Japanese Carrier DoCoMo To Pay $50M To Take A 7% Stake In Pioneer To Expand Its Push Into In- Car Transport Systems

Posted: May 13, 2013 in Apps, Funding & Exits, Gadgets, GT, Mobile, Technology
Tags: , , ,

Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo has announced it
plans to invest around $50 million into Japanese
digital entertainment company Pioneer Corporation,
which makes in-car electronics, to acquire
approximately seven per cent of the company. The
pair described the investment as “a business and capital alliance” in a press release today. The news
was spotted earlier by ZDNet. Specifically, DoCoMo said it intends to “integrate
Pioneer’s in-car navigation telematics technologies
and related peripheral development capabilities with
[its own] mobile cloud expertise to make a full-scale
entry into the field of intelligent transport systems
(ITS)”. The pair have previously partnered for the integration of car electronics and information
services, including the “Docomo Drive NetTM”
navigation service, which incorporates DoCoMo’s
smartphones placed in dashboard-mounted cradles,
but this latest move pushes DoCoMo deeper into the
transport systems space. The pair said they will jointly develop an ITS, for
launch later this year, which will comprise of a
platform plus services for consumers and
businesses, and also in-car hardware. Here’s how they describe the plans: The envisioned in-car ITS system will use probe data
gathered from Pioneer’s car-mounted navigation
system and DOCOMO smartphones in moving
vehicles to process detailed traffic information in
Pioneer’s ITS cloud platform. ITS services that
integrate this information with various other services will be jointly developed and launched for individual
and corporate customers this year. In addition to developing such services and
constructing ITS-related cloud infrastructure, the two
companies will develop and sell compatible car-
mounted communication devices. DoCoMo said it will make the investment of about five
billion yen (approx. $50 million) through a third-party
allocation of new shares to acquire approx. 7% stake
in Pioneer this coming June 28.

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