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Cisco and NXP invest in connected car technology company

The companies will work on applications to improve road safety

Cisco Systems and NXP Semiconductors have both invested in connected car equipment vendor Cohda Wireless, as they look to make the Internet of things a reality and take a piece of a quickly growing market.

The size of the investments were not disclosed, but the products and technologies the three companies will work on include communication between cars and cars communicating with road-side infrastructure, according to a joint statement.

Together Cisco, Cohda and NXP will develop applications that warn of hazards such as the potential of a collision ahead, alerting if a nearby vehicle is losing control, or of upcoming traffic congestion, they said on Friday.

NXP and Cohda are far from new acquaintances; they have already developed a platform that combines radio technology from both companies for use in onboard car units.

Cohda Wireless was founded in 2004 by a group of research scientists working at the University of South Australia's Institute for Telecommunications Research. The company has developed a radio based on IEEE 802.11p, a wireless network standard tailored for use in cars and in road-side equipment.

That vendors like Cisco and NXP are showing a growing interest in machine-to-machine communications shouldn't come as a surprise. It is market that is expected to grow from US$21.52 billion in 2011 to $85.96 billion in 2017, according to data from Markets and Markets.

Automotive, health care and utilities are currently the stand-out areas in the M2M sector, and regulation, standardization and consolidation will help drive the popularity of machine connectivity and services going forward, according to Andrew Brown, director for enterprise research at Strategy Analytics.

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