Cybit and Masternaut form largest telematics supplier in Europe, as IHS iSuppli predicts explosive growth for MEMS market

Cybit and Masternaut form largest telematics supplier in Europe, as IHS iSuppli predicts explosive growth for MEMS market

Cybit and Masternaut combined to form a single, pan-European telematics company. The new organization, which retains the Masternaut name, will have more than 500 employees supporting a 10,000-strong customer base across 32 countries, making it the largest telematics supplier in Europe. The company believes that combining Cybit and Masternaut allows telematics to evolve from a tactical operational tool to an enterprise-wide, information management solution that can be accessed from a single, cloud-based platform. The new Masternaut will deliver modular telematics applications that improve business performance and enable customers to save up to 20 percent on their fleet operating costs. “The telematics market is undergoing rapid consolidation,” said Bill Henry, the new company’s CEO. “By combining Cybit and Masternaut, we can innovate faster, increase our geographic reach, raise industry standards, and bring customers compelling opportunities for improved business performance.”

MiX Telematics launched the MiX Carbon Offset Initiative, a service that provides fleet operators a secure and cost-effective way to offset the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their fleets. Globally, the road transportation industry is responsible for 18 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions. The carbon offset solution helps companies determine their carbon footprint and implement an effective carbon reduction initiative with a long-term value.

Volkswagen Group selected HARMAN to provide an infotainment solution in the Asian market, an award of $1.6 billion. HARMAN currently provides VW’s infotainment solutions in the US and Europe. HARMAN says the infotainment system for the Asian market will include cutting-edge networking, multi-language capabilities, and advanced tuner technology. The new system will be offered in new VW Group vehicles in Asia beginning in 2013.

Accenture, DENSO Corporation, and Mobis pledged core membership to the GENIVI Alliance, the non-profit industry association driving the broad adoption of an open-source, in-vehicle infotainment development platform. GENIVI also announced an additional twelve associate members, including AutoNavi and Qualcomm. The alliance believes that these companies will play an increasingly important role in driving innovation that will enable GENIVI to offer the industry greater differentiation and cost savings in the marketplace.

Beat the Traffic expanded from North America to Europe with the release of its popular iPhone app in Germany. German motorists can download Beat the Traffic for free, instantly view traffic conditions on interactive maps, and adjust their travel plans accordingly. Beat the Traffic selected Germany as its entry point into the European market because traffic congestion is a significant issue there due to the country’s dense population, central location in Europe, and growing use of motor vehicles. The total number of vehicles in Germany grew by nearly 200 percent between 1970 and 2009 while the country’s highway network grew by only 42 percent.

NAVIGON released the eighth update of its iPhone app, MobileNavigator. The update adds a Reality Scanner feature that helps find nearby points of interest and presents them in an augmented reality view. Version 1.8 also includes an optional safety camera database, an at-a-glance traffic gauge, and a new NAVTEQ map. In conjunction with the update launch, MobileNavigator apps and In-App Purchase prices will be reduced by up to $15 through the end of April.

Fujitsu unveiled a new large-scale-integration chip, memorably dubbed the MB86R01. The chip incorporates various functions required for next-generation automotive devices—like 2D/3D graphics, an automotive communication control system, and program-protect functions—into a single chip. As a result, the chip can seamlessly integrate data mapping and information from an in-car navigation device or digital dashboard and thus provide a comfortable driving environment with high-quality display.

Garmin Distribution Africa, the exclusive distributor of Garmin products in Africa, chose NAVTEQ to provide its maps and enhanced content for its new nüvi devices in South Africa. Garmin Distribution Africa previously used MapIT, which is partially owned by Garmin rival TomTom, for its South Africa content. Made available this week, the NAVTEQ map for South Africa includes the country’s entire 554,361 kilometers of road network, more than 180,000 Points of Interest, 3D Landmarks, and Tracks4Africa, an off-road navigation solution for off-the-beaten-path adventure. (For more on insurance telematics in Africa, see ‘Insurance telematics: Making inroads in the African market’.)

“New MEMS”, a slice of the MEMS market devoted to consumer electronics and mobile handsets, will grow by a 157.4 percent in 2011, according to research firm IHS iSuppli. Revenue this year for new MEMS devices will reach $457.3 million, up by more than a factor of 2.5 from 2010. New MEMS include devices like 3-axis gyroscopes and pico projectors, which didn’t even exist in 2006. The category was devised in 2007 to differentiate the segment from that of older, established MEMS and has exploded since along with the smartphone revolution. By 2014, new MEMS will generate revenue of $1.4 billion, according to IHS research. “New MEMS are at the heart of many of today’s most exciting and fastest-growing electronic products, from motion controlled video games, to tablet navigation systems, to tiny projectors embedded in smartphones,” said Jérémie Bouchaud, director and principal analyst MEMS and sensors for IHS.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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