HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated (NYSE:HAR), has acquired Israeli-based Red Bend Software in a $170 million transaction including approximately $99 million in stock and $71 million in cash.
HARMAN has also acquired Symphony Teleca, a privately-held software services company based in Mountain View, California, for a base purchase price of $780 million.
Red Bend provides software management technology for connected devices, and over-the-air (OTA) software and firmware upgrading services. With more than two billion Red Bend-enabled devices delivered globally, Red Bend is the leading provider of advanced over-the-air (OTA) solutions, serving top handset manufacturers and mobile carriers.
Telefónica launched its second Connected Car Industry report, exploring the attitudes of drivers towards car connectivity.
The term Connected Car has been a buzzword within the automotive industry for several years, but the big question is – are consumers ready? Research conducted by Telefónica suggests that they are. According to the Telefónica study, there is sufficient global demand for connected car services, with more than 70 per cent of drivers surveyed saying that they are interested in using, or are already using, connected car services.
Ernst & Young estimates that 104 million or so new cars are expected to have some form of connectivity by 2025. That’s good news for the large percentage (46%, according to Gartner) of today’s consumers who want their cars connected so they can safely access inside their car the applications they enjoy on their smartphone.
That desire for smartphone-like connectivity in cars extends to automatic or on-demand updates of in-car apps as those updates become available. Receiving accurate and up-to-date information on the drivability of their car – maintenance scheduling, recalls, etc. – is an extra benefit that consumers will, chances are, learn to rely upon.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions has signed an agreement with Hyundai Motor America to provide a range of connected services, including safety, security, diagnostics and infotainment to Hyundai vehicles starting in 2014.
“We selected Verizon to provide the wireless network service for ‘Next-generation Blue Link’ because both customer opinion and various data sources indicate that Verizon provides the best solution to our customers for both coverage and quality,” said Woo-Young Kwak, executive vice president, Vehicle IT Service Division/Vehicle IT Development Center, Hyundai Motor Group.
Abalta Technologies announced the launch of WEBLINK, which enables smartphones to operate as the primary in-vehicle computing device in connected cars. By integrating the WEBLINK client software, Abalta said car manufacturers can cost-effectively provide customers with an up-to-date and customized in-vehicle app experience in a safe and seamless way.
WEBLINK’s ability to run on all major smartphone operating systems also enables application developers to design driver-centric apps with ease. Existing HTML5 apps can be readily deployed to the in-vehicle environment and customized for OEM brands and target demographic groups, geographical region or user preference.
Today’s cars are among the most interconnected platforms in the world, containing dozens of embedded computers and multiple network interfaces to control power steering, anti-lock brakes, passenger safety systems and a host of other systems. Connected cars also provide built-in Internet access to passengers via infotainment systems, turning the automobile into a personal computing platform.
The greater degree of connectivity allows more automation than ever before, but also provides multiple attack vectors for the motivated hacker. Security for automobiles is no longer just a hypothetical concern. The following vulnerabilities have been reported, showing just how real the threat is:
The connected car is revolutionizing the automotive industry. Central to the connected car is the in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system, which brings together wireless connectivity, IP-communication infrastructure, middleware and applications into a powerful, unified computing device. However, while IVI brings new opportunities to introduce a better driving experience, it also introduces a new layer of complexity into the car.
The world market for connected cars will see 650 percent growth from 5.4 million units in 2010, to exceed 40.5 million unit sales in 2017, according to IMS Research.
IMS Research qualifies the term connected car as any light vehicle that features a two way data connection either through a cell phone or embedded modem. Services may include, automatic emergency calling, live traffic and weather updates, internet, social media services, among others.