Tata Motors launches new telematics service

Tata Motors (Mumbai, India) has launched a new fleet telematics service it claims will help commercial vehicle fleet owners boost their productivity and profitability.

Branded Tata FleetMan, the service will initially be introduced on new tractor-trailers but is set to become available on Tata’s entire medium-sized and heavy commercial vehicle range in the coming months.

Tata says the service will be extended to existing vehicles through aftermarket fitments.

US telco mobile payments venture Isis to delay launch again


Isis, a venture of three big U.S. mobile providers, is delaying the launch of its mobile payments service for the second time this year, an executive for the company said on Thursday.

Isis is an effort by Verizon Wireless (New York, USA), AT&T Inc (Dallas, USA) and T-Mobile USA (Bellevue, USA) to provide mobile wallet services that would allow consumers to get rid of plastic cards and instead make payments by simply waving their phone at a check-out terminal.

While Japan has had mobile payment services for years, U.S. development of such services has been much slower.

Ford first to market with in-vehicle Telenav app

Ford (Dearborn, USA) has become the first car maker to make Telenav’s (Sunnyvale, USA) Scout application available in its vehicles.

The navigation app has previously been available to users of iPhones and devices powered by Google’s Android operating system, but it can now be installed in Ford vehicles through the manufacturer’s SYNC AppLink technology.

Los Alamos tests $53 million smart grid

Officials in Los Alamos County have switched on a $53 million smart grid developed by scientists working in New Mexico and Japan, reports the Associated Press.

The project has involved collaboration between Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The smart grid comprises a solar photovoltaic array, a battery storage system and a smart house and energy management system for the benefit of Los Alamos residents.

Telit maintains bullish outlook as profit slips

Module maker Telit (London, UK) has witnessed a dip in first-half profit despite reporting impressive gains in revenues as it capitalizes on the growing demand for M2M products and services.

A rise in expenses linked to takeover activity, the launch of a new business venture and the opening of new sales offices in the Czech Republic and Australia pushed net profit down to $2.3 million from $2.6 million in the first half of 2011.

Revenues at the company rose by 21.6% over the same period, to $98.6 million, with Telit in the vanguard of new M2M offerings.

USDA hits target of $250 million for smart-grid funding

The US Department of Agriculture says it has now provided a total of $269 million to fund the development of smart grids in America’s rural communities, beating its investment goal of $250 million.

The target formed part of President Obama’s plan to modernize the country’s electrical system, helping utilities to become more efficient and consumers to save money by reducing energy use in homes and businesses.

Taiwan to invest $4.4 billion in nationwide smart grid: report

Taiwan’s government is to invest NT$130 billion ($4.4 billion) in the deployment of a national smart grid over the next 20 years, according to a report from Taiwan Today.

The report claims the plan has already secured the backing of the Cabinet and says an interagency task force will soon be formed.

Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, under its Ministry of Economic Affairs, has said the construction of a smart grid is needed to help Taiwan reduce its carbon emissions and become more energy efficient.

inthinc teams up with Orbcomm on telematics

inthinc Technology Solutions (Salt Lake City, USA) has announced that satellite operator Orbcomm (Fort Lee, USA) will support its telematics and fleet-management applications.

The telematics company serves fleet industries in the US heavy equipment and oil and gas sectors, among others.

Its products provide alerts and information to drivers and fleet managers that inthinc claims can improve driver behavior, reduce crashes, increase fleet productivity and reduce emissions.

IMS claims new car hardware is "most advanced" to date

M2M company Intelligent Mechatronic Systems (IMS) (Waterloo, Canada) claims a new in-vehicle telematics device, due to launch early next year, will work with any vehicle and represents its most advanced connected car hardware to date.

IMS says it developed its new DriveSync device to be the “most universal” on the market, meaning it can work in vehicles that do not have OBD-2 ports, such as new hybrid and electric vehicles and diesel fuel vehicles.

SCE to begin installing smart meters in San Joaquin Valley

Southern California Edison (SCE), the biggest utility in the state, has announced that it will begin installing smart electric meters at the end of the month in the San Joaquin Valley.

The deployment will form part of the Edison SmartConnect program, a $1.6 billion project authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission to help realise California’s energy policy targets.

The objectives include reducing greenhouse gas omissions by around 365,000 metric tonnes per year and helping California to generate a third of its electricity from renewables by 2020.

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