Hitachi and Airbiquity have announced a partnership to develop new telematics systems aimed at plug-in vehicles. In all likelihood, you've never heard of Airbiquity, but there is a decent chance you've used some its technology. Airbiquity provides much of the back-end communications infrastructure used by General Motors and Ford for the OnStar and Sync systems.

Hitachi will be building applications and services for electric vehicles that utilize Airbiquity's systems. No specifics have been provided yet, but we would expect to see systems similar to what GM is doing with its OnStar smart phone application for the Volt and what Ford announced for the Focus Electric at the New York Auto Show. These systems allow drivers to manage charging and check the state of charge remotely as well as getting alerts about when the battery is ready. The partners haven't given any time-table about when they expect to roll out these services or which automakers they may work with, but we'll be watching.

[Source: Hitachi, Airbiquity]

PRESS RELEASE

Tokyo, Japan and Seattle, WA --- Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd. and Airbiquity Inc. today announced a partnership to provide telematics services for electric vehicles (EVs) globally.


Today's market is focused on commercializing EVs to achieve zero-emission mobility and reduce overall levels of carbon dioxide. EVs require a range of connected support services, including advising drivers on when to take their vehicle to a charging station, locating nearby stations, using mobile phones – including smart phones – to check battery condition, determining optimum routes and other applicable services.

Through this partnership, Hitachi Automotive Systems and Airbiquity will be able to establish a common system infrastructure for global services, providing vehicle connectivity and delivering essential EV-oriented services and other common applications. These services can be tailored to the needs of the EV manufacturers, and combined and delivered via a global, cooperative system.

With the Hitachi Automotive Systems, and the Airbiquity-created platform forming a central hub in the smart-grid network, the partnership paves the way for creating gateway infrastructures that can be linked with smart-grid systems. This will increase the footprint of both companies in the field of global connected vehicle services, and help automotive manufacturers worldwide quickly implement EV solutions, creating efficiencies and optimizing the costs of their service operations.

"We are excited for the opportunity offered by this alliance with Hitachi Automotive Systems to support the creation of next-generation services for advanced vehicles," said David Jumpa, Senior Vice President of Global Business Development at Airbiquity. "We are confident that our reliable, vehicle-oriented solutions can provide the systems infrastructure required for the exchange of mission-critical information for Hitachi Automotive Systems."

"As both social awareness of traffic and transportation efficiency and the importance of contributing to the protection of the environment rise, Hitachi Automotive Systems continues to focus on providing connected vehicle service providers with intelligent, advanced solutions," said Masamori Kashiyama, General Manager of the Next-Generation Telematics Center of Hitachi Automotive Systems' CIS Division. "Combining these with Airbiquity's specialized technology and extensive operational experience in the area of vehicle connectivity will make it possible for vehicle manufacturers to operate and maintain their services with more speed and efficiency than if they were operating on their own."

About Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd.
Hitachi Automotive Systems, Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company offers a wide range of automotive systems including engine management systems, electric power train systems, drive control systems and car information systems in development, manufacture, sales and services of automotive components, transportation related components, industrial machines and systems, etc. For more information, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi-automotive.co.jp/en/

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd., (NYSE: HIT / TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 400,000 employees worldwide. Fiscal 2008 (ended March 31, 2009) consolidated revenues totaled 10,000 billion yen ($102.0 billion). The company offers a wide range of systems, products and services in market sectors including information systems, electronic devices, power and industrial systems, consumer products, materials, logistics and financial services. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at http://www.hitachi.com.

About Airbiquity
Airbiquity is the global leader in the design, operation and management of connectivity infrastructure. With 13 million vehicles on the road today, the company's expertise and experience enables intelligent transportation services for category leaders in the automotive and mobile resource management industries. To learn more about Airbiquity, visit www.airbiquity.com.

Airbiquity is a registered trademark of Airbiquity Inc.


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