The 9thAnnual International Telematics Awards are tonight, while the 11th Annual Telematics Conference is scheduled for June 8 and 9 in Novi, where thousands of forward-thinking innovators will gather to network, learn and recognize each other for their contributions to in-vehicle telematics.

In-vehicle telematicsare the computer and electronics technology found inside your car i.e. navigation systems, driver assistance, advanced calling features, etc.

According to the conference’s website, key topics include:

  • Smartphones vs. embedded units: Which services are best placed on embedded models and which are best suited to mobile platforms?
  • USDOT and driver distraction issues: Focusing on research results, impending legislation and the impact on telematics.
  • Electric vehicles and telematics: Discuss which telematics systems will best provide routing information, nearest charge source, etc., to increase EV adoption.

Several big names will be recognized as leaders in the evolving telematics industry, including the following:

In-vehicle telematics may seem like a luxury or something that you’d see in Doc Brown’s Delorean , but as John Quain of the New York Times’ Wheels Blogputs it, telematics are no longer a sideshow. This technology, which creates infotainment, navigation solutions and safety features, is revolutionizing the way people drive.

With technology always trying to one-up itself, the constant question seems to be, “What’s next?” Whether it’s wireless charging, a large boom in Asia or something that is in the early research and development stage, one thing is certain, the future of in-vehicle telematics is bright.

— Dave Niemiec is an account coordinator at Airfoil Public Relations, a high tech PR agency with offices in Detroit and Silicon Valley.