DETROIT (Reuters) - An Acura RLX sedan demonstrated an unusual way to tow another car this week: the vehicles were not physically attached. The second car drove itself, following instructions beamed over by the first in a feat of technology that indicates a new stage in automation is happening faster than many expected.
DETROIT (Reuters) - A group of companies, including several large automakers, have joined a public-private research initiative to lay the groundwork for a system that wirelessly connects vehicles and helps smooth the flow of traffic, the University on Michigan said on Friday.
(Reuters) - FleetCor Technologies Inc said it would buy payments processing company Comdata Inc from Ceridian LLC for $3.45 billion in its biggest deal as it looks to expand into the virtual payments market.
Comdata, which was acquired by payroll and employee benefits processing company Ceridian in 1995 for $900 million, provides fleet fuel cards for the trucking industry, payroll cards and gift cards among other services.
CDMA-enabled telematics solutions are delivering the business intelligence that both dealers and lenders need to monitor and manage their vehicle assets as efficiently and cost effectively as possible.
Apple and Google have made names for themselves as technology innovators and as the companies shaping the direction of their industry. Both companies recently released high-profile connected car products – CarPlay and Open Auto Alliance, respectively – that allow users to bring the comforts of their mobile devices to their vehicles. It would seem that both companies are focused on new opportunities to extend their market dominance.
The catch? Microsoft announced its first connected car partnership, with Ford, all the way back in 2007.
A shifting industry
LONDON (Reuters) - Vodafone is buying an Italian car electronics maker for 145 million euros ($197 million), seeking to get ahead in the race to connect more products to the internet and offset slowing growth in its core mobile phone business.
GM says it will next month launch a new range of vehicles capable of connecting to the internet over the 4G network of AT&T.
Customers will be able to use services free of charge for a three-month period or up to a three-gigabyte limit, after which they can take out a data plan starting from $5 a month.
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is to the be the first LTE-equipped vehicle and will be followed by more than 30 other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of the year, said the carmaker.
Satellite company SkyWave Mobile Communications has launched a new dual satellite-cellular HSPA device to support M2M services.
The company says the device’s functionality will allow customers to access the most cost-effective communications network without sacrificing coverage or connectivity to essential data.
The IDP 700 series terminals are designed to provide a “quick and smart way” to connect people and assets anywhere in the world, says SkyWave (Ottawa, Canada).
US telecoms giant AT&T continues to set the pace in the connected-cars industry, having just announced a deal with Volvo to provide wireless connectivity services in vehicles sold in the US and Canadian markets.
The multi-year agreement will see AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) equip Volvo’s (Gothenburg, Sweden) US 2015 model year with its Sensus Connect embedded infotainment service, while Volvo customers in the US and Canada will also have access to Volvo On Call – which allows car functions to be accessed remotely and also notifies emergency services in the event of a crash.
A recently formed company calling itself M2M Spectrum Networks has unveiled plans to build and operate what it says will be the first licensed dedicated M2M network across the US.
Founded last year by entrepreneurs Barclay Knapp and Carole Downs, M2M Spectrum Networks (Phoenix, AZ, USA) says the rollout of its network will occur in “multiple phases”, with trials scheduled to begin in the second quarter of the year.
However, Knapp and Downs expect the network to cover 75% of the US population by the end of 2015 and 95% by the end of 2016.