Hughes saddles up with AAA, as Google acquires Motorola
In this week's Brief: Google, Motorola, Hughes Telematics, AAA Club Partners, the Obama administration, smart, Nuance Communications, Loquendo, AmeriQuest Transportation Services, SkyBitz, M2M Certified, Viewbiquity, and Clear2there.
Google announced that it will acquire Motorola for $12.5 billion, or $40.00 per share in cash. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.
With the acquisition, Google will acquire Motorola’s array of Android handsets and its valuable pool of patents. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android, and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.
“Motorola Mobility’s total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies,” says Larry Page, CEO of Google. “Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners, and developers.”
Hughes Telematics and AAA Club Partners, a holding company comprised of 10 American Automobile Association Clubs, announced a partnership to develop, test, market and launch a tailored telematics solution utilizing Hughe’s self-installed In-Drive aftermarket technology.
The program will be designed so that members, using a simple self-installed In-Drive device, will have access to a comprehensive set of connected vehicle services. The device offers two-way voice connectivity to support emergency services, enhanced AAA roadside assistance, and hands-free calling.
In-Drive will provide additional features such as vehicle diagnostics with real-time alerts, carbon footprint, location and speed alerts, and stolen vehicle location assistance.
The Obama administration announced new cost-saving fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy-duty vehicles.
Under the national program, trucks and buses built in 2014 through 2018 will reduce oil consumption by a projected 530 million barrels and greenhouse gas pollution by approximately 270 million metric tons.
The program relies heavily on off-the-shelf technologies and was developed in coordination with truck and engine manufacturers, fleet owners, and environmental groups.
smart released the specs of its third generation fortwo electric drive. The EV can be connected to the internet at home via a standard powerline adapter for SmartCharging. Drivers can enter planned departure times in the vehicle or the web portal, and the vehicle will be fully charged in a battery-saving and economical way.
The EV also accommodates the smart drive app, which enables hands-free phone calls, internet radio, navigation with smart touch, and a Car Finder feature that guides drivers back to wherever they parked their cars.
The car launches internationally in Q2 2012.
Nuance Communications acquired Loquendo, a wholly owned subsidiary of Telecom Italia that provides a range of speech technologies for mobile, automotive, and embedded.
These speech technologies are available in 32 languages with 76 voices and include text-to-speech, automatic speech recognition, and voice biometrics solutions.
The acquisition will enable Nuance to advance the proliferation of voice-enabled solutions in automobiles, mobile phones, and other consumer devices.
AmeriQuest Transportation Services, a comprehensive fleet management services provider, signed a value added reseller partner agreement with SkyBitz.
SkyBitz specializes in real-time decision-making tools for companies with unpowered assets, such as trailers managed by trucking fleets.
These tools calculate asset position in seconds, reducing power consumption and the cost and inconvenience associated with frequent battery replacement. As a result of the agreeement, AmeriQuest can offer unique solutions to its members for locating, monitoring, and managing assets.
M2M Certified, a provider of fleet management systems that utilize GPS tracking services, will offer the Viewbiquity Cloud Interface M2M platform to its customers. Viewbiquity’s interface is a hybrid solution that combines cloud-based technology with low-cost edge devices.
The combined fleet management and M2M solution will be delivered as a monthly service that requires no activation costs and which can be implemented through low-cost edge devices such as laptops and netbooks.
“As we expand our offerings in the M2M space, we recognize that fleet management and GPS tracking is a key application for small, medium and large businesses that rely on vehicle fleets,” says Greg Mantia, chief executive officer for Clear2there, Viewbiquity’s North American distributor.
“The VCI solution delivers a superior solution that helps address these business needs.”