Verizon is joining forces with some of the biggest auto manufacturers to “accelerate development of the 4G LTE ecosystem” in connected cars, reports The Verge.
Called the 4G Venture Forum for Connected Cars, the new group includes BMW, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Toyota, as well as Professor Sanjay Sarma from MIT. The collaborative group will be a place where the different companies discuss ways to advance the technology and allow electronics manufacturers, app developers, and content creators to coordinate activities.
The news comes less than a week after Verizon acquired Hughes Telematics for $612 million. The Atlanta-based firm provides connected solutions for fleets and manufacturers, and Verizon said it expects “telematics to drive significant growth” for the company. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012.
Hughes Telematics offers a portfolio of location-based services, including In-Drive, an aftermarket solution for safety, security, maintenance and data services, Networkfleet, a wholly owned subsidiary of HTI located in San Diego, CA, with remote vehicle diagnostics, GPS tracking and emissions monitoring for wireless fleets, and a majority owned subsidiary of HTI, Cocero, a white label brand for its premier suite of telematics services, and Lifecomm, which plans to offer mobile personal emergency response services through a wearable lightweight devices with one-touch access to emergency assistance.
ABI Research estimates that the installed base of embedded and hybrid connected car systems is expected to grow from 45 million at the end of 2011 to 210 million by 2016. SBD forecasts that by 2015 (pdf) over 30 million new cars will be fitted with some type of connectivity box. Today over 30 vehicle manufacturers have launched telematics services in China, Europe and the USA – a 50% growth since 2010. Additionally, 9 more vehicle manufacturers are planning to launch new services over the coming year.
Related DailyWireless stories on transit connectivity include; Automotive Telematics Goes 4G, Ford Lowers SYNC Costs, Google’s Driverless Car Explained, World Congress on Talking Cars, Connected Car Conference, Google + General Motors?, Ford Mobilizes Smartphone Apps, Hands-free Vehicular Calling, Tracking Tools, In-Vehicle Infotainment: Death Race, CradlePoint: Mobile WiFi/WiMAX Hot Spots, Mercedes myCOMAND, BMW iDrive Gets Makeover, Handheld Intelligent Transportation, Chrysler Offers Internet Access, Chrysler Rolls Out U-connect, Ford Sync.