New York to try out GPS-based meters on 1,000 taxicabs

Pilot program, which will run for up to a year, will begin when commission approves design for testing


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Some New York City taxicabs will switch to using GPS-based fare calculators from current metering systems under a pilot program approved on Thursday.

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission voted to pass a measure to overhaul technology systems in 1,000 city cabs, which currently require bulky televisions and credit card readers.

"It's just streamlined technology," commission spokesman Greg Gordon said.

Raytheon GPS ground program passes review, delays still possible

Report cites 3-year delay in the operational evaluation of the new ground system to early 2019


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A $1.6 billion ground control system being developed by Raytheon Co for Global Positioning System (GPS)satellites passed a Pentagon review, but will be monitored to ensure it stays on track, a senior Air Force official said on Friday.

Major General Roger Teague, director of space programs for the Air Force acquisition chief, told reporters a "deep dive" review Thursday by chief arms buyer Frank Kendall went well, but program officials and the contractor got "tough marching orders" to stick to schedule and cost targets.

LBS revenues in Europe, North America to hit $6.9 billion in 2018: Berg

Location-based services (LBS) in Europe and North America will generate revenues of around €5 billion ($6.9 billion) in 2018, up from about €2 billion in 2013, according to new research from Berg Insight, but mobile operators will focus on growth in the enterprise and B2B sectors, having been sidelined by over-the-top (OTT) players in the consumer market.

According to Berg, revenues in Europe will rise from €735 million in 2013 to about €2.3 billion in 2018, while those in North America will grow from $1.8 billion to around $3.8 billion over the same period.

KPN unveils tracking technology for air luggage

Dutch telecoms incumbent KPN is teaming up with Fast Track Company and Air France/KLM/Delta Airlines on the development of new M2M tracking services designed to ensure air passengers do not lose their luggage.

In a statement, the operator said it was collaborating with its partners on two innovations for easier tracking and tracing of luggage.

eTrack, the first of those innovations, is described as a compact device that will track the location of a suitcase or travel bag using GPS and cellular technology.

Orbcomm launches new modems for integrators, resellers

Satellite M2M specialist Orbcomm has launched a new set of modems aimed at systems integrators and resellers targeting the transportation and distribution, heavy equipment, oil and gas and government markets.

Orbcomm (Rochelle Park, NJ, USA) said the modems are “100%” backwards-compatible with its current OG1 satellite network and are the first devices that will support OG2 services when the new constellation becomes available in spring 2014.

The company is offering two versions of the new modem – the OG2-M and the OG2-GPS.

Telit supports rollout of M2M bike taillight in Brazil

M2M module maker Telit is supporting the rollout of a new bicycle taillight featuring an embedded tracking device in Brazil.

Pioneered by local company Nastek Tecnologia (Campo Grande, Brazil), the Yon Bike Lamp – as it is branded – incorporates a GSM/GPS tracker in a bike taillight, allowing users to track a bike’s whereabouts and monitor riding statistics using smartphones.

The device features Telit’s (London, UK) GL865-QUAD module and is able to communicate over GSM and GPRS networks.

Telit partners with Parsec on miniaturization efforts

Module maker Telit has teamed up with Parsec Technologies to create what they call “the world’s lowest-profile companion solution for GPS receiver and antenna”.

The organizations say the components can be made to fit a 6x16x8mm space – making the product suitable for a wide variety of uses.

Both companies say they are making available complete application notes to simplify the engineering effort for system integrators.

TomTom says fleet-management business grew by 38% in 2013

Dutch navigation company TomTom has revealed that its fleet-management business grew by 38% in 2013 to serve a total of 330,000 connected vehicles.

Fleet-management services are now used by some 27,000 customers in more than 60 countries worldwide, according to the technology player.

“This year-on-year growth reflects our ongoing success in bringing to market products that offer significant value to companies operating vehicle fleets,” said Thomas Schmidt, the managing director of TomTom Business Solutions, which is responsible for the range of fleet-management services.

M2M Connectivity unveils new asset-tracking modem

Australian M2M device maker M2M Connectivity has taken the wraps off a new satellite data modem aimed at the asset-tracking market.

Its Quake Q-Pro modem is designed to support tracking and data services on cellular and satellite technology, and operates on the Inmarsat-4 satellite constellation.

M2M Connectivity (Melbourne, Australia) says the Quake Q-Pro modem will support two-way data messaging over Inmarsat’s (London, UK) IsatData Pro network and using terrestrial cellular technology.

Fortress backs new LightSquared bankruptcy exit plan


LightSquared is proposing a new bankruptcy exit plan with financing from Fortress Investment Group and other backers, as the U.S. wireless communications company seeks to avoid a sale to highest bidder Dish Network Corp.

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