Former Toyota Australia executive chairman, John Conomos has been appointed chairman of the Melbourne company that owns the miRoamer Internet radio application, which is likely to be installed in millions of General Motors vehicles from next year.
Mr Conomos, who headed Toyota Australia for decades and was the first non-Japanese executive to be appointed a managing director of the parent company, will become chairman of Connexion Media, a company attempting to raise between $3 million to $6 million in a small public float ahead of a stock exchange listing.
Connexion owns the miRoamer internet radio application which is one of two such applications chosen by General Motors (GM) for use in web-enabled vehicles in the United States and Europe.
George Parthimos, who worked for Telstra earlier in his career, is the founding director of Miroamer and will be chief executive of Connexion.
GM has already announced it will start selling internet-connected vehicles in North America next year, while in Europe authorities have made it mandatory a built-in SIM card be installed in all vehicles. The giant German Volkswagen Group has also signed an agreement for use of the miRoamer app.
The miRoamer application is essentially an in-vehicle infotainment service that allows users to listen to AM and FM radio stations from anywhere in the world, and is integrated into the GM in-car systems.
GM is currently running certification and compliance tests on the two Internet radio apps it plans to offer.
If car owners approve, the miRoamer platform would be able to amass all sorts of information about the vehicles in which it operates.
Insurance companies would be able to analyse driving patterns in particular cities or for particular models and dealers could be alerted if a vehicle needed servicing.