AT&T drives ahead with telematics initiative

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AT&T (NYSE: T) is pushing ahead with its vehicle telematics offerings, Chris Penrose, senior vice president of emerging devices at AT&T Mobility, told an audience at the Mobility Awards held Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Penrose estimated that 4.3 million vehicles equipped with telematics were sold in the United States last year, with that number expected to reach 7.5 million by 2015. Telematics enable vehicles to send and receive data wirelessly using the Internet.

AT&T has been working with General Motors to develop its connected car product, Penrose told the audience. AT&T's connected car offering includes a global in-vehicle SIM chip, a bifurcated billing model, access to a control center powered by Jasper Wireless, as well as access to the AT&T Foundry Labs and developer community.

To foster that app developer community, AT&T and GM hosted a connected car challenge at the AT&T developer summit held in conjunction with CES.

During the challenge, app developers had full access to AT&T's suite of APIs and developer resources in order to develop winning apps for the connected car. Prices included a Chevy Volt electric vehicle and cash. Penrose estimated that 400 developers participated in the challenge.

In the fleet management area, AT&T offers its enterprise Mobile Resource Management product that includes in-vehicle fleet tracking and monitoring. With AT&T Mobile Resource Management, enterprises can measure and manage mobile workforce performance, reduce operating costs, strengthen safety and security compliance, and improve customer service in the field.

AT&T Mobile Resource Management offers a managed and hosted on-demand vehicle management system that can be implemented with little time impact to IT departments.The product integrates GPS, wireless communications, Internet, hardware and applications.

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