TomTom is selling Bridgestone its vehicle-tracking arm for $1bn

Deal will give Bridgestone new insights into vehicle operating conditions; TomTom will focus on core location business.

TomTom is selling its telematics business to tyre company Bridgestone for €910m ($1.03bn).

TomTom said the deal would allow it to focus on its core location business, including mapping, navigation software, and real-time traffic information and services as the industry moves towards autonomous driving

Bridgestone said the deal would give it better insight into vehicle operating conditions via millions of data points a day.

"After a thorough review of strategic options, we have determined that the sale of Telematics to Bridgestone is in the best interest of both Telematics and our core location technology business," said TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn.

TomTom is facing increasing competition in the mapping space both from existing rivals like HERE Technologies but also increasingly from Google. For example, in September, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi announced a deal to provide turn-by-turn navigation in new cars with Google Maps.  

SEE: Tech and the future of transportation (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)

TomTom's telematics business includes its fleet-management system, which provides real-time information about the location of vehicles and focuses on industries including construction, utilities, haulage, and emergency services, with 49,000 customers and more than 861,000 vehicles. According to TomTom, it is the number one telematics service provider in Europe.

Bridgestone said the deal would strengthen its position in what it called the mobility-as-a-service landscape: "Bridgestone will gain unprecedented insights into vehicle and tire operating conditions and be able to leverage a growing installed user base of 860,000 vehicles communicating 200 million data points per day," it said in a statement.

The sale of the telematics business, which has 670 employees is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2019. 

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