The TomTom Bomb Weekly Brief—12.12.11

The TomTom Bomb Weekly Brief—12.12.11

In this week’s Brief: TomTom, Renault, Tokyo Motor Show 2011, Denso Corp, Cross Country Automotive Services, ATX Group, Agero, Micronet, Telular Corporation and SkyBitz 

TomTom announced plans to cut approximately 10 percent of its workforce, resulting in the termination of 457 jobs.

The company will reorganize R&D activities in a drive to increase development efficiency and reduce time to market.

Existing R&D activities will be regrouped in 10 product units: Maps, Traffic, Navigation, Automotive Systems, PNDs, Fleetservices, Fitness, Mobile, POIs and Speedcams.

Each product unit is mandated to invest in the ongoing development of a well-defined product category to deliver the best products to TomTom customers.

The company has set the target of achieving cash savings of approximately €50 million in 2012.

“The new structure brings more transparency and accountability, makes it easier to make innovation choices and will reduce our time to market,” says TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn.

“I am confident that our customers will start to see the benefits and a higher pace of product introductions as soon as 2012.” 

At the Le Web conference in Paris, Renault unveiled R-LINK, a tactile, connected, tablet-based interface that covers all the car’s functions and data.

The menu provides access to the world of in-car multimedia, GPS TomTom LIVE navigation, and the R-LINK Store, which includes more than 50 existing smartphone apps adopted for use on the move.

Users can customize their homepages and access to their favorite apps.R-LINK will be available for all forthcoming Renault models. Renault is yet to announce the price but has suggested it will be “low.”

The 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011 concluded after 10 days of world premiers, talks, and hands-on demos. Nearly a million people attended, and 15 Japanese and 25 international brands were present.

A focal point of the show was the “SMART MOBILITY CITY 2011,” which demonstrated the latest technology that links to cars, cities, and lifestyles.

Conference organizers called the show a success in the prolonged wake of the 2011 tsunami, saying, “We are confident that this show displayed to both Japan and abroad the resilience of Japanese manufacturing after overcoming many challenges.”

Denso Corp displayed a prototype of its Drowsiness Detection System at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The system monitors nine regions of a person’s face to detect the slightest hints of drowsiness based on changed facial expressions.

The company also announced ARPEGGiO, a smartphone-based, information system that uses the onboard navigation screen to display and operate smartphone applications.

ARPEGGiO will be released in Japan next year, and the company plans to have the service used worldwide in the future.

Cross Country Automotive Services merged with its subsidiary ATX Group to form a new corporate brand name, Agero.

Agero (pronounced Ah-JEH-roh, from the Latin word agere: to do, to lead, to drive) provides an integrated set of offerings to help auto manufacturers, insurance carriers and aftermarket providers manage the entire vehicle ownership and driving experience.

Its services provide drivers with enhanced safety, security, and convenience through roadside assistance, claims management and connected vehicle technology.

Micronet launched a new telematics platform that functions as a standard, fixed in-vehicle terminal that can also moonlight as a mobile handheld device.

The CE-500 is built on Windows CE 6.0, comes in either a seven-inch or four-point-three-inch LED touchscreen, and seamlessly integrates GPS, GSM and GPRS.

Micronet plans to sell the CE-500 by way of telematics service providers, which can customize the devices with multiple add-on options.

Telular Corporation acquired SkyBitz, a leading provider of tracking and management solutions for truck trailers, intermodal containers, sea-going containers, rail cars, power generators and rental equipment.

The acquisition expands Telular’s position in the M2M space as a result of SkyBitz’s broad base of additional customers and proprietary SAAS technology platform.

The combined companies will create the largest “pure player” asset tracking and management company in the world.


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