EXCLUSIVE: Interview with UonMap’s founder CEO

This exclusive interview with Igor Sarandi-Sereda, founder and CEO of UonMap in Canada, talking about CarDroid and uTRACE connectivity solutions, first appeared in the January edition of the free Telematics News Bulletin monthly magazine. Details of how to subscribe to the magazine are at the bottom of this article.

Telematics News (TN): What is your role at UonMap? Is it correct to think of you as a startup?

I’m a chief executive officer (CEO). I stood at the origins of UonMap. It was a small company which provided and still provides its own telematic and monitoring software. But after a couple of years I realized that the fast growing market was ready for a new generation of telematic devices and we decided to create our own device. That was the beginning of CarDroid story.

Our company is not a startup because we have many customers and our software is famous worldwide. However, CarDroid is a startup. We are new to the hardware market, but we want to make a really new product which will bring safety to a new level and will benefit to our customers and their families. Our philosophy is not just making something innovative, we are trying to make the world a safer place by bringing our products to the market.

Recently UonMap launched its CarDroid Kickstarter project. What is the thinking behind this concept?

As you know, the IoT (Internet of Things) and connected cars market becomes very popular nowadays. Our company research and development never stops, that’s why my team and I decided to make an innovative worthwhile product focused on safety.

To tell the truth, I thought about the safety of my dear ones, while they were driving. There were a lot of ideas of what it would be and how to realize this concept. Among the great number of ideas and suggestions we came to a common solution. The solution was CarDroid. We thought over every detail, tested every component, thought about our families and what we would like to do and to know in case of an emergency, thus, we made a product that we want to use by ourselves. UonMap team hopes that CarDroid will be fully appreciated by our users.

The idea of providing an Emergency Situation Notification and Reconstruction service after an accident is innovative. Is this aimed at supporting emergency services or insurance claims, or both?

ESNaR feature is aimed at supporting both of them, but our main goal is more about supporting common people by giving them peace of mind, providing them with one more opportunity to be there and help others when needed, and letting their dear ones understand what exactly went wrong and why the emergency happened.

UonMap is based in Vancouver, Canada, but may of your staff are from Russia. What is the link between the two countries? Do you have any involvement in the telematics activities in Russia such as ERA-GLONASS?

As a matter of fact, I was born in Russia and moved to Canada long time ago. The globalization process is getting tougher, so I decided to found UonMap as an international company. There are a lot of talented engineers in Eastern Europe and China who have high potential and are eager to help our team make the world a safer place.

We do not have any involvement in ERA-GLONASS. Our solution is more advanced and globally oriented. We already presented the project at CES-2015 (Las Vegas, USA), CeBIT-2015 (Hanover, Germany), HKTDC-2015 (Hong Kong). We are open to cooperate worldwide even with small entities or regular people in any country.

In addition to the OBD-based uDRIVE and CarDroid products, UonMap also offers uTRACE and Wi-Fi Map services. Can you talk us through these other products and how they are related to the automotive world?

uTRACE was the first product by UonMap. We offer GPS and Wi-Fi tools for monitoring the location of vehicles, staff, goods and so on. In case our uDRIVE solution doesn’t match our customers’ demands, we offer uTRACE. With this service monitoring becomes the simplest thing. This solution is very popular for cargo vehicle owners.

Another advanced feature is to use Wi-Fi to get location. For example, if your car was stolen and parked in a garage where is no GPS signal we can get location base on available Wi-Fi access points.

What are the future plans for UonMap? Do you have any direct relationships with carmakers or their 1 suppliers?

We are working to bring to life the next generation of CarDroid. The device and UonMap platform will have new features we can not reveal right now. It will allow us to be more competitive on the market and execute our plans to cooperate with car makers.

Igor Sarandi-Sereda is a CEO at UonMap Information Technologies Ltd. headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has 15 years of experience in IT industry and a PhD in the related field.

This interview originally appeared in the January edition of the Telematics News Bulletin monthly magazine available without charge exclusively to subscribers to TN’s free daily news email. Click HERE to subscribe.

Source: Telematics News

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