AAA Joins the Mobile Search Spree
The Automobile Club of America is well-known for providing travel information, mapping expertise and road service. Now, AAA’s southern California chapter is bringing those same services to mobile phones, allowing members to gain information and turn-by-turn directions, spoken to them through their cell phone.
The new service, available on select GPS-enabled mobile phones, is called AAA Mobile. The service provides audible, turn-by-turn directions, ratings for hotels and restaurants, information on points of interest, and a range of other mobile search services.
AAA Mobile is powered by Networks in Motion’s location-based services platform. It also has a dedicated AAA Mobile support line at 1-800-646-7552. Users of the system enter their requests using the phone’s keypad, and the system responds by sending the information to their phone’s screen and dictating the same information audibly through the phone’s internal speaker or external Bluetooth headset. It uses speech synthesis technologies from Nuance Communications.
"It gives all the information audibly, so that you can listen to the directions while driving, without having to look down at the screen," said an AAA spokesperson.
AAA Mobile's main menu provides users with the option to:
• Search for AAA reviewed points of interest from AAA's TourBook guides, Show Your Card & Save merchants, AAA-approved auto repair facilities, AAA district offices, ATMs, gas stations, theaters and other businesses. Subscribers can search by category for the closest locations or those that match all or part of a business name;
• Navigate to a destination in the United States using turn-by-turn directions with audible prompts and automatic rerouting if users miss a turn;
• Request roadside assistance; and
• View maps of selected locations and store destinations for quick recall.
"For an affordable cost, AAA Mobile provides the convenience of obtaining information on demand using a cell phone that most people always carry with them anyway," says Suzanne Wisdom, the Auto Club's vice president of marketing and product management. "This technology represents a breakthrough in content, convenience, and cost for millions of wireless phone users who want mobile access to AAA's services. "