AAA has launched AAA Mobile, a new service for GPS-enabled mobile phones that contains the travel information, maps and road service that AAA has offered for years. Users can receive audible turn-by-turn directions as well as information about hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions listed in AAA's well-known TourBook guides. With one touch, members' phones can send their GPS location to AAA and connect members directly with a AAA representative for roadside assistance. So if they have car trouble and are unsure of their exact location, AAA will still be able to send help.
The service can be downloaded directly from certain GPS-enabled phones. AAA enlisted the help of the Networks in Motion location-based services platform to run AAA Mobile. Users can search for destinations by category (such as hotel or restaurant), for the closest locations or those that match a business name. They can also see maps of their current location or other locations. Pan and zoom capabilities will enable them to locate specific entries on a map. AAA subscribers can download the application to their phones and must pay a $9.99 monthly fee for service.
This offering really represents the convergence of all of AAA's great services into one easy-to-access wireless application. It's certainly a tool that will make AAA members take notice, but not necessarily take advantage of. Asking those current members to pay $9.99 a month for the service may be asking a bit too much. For a fee of about $6.00 a month, members can sign up for a full membership to AAA, which includes many more offerings than the AAA Mobile service. AAA should instead consider offering AAA Mobile as a value-add for members or perhaps use it as part of a promotion to enlist new members.