Bridgestone Europe has inked a deal with TomTom to purchase its telematics business for an expected sum of $1 billion. The acquisition will unite the world’s largest tire and rubber firm with the top-notch digital fleet solutions provider in Europe to develop a cutting-edge data platform for connected vehicles.
The acquisition of TomTom Telematics will facilitate Bridgestone’s drive to become the best mobility solutions provider in the region. When the exclusive offerings of the two companies will come together, Bridgestone will reach into a position where it can cross-sell tires and solutions to a broader customer base. The automotive giant said that the data access will drive its virtual tire development and testing and will give a robust boost to connected tire innovation, benefiting wide clientele, including OEMs.
The automotive industry is witnessing tremendous changes due to the rapidly changing social, economic and technological megatrends. Sensing the same, Bridgestone has prioritized digital mobility solutions and fleet solutions. European fleets are increasingly adopting telematics to attain the ability to locate vehicles easily. The driving force behind growing adoption of telematics seems to be the safety, cost and efficiency benefits. Together these benefits are making telematics a robust proposition.
Several fleets are focusing on telematics for its ability to track vehicles and curtail fuel expense, however, its adoption as a tool to boost safety lagged lately, but is now gaining traction of manufacturers. Telematics technology can record and monitor data, including speeding, braking, and rash acceleration can play a significant role in identifying poor driver behavior. Telematics data is pivotal in encouraging behavior change among drivers and this could facilitate fleet safety. Crammed with myriad benefits for the automotive manufactures, telematics is expected to witness huge adoption in the coming time, especially after automotive giant’s like Bridgestone is investing in this technology.
A leading player in automotive industry, Michelin- a French tyre manufacturing company is looking forward to buy Telematics unit of TomTom. Michelin wants to integrate Telematics into its own fleet management division Michelin Solutions. Earlier, global tire manufacturer Michelin acquired a U.S. based commercial fleet telematics services-provider NexTraq from its parent company, FLEETCOR Technologies, Inc., in an all-cash transaction. According to inside sources from Michelin, telematics and fleet management services, which are increasingly gaining prominence worldwide are an integral part of Michelin Group’s overall strategic business plans.
Many automotive manufacturers have adopted telematics, while some are planning to adopt this technology, looking up to the growing inclination and investment of automotive leaders in telematics.
Among the several European automotive players, who have invested in telematics are German multinational automotive corporation-Daimler, and Audi and Swedish luxury vehicles company-Volvo. These automotive leaders have adopted the Alibaba Group’s voice-activated assistant named Tmall Genie. Tmall Genie allows the users to monitor their cars, turn on air-conditioning, lock car doors, and plan a route by speaking to their smart speakers while sitting on their couch at home. Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) has been using sensor networks to monitor different aspects of machine performance and to offer provide predictive maintenance and remote fault correction.
Considering the growing inclination of automotive players towards telematics and changing user preference for ease at driving, the future of the automotive industry is expected to witness automation and telematics dominance.