Globalstar launches automotive team for next-gen connected cars

New global network will bring over-the-air updates, and better navigation and mapping to connected and driverless vehicles.

US satellite voice and data company Globalstar has launched a new division to support future connected and autonomous vehicles.

Called Globalstar Automotive, the division is looking to use its two-way global and broadcast-capable network to help carmakers comply with the latest safety regulations.

It will also deliver over-the-air (OTA) software updates, increase location accuracy, and improve reliability for autonomous vehicle operation, according to the company.

Leading the new team is Greg Ewert, who will report to Dave Kagan, president and COO at Globalstar. Ewert said that the division will use Globalstar’s networks to provide connectivity solutions for the automotive community.

These will not only complement existing terrestrial options, “but when combined also offer a more reliable, cost-efficient communications pipe to vehicles, independent of where they might be in the world,” he explained.

Satellite updates

The company said that while embedded connectivity in cars has primarily been used for in-vehicle infotainment, Wi-Fi, and safety services, more progressive car firms have begun delivering OTA software updates using cellular and Wi-Fi networks. They are are now looking to satellite providers to help address the growing demand to deliver updates cost efficiently.

“The connected car will fundamentally transform the automobile and transportation industries,” said Jay Monroe, CEO of Globalstar and founder of the Thermo Companies, of which Globalstar is a member.

The Thermo Companies is a portfolio of privately held firms that operate across telecommunications, private equity, industrial distribution, real estate, and independent energy, among other sectors.

“Thermo has taken advantage of similar paradigm shifts in industries in the past and plans for investments in [Thermo Companies members] Globalstar, FiberLight, Pivotal Commware, and TrafficCast to all play their respective roles in the car of the future.”

Ewert added: “There is a tremendous opportunity for us to leverage our existing network assets and partner ecosystem to fill connectivity gaps and allow automotive manufacturers, suppliers, and partners to extract maximum value from their investments in connected and autonomous vehicles.”

Internet of Business says

So far, 2018 has really seen connected cars move off the development side roads and onto the highway. Alongside Waymo’s introduction of driverless trucks onto America’s roads, an unusual number of connected car IoT partnerships have been announced.

Meanwhile, other innovators have unveiled new applications aimed at resource management and helping drivers with a range of new services, especially for electric vehicles.

These innovative programmes don’t just help consumers, but also professional drivers across diverse fields, such as transport, logistics, the supply chain, and fleet management.

Smart, connected services, and the data that results from them, will be one of the major battlegrounds over the next few years, both among car makers and their technology partners.

Read more: Pirelli smart tyres underpin its Cyber Car strategy

Read more: TomTom brings connected car services to Kia and Hyundai

Read more: Lamborghini teams with Vodafone on connected supercars

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