Ride service Uber dials into courier business

Reuters

App-based ride company Uber will start delivering on its promise of expanding its business into logistics on Tuesday when it launches a trial courier service, Uber Rush, in Manhattan.

"Better, faster, cheaper," is how Uber's (San Francisco, CA, USA) general manager in New York, Josh Mohrer, described the service in a tweet to Reuters. Customers will be able to watch the progress of their packages in its transportation application, much as they can track the progress of the cars they order up on the service.

Telefonica becomes Tesla's major European connectivity partner

Spain’s Telefonica has won a major connected-cars deal to provide services for electric vehicles being sold by Tesla in Europe.

The partnership will see the operator provide connectivity services for the Tesla Model S in the UK, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium.

To support the service, Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is also drawing on its partnerships with other operators and M2M platform provider Jasper Wireless (Mountain View, CA, USA) through the M2M World Alliance, an association formed to spur the development of M2M services worldwide.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Orange to launch fleet-management service

Carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has said it will launch a new fleet-management service this month in partnership with French operator Orange Business Services.

The service is to cover the manufacturer’s entire vehicle line-up and is designed to help fleet owners “reduce vehicle total cost of ownership”, said the companies in a statement.

BMW tops new connected-cars ranking: Machina Research

Germany’s BMW has come first in a new ranking of carmakers that measures their approach to connectivity, with GM, Ford, Audi and Chrysler rounding out the top five.

According to analyst firm Machina Research, BMW (Munich, Germany) has the most “complete” approach to in-car connectivity through its ConnectedDrive service, while GM (Detroit, MI, USA) – which comes second in the ranking – has been “something of a trailblazer with OnStar”.

TomTom Business Solutions becomes TomTom Telematics

Navigation technology player TomTom has changed the name of its Business Solutions unit to TomTom Telematics.

The name change has been made to reflect the strong position the company enjoys in the telematics market thanks to its WEBFLEET product, a software-as-a-service platform designed to help fleet businesses improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase efficiency.

In a statement, TomTom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) said WEBFLEET would henceforth be positioned as its leading product brand for the fleet-management market.

Apps in car dashboards aim to make vehicles smarter

Reuters

Searching for that elusive parking spot or a nearby attraction? Forget about consulting your smartphone, just look at the car dashboard.

Whether it is streaming music and listening to audio books, or even ordering a pizza, apps are being loaded into vehicle dashboards as more cars become connected to the Internet.

Only about 10 percent of vehicles have built-in connectivity today, but the number is expected to rise to more than 90 percent by 2020, according to the British consulting firm Machina Research.

TeliaSonera pilots M2M services with PostNord

Swedish telecoms incumbent TeliaSonera says it will support M2M connectivity in vans operated by mail-delivery company PostNord, with the aim of developing new fleet-management services based on the experience.

The pilot wills see TeliaSonera (Stockholm, Sweden) install its M2M technology in 20 mail-delivery vans in Stockholm, allowing PostNord (Stockholm, Sweden) to benefit from a range of fleet-management services.

Ryder offers mobile maintenance, telematics at new Texas facility

Logistics and supply-chain management player Ryder System says it has opened a new truck maintenance and rental facility in Schertz, Texas that will provide mobile maintenance and telematics services to its customers.

According to the company, the facility will offer a rental fleet equipped with GPS telematics technology, making Ryder the “only company in the market with a facility offering both vehicle rental and mobile maintenance”.

Smart-city deployments to become a key policy area: ABI Research

The deployment of smart-city technologies and intelligent transportation services (ITS) is set to become a key policy area for local governments, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Penetration of ITS technologies in smart cities will range from 20% (in the case of autonomous vehicles) to 98% (traffic management) by 2025, according to the market-research company.

CeBIT 2014: M2M Zone roundup

M2M Zone exhibitors gathered at this week’s CeBIT tradeshow in Hannover, Germany unveiled details of some exciting new products and services, while others provided updates on their strategies for addressing the ever-expanding M2M opportunity. Below we provide summaries of the main announcements.

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