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Airbiquity GPS Accessory Enables Location Services Delivery

AAA, the nation’s largest motoring and travel services organization, today announced it is field testing a portable location services device with Airbiquity, Inc. that attaches to existing cellular telephone handsets. The technology puts test participants in closer touch with the most trusted travel information and roadside assistance network in North America.

The field test, being performed in conjunction with AAA’s RESPONSE Services Center, LLC, is designed to advance AAA’s telematics strategy of providing members and other travelers with ever more convenient and useful access to AAA products and services. Test participants are 200 AAA and RESPONSE employees in 11 major metropolitan areas, including Baltimore; Detroit; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; Orlando, Fla.; Ottawa, Canada; and Portland, Maine. The test is using seven different wireless carriers, 4 different air interface technologies, and 18 different wireless phone types and is expected to conclude during the third quarter of 2001.

Airbiquity, a location technology company based in Bainbridge Island, Washington, provides solutions for the delivery of GPS information to wireless networks worldwide. RESPONSE Services Center is AAA’s state-of-the-art telematics call center in Columbia, Md.

“With more than 44 million members and one of the most trusted brand names in the world, AAA is actively pursuing high quality, affordable location-based services for members,” said Marshall L. Doney, vice president, AAA Automotive Services. “AAA’s internal field test with Airbiquity and RESPONSE is a major step to provide members an entirely new and exclusive suite of safety, security and convenience services available throughout North America.”

“The AAA pilot test is a breakthrough application of our Global Positioning System technology delivering roadside assistance and travel information supported by location-enabled wireless phones,” said Airbiquity President and CEO, Dan Allen. “The specific services piloted include location-based emergency notification, AAA roadside assistance, and travel counseling; including points of interest referral.”

When pilot participants call the RESPONSE call center, operators will be able to view the subscribers precise location on a computer map display, allowing them to effectively deliver a variety of customized, location services. Each participant will be provided a weekly schedule of calls that must be placed, reflecting a variety of scenarios, such as roadside assistance, directions and navigation, directory assistance, and other services.

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