatGuide Tracker unit which can be carried in a pocket or installed in a vehicle on any magnetic surface.

Other features of the SatGuide GPS Tracker include an SOS option, Low battery indicator, ability to track indoors, geo-fence setup and also a ‘listening’ option for stealth monitoring.

“We currently have maps of about 858 cities in India and by March-end we will have about 1,000 cities with us. Waze has certain applications that are hitherto not available to us. The arrangement is more towards increasing our focus towards personal tracking and live traffic information services to the users,” Amit Kishore Prasad, founder and CEO of SatNav, said.

Founded in 2004, the company has been trying hard to set its feet in the Indian navigation market. Started with a GPS navigation product called SatGuide, the company was focusing more on expanding the market presence.

“We had even tried to get into OEM arrangements with several automobile makers. But, the response has not been very encouraging. Now, we have reworked the strategy and personal tracking is proving to be the best model,” he said.

SatNav claims that it has about 100,000 users across the country.

Courtesy: DNA India, SatNav Technologies.

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