Coyote Systems Driver Info App Expands Across Europe - InformationWeek

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Coyote Systems Driver Info App Expands Across Europe

U.K.-based travel mobile app and device developer Coyote Systems is betting a paid subscription model and user loyalty will drive it to the top of the market.

Coyote Systems announced this week an expansion to 12 additional European countries. The company, which makes the multiplatform iCoyote mobile app and a standalone driver alert device, already has over 1.5 million customers in six countries. But is its data more reliable because users pay for it? Coyote thinks it is.

Many mobile applications suffer from declining use over time. Unless an app is used regularly, people often forget about it and eventually stop using it. Would a recurring 12-Euro subscription remind you to use an app frequently? This might be working already for Coyote's growing European community.

"What matters when you have a community like that is the reliability of the information," says Serge Bussat, Coyote's Executive VP of International Sales. No one wants to be caught on an unfamiliar stretch of road with potential speed traps using outdated or incorrect information. Community-sourcing this data today seems to be the best way to make sure it's up to date and reliable.

So how does the system work? iCoyote users can report and verify information through the app's user interface. Alerts, including speed cameras and road works, are flagged by individuals called scouts and broadcast to other Coyote users traveling the same route. Scouts are rated based on confirmation activity of the validity of their reporting. Scouts with higher ratings are trusted more with information they submit. Reports from lower-rated scouts are treated with more caution.

Thanks to the wide variety of data collected and processed by Coyote Systems, the app provides a lot of information to users. Accordingly, the app's multiple notification and control options could be distracting, especially to new users. Bussat mentioned that one way Coyote Systems is handling UI concerns is by working with mobile OEMs to integrate the system on top of in-car navigation systems, minimizing distractions for drivers. The company recently announced a partnership with Renault to offer the Coyote system integrated in Renault cars in 18 countries in Europe.

If a dedicated device instead of an app is more your style, Coyote Systems also produces a standalone device, also called Coyote, which retails for about 200 Euros plus a subscription fee of 12 Euros per month. It provides the same functionality as the iCoyote mobile application, but with a slightly different user interface. Motorcycle drivers can purchase an additional accessory kit for affixing the device to handlebars.

The iCoyote app is currently available on five platforms: Android, iOS, Blackberry, Bada, and Windows Phone. Additionally, Coyote Systems services are found on third-party products such as Garmin- and TomTom-connected devices and Parrot ASTEROID car radio. iCoyote and the Coyote standalone device can be purchased in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Spain. With its expansion announced this week at Mobile World Congress 2012, iCoyote will soon be offered in an additional 12 European countries through the Apple App Store.

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