April 17, 2014| Atlanta, United States: Verizon will add up to 250 jobs as the wireless carrier accelerates its Atlanta-based automotive business.
Verizon Telematics provides automakers such as Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz with emergency services, navigation, and remote vehicle diagnostics. The company is developing new services such as driving data collection for insurers and aftermarket telematics for the 200 million vehicles not connected to the Internet.
In 2012, Verizon entered the automotive market with its $612 million acquisition of Hughes Telematics, an Atlanta-based OnStar competitor. Since then, Verizon has grown the business, boosting the local workforce about 35 percent to more than 800.
Wireless carriers, such as Verizon and AT&T, are turning to the automotive industry as revenue growth in the mature smartphone business decelerates. The auto industry, which only recently began focusing on in-car technologies as a differentiating factor, offers greener pastures for the carriers.
“Historically, automakers competed around safety and, recently, around fuel-efficiency,” Verizon Telematics’ Senior Vice President Kevin Link said. “Now, it’s focused on technology and connectedness.”
The connected vehicle will usher in the era of smart mobility, Thilo Koslowski, vice president and automotive practice leader at Gartner. Technologies are being developed that allow cars to communicate with each other, and infrastructure, such as traffic lights, gas stations and parking meters to improve driver safety, convenience and traffic flow.
“To be able to do that, you need to be able to collect data from the vehicle and communicate that wirelessly over carrier networks to servers at businesses and government agencies,” Koslowski said. “That’s where companies, such as Verizon, see a big opportunity.”