Wander around the pits at a Formula One car race and you're as likely to bump into a laptop-wielding scientist or engineer as a mechanic with a spanner.
And the lessons they are drawing from sensors on F1 tracks, cars and drivers are finding their way into a surprising range of industries - from drilling oil wells to making toothpaste.
Revenues generated in the commercial fleet telematics market will rise from about $7.25 billion in 2012 to some $26.8 billion in 2018, according to a new study from ABI Research.
The market-research firm says that North America will remain the biggest regional market, followed closely by the Asia Pacific, with Western Europe coming in third place.
The sector has been heavily affected by M&A activity over the past two or three years, notes ABI, with private equity firms playing a pivotal role in consolidation.
Connected-car services from Sprint are set to become available to Canadian consumers thanks to a new tie-up between the US operator and Canada’s Rogers Communications.
The partnership will allow Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) to offer its Sprint Velocity-branded range of in-car infotainment and telematics services over the Rogers (Toronto, Canada) network.
The tie-up essentially means that carmakers can introduce Sprint Velocity in the Canadian market, taking advantage of the connectivity service provided by Rogers.
The 4G lead established by the UK’s EE has helped the operator secure a three-year deal to support telematics services for the RAC, one of the country’s biggest motoring organizations.
Under the terms of the contract announced this week, EE (Hatfield, UK) is to provide embedded SIMs for the RAC’s (Walsall, UK) in-car telematics technology, allowing fleet managers to monitor vehicles remotely.
The number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in the Americas is set to grow from 4.9 million at the end of 2012 to 10.1 million by 2017, according to new research from Berg Insight.
The market-research company predicts that North American deployments will grow from 3.3 million at the end of 2012 to 6.8 million by 2017, with installations in Latin America rising from 1.6 million to 3.3 million over the same period.
Logistics company Ryder is to begin using telematics services from Orbcomm across its fleet of trailer assets, the two organizations have announced.
Ryder (Miami, FL, USA) was already a customer of Orbcomm (Rochelle Park, NJ, USA), which claims to have deployed more than 2,000 systems on Ryder’s trailers, but the new deal marks a significant extension of their partnership.
Germany's Daimler AG plans to start selling a self-driving car by 2020 as part of its campaign to regain the top spot among premium carmakers, its development chief said.
Carmakers and suppliers across the world are working on ways to make driving safer and more comfortable through automation, and the race is on to bring the technology to the mass market.
"We want to be the first to launch autonomous functions in production vehicles. You can be sure: we will accomplish that in this decade," Daimler (Stuttgart, Germany) head of development Thomas Weber said.
The North American automotive market will ship more than 10 million robotic vehicles in 2032, according to a new study by ABI Research, with the first driverless vehicles appearing at the start of the next decade.
US chipmaking giant Qualcomm has sold its Omnitracs telematics division to private-equity player Vista for the sum of $800 million in cash.
The deal is to include all the Omnitracs operations in the US, Canada and Latin America, as well as Sylectus and FleetRisk Advisors – telematics businesses that Omnitracs bought in 2011.
The transaction is expected to close between October and December after the companies have secured the necessary regulatory approvals.
Vehicle maker Ford has begun an investigation into the way that robots at the International Space Station communicate with Earth in an effort to improve its own connected-car offerings.
The manufacturer says much of its research is being carried out through a three-year partnership with St Petersburg Polytechnic University in Russia, whose specific purpose is to analyze space-based robotic communications systems for vehicle mesh networks.