Telematics will play a key role in the increasing service levels to customers, the RAC announced, with the launch of new additions to RAC TrackStar, the stolen vehicles tracking device. A key fob provides two buttons - e/call and b/call - which can be pressed to immediately pinpoint the vehicle to either breakdown or emergency services, using the GSM mobile telephone network. The breakdown button - b/call - sends out the vehicle's location and contacts the RAC direct, opening a telephone link which allows the driver to speak to an RAC customer service adviser.
If the driver presses the e/button, the whereabouts of the vehicle is sent to the emergency services and a phone link is opened up with an emergency operator. Speaking at the launch of the system, Graeme Potts, group managing director of RAC Motoring Services, said motorists could expect more new services now that the question of ownership was closed, with the sales of the organisation to Lex Service.
Meanwhile, the AA, now owned by Centrica, was focusing on how technology could speed up the fixing of breakdowns at the roadside by using telematics and computer technology. Craig Blount, general manager of telematics at the AA, said: 'With telematics, we could solve your problem without being there. For example, if you had locked your keys in the car, we could remotely open it for you.'