Vodafone targets connected car technology
Another industry that is thriving today, is the one offering connected car technologies. This industry becoming increasingly popular with the entry of Google, Intel and Apple, it is now the turn of telecom giants Vodafone to enter the arena.
Vodafone and Cobra Automotive Technologies will be entering into an agreement for provision of connected car services. This deal at an estimated €145m (£116m or Rs 1,200 crores) will allow both companies to boost car to car connectivity to the internet, which, as on date is seen in just 10% of vehicles but set to reach to well over 90% by 2020.
Italian firm, Cobra Automotive Technologies (CAT), a company well versed with the latest of technologies specialises in making security and telematics offerings for motoring industry besides vehicle tracking and usage based insurance tools. CAT now ties up with the mobile operator, Vodafone to expand into connected car markets. The deal has already received the nod from CAT’s major shareholders and should be signed and sealed by the end of 2014 following approvals from Italian lawmakers and regulators. Vodafone and CAT will be investing into the business, offering best of automotive and insurance customers with a full range of telematic services.
Vodafone and Cobra will together form a novel global provider of connected car services much in the same way as was seen with Apple unveiling its CarPlay technology earlier this year. This integrates the iPhone with a car and allows drivers to use certain apps on the dashboard with Siri, the voice enabled assistant. Drivers can view maps, make calls and listen to music, besides send and receive text messages.
Verizon Communications, the leading US wireless carrier also invested $612 million in 2012 to buy Hughes Telematic which sells telecom produces such as GPS tracking, communications and safety features in cars.