With Verizon Communications announcing Monday (Aug. 1) that it will buy Fleetmatics Group for $2.4 billion, the phone company continues to take steps to branch out into the Internet of Things space at a time when some longtime U.S. automakers are also embracing connectivity.
Verizon’s newest acquisition helps the company grow in the web-connected cars sector, and it’s happening when Michigan carmakers Buick and Ford are making strides by integrating IoT technology into their vehicle lineups. While Ford is planning to expand its SYNC 3 connectivity platforms, allowing compatibility to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, General Motors intends to introduce Buick cars with internet access and 4G LTE connectivity through its OnStar subsidiary, basically transforming vehicles into mobile IoT devices, according to the latest Internet of Things Tracker. The monthly Tracker examines what companies are doing across the IoT landscape and, more specifically, in several categories, including: data, devices, infrastructure, payments, security and software.
Verizon and competitor, AT&T, have worked out deals with multiple carmakers for IoT-related services. Fleetmatics sells cloud-based commercial fleet and mobile workforce software subscriptions on a per-vehicle basis, according to Investor’s Business Daily. The software allows companies to monitor data such as fuel usage and mileage.
Fleetmatics, which has nearly 740,000 subscriptions, will merge with Verizon Telematics, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications that provides wireless and software and hardware solutions to its customers to power connected-vehicle products worldwide, according to a Verizon press statement.