Ford, Microsoft, Lockheed Martin and more – the IoT world today | Rare Techy


From Ford and CerebrumX’s usage-based insurance program to Microsoft’s advanced technology solutions with Lockheed Martin and Zelis’ new healthcare payment platform Payspan, here are some of the industry’s latest deals and partnerships.

Ford, a CerebrumX partner offering usage-based insurance plans

Ford has partnered with CerebrumX Lab, an AI-powered automotive data services and management platform, to use its connected vehicle data to create Usage-Based Insurance as a Service (UBI) for insurers.

This model offers faster and more cost-effective implementation of UBI programs using built-in telematics for eligible Ford and Lincoln connected vehicles.

UBI programs provide more accurate driving behavior data, allowing insurers to identify safe drivers and reward them with lower premiums. In the partnership, CerebrumX brings its extended deep learning platform to collect and analyze data directly from vehicles to create a driving and vehicle score without the need to install additional hardware or applications.

Microsoft and Lockheed Martin are developing advanced technologies for the Department of Defense

Microsoft is partnering with Lockheed Martin to develop artificial intelligence and machine learning offerings for the US Department of Defense (DoD).

The announcement marks an expansion of the partners’ existing collaboration and covers four DOD areas: classified cloud innovations, AI and ML modeling and simulation capabilities, 5G programs and digital transformation.

As part of the partnership, they will create an immersive environment that allows the Department of Defense to digitally test military platforms.

“With this historic agreement, Lockheed Martin and Microsoft are blazing a new trail for the Department of Defense in classified cloud, artificial intelligence and 5G capabilities,” said Lockheed Martin Chief Information Officer Yvonne Hodge. “We’re creating faster, safer and more affordable 21st century security solutions that incorporate end-to-end experiences and other advanced commercial technologies into the most capable defense systems.

Microshare will be the exclusive distributor of Skiply’s customer feedback devices in North America

Microshare has been selected as the exclusive North American distributor of Skiply devices, a specialist manufacturer of customer experience detection devices.

Skiply’s devices collect anonymous real-time customer feedback and can be used in a variety of commercial spaces, including offices, restaurants and shops, as well as public institutions such as hospitals and universities. The devices are also equipped with an alert system that notifies employees when satisfaction levels drop or when assistance is needed.

“We have had the pleasure of working with Microshare since 2017 and are excited to take our collaboration to the next level,” said Skiply CEO Jérôme Chambard. “This partnership will help bring our industry-leading technology to many North American commercial real estate customers, and increased consumer usage and feedback will help us drive product innovation.”

KKR is leading an advanced navigation funding round for robotics and navigation technology

AI robotics and navigation company Advanced Navigation has closed its Series B funding round with $68 million. The round was led by private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), with new investors including deep learning venture firm AI Capital and existing investors Main Sequence and Our Innovation Fund.

The latest round brings Advanced Navigation’s total to more than $85 million.

The company’s sensor product pipeline is sold primarily to the commercial and defense industries, potentially at sea, land, air and space. Advanced Navigation said the funds raised so far will be used to expand its global footprint and accelerate research and development programs for robotics, navigation, photonics and quantum sensor solutions.

“We look forward to this next phase of growth as we continue to drive the autonomy revolution,” said Xavier Orr, CEO of Advanced Navigation. “KKR has significant experience in investing in new technologies. We are excited to have them lead our Series B funding round and work with our team to advance our product and technology innovation and development. Our technologies continue to drive autonomous vehicles safely and reliably in hazardous environments.

CSL acquires Caburn Telecom

IoT connectivity provider CSL has acquired Caburn Telecom, a global provider of secure IoT connectivity, SIM card management and software.

“This is another important step for us to expand our IoT service offering into new territories and sectors,” said Ed Heale, CEO of CSL. “Throughout this process, it has been clear that our two teams share a common vision for the importance and future of mission-critical IoT services and high standards of customer service.”

Caburn brings a wide range of IoT connections to the deal, with over a million live IoT connections across sectors across the UK, Europe, US and Asia.

Sumitomo Corporation of America invests in ClearBlade

Sumitomo Corporation of Americas (“SCOA”) announced its investment in ClearBlade, an Internet of Things company headquartered in Austin, Texas. As part of the investment, SCOA hopes to help ClearBlade expand its global position and market reach.

The investment is SCOA’s first investment in the commercial IoT and Edge computing space in the Americas.

ClearBlade’s IoT, Edge, and AI software has been deployed by many North American companies in a variety of industries, including transportation, energy, industrial products, and manufacturing.

“We are pleased to announce that we are joining ClearBlade’s growth to provide efficient, scalable IoT solutions across multiple industries,” said SCOA Senior Vice President Taketo Kokubo. “…ClearBlade has many innovative and strategic advantages over other IoT companies, and the ecosystem ClearBlade is creating will help bring their unique technology to several new markets.”

Zelis acquires Payspan to expand connected healthcare platform

Healthcare and fintech company Zelis has acquired Payspan, a provider of electronic payments for healthcare services. The acquisition enables Zelis to bring new capabilities to its Advanced Payment Platform service and offer a new level of simplicity and transparency to the healthcare service.

“Zelis and Payspan have been key players in healthcare payments, providing innovative solutions for healthcare insurers, providers and, most recently, consumers,” said Amanda Eisel, CEO of Zelis. “The coming together of these two organizations brings unprecedented visibility into the financial experience, helping us unlock the most abrasive aspects of the payments process.”

According to Zelis, the development of the new platform responds to the often “disjointed and challenging” financial processes of the US health care system by creating an efficient and easy-to-use payment solution.

“Zelis Advanced Payment Platform is a next-generation healthcare payment platform that brings advanced communication and payment management into a unified platform experience,” said Yusuf Qasim, president of payment optimization at Zelis. “[This] ultimately leads to better outcomes for all participants in the healthcare system.


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