Telstra has acquired Australian company MTData in a move the telco said would “fast track” its enterprise connected vehicle services as part of its Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio.
MTData was founded in 2003 and has operations in New Zealand, the UK, the United States, Canada and the Middle East as well as Australia.
The company provides GPS telematics and fleet management services.
“The MTData acquisition provides Telstra with advanced technology and deep domain expertise in connected vehicle solutions,” said Michelle Bendschneider, executive director Telstra Enterprise.
“This is in line with our Internet of Things growth strategy and leverages from investment in the IoT footprint on our mobile network, which is the largest in Australia and one of the largest in the world.”
Bendschneider said in a statement that the strategic acquisition will allow Telstra to “capitalise on the business ready IoT capability on our network, deliver IoT solutions to our customers in the heavy vehicle industry and supports a natural transition towards future autonomous vehicle technologies.”
Telstra has previously staged demonstrations of ‘vehicle to infrastructure’ (V2I) communications using its 4G network.
The telco has also argued that the federal government should implement policies that promote the uptake of autonomous vehicle technologies, with Telstra warning that compared to Europe and North America, Australia is lagging when it comes to initiatives involving connected and autonomous vehicles.
Telstra is a member of the Australian Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), which has staged on-road trials of self-driving cars. It has also supported a truck platooning initiative in Western Australia.