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Technology / AI and automation


Two UK-based technology companies, dedicated to combating the twin evils of road congestion and car theft, have announced that they are in merger talks. Tracker Network Plc, and Trafficmaster Plc confirmed this week that they are in the early stages of a possible merger. Tracker Network, based in Uxbridge, operates a stolen vehicle recovery system. A radio transmitter is hidden inside the subscriber’s vehicle which is activated remotely once the car is moved illegally, transmitting its position to detector units operated by the police. Activation of units is managed from a control center in Uxbridge which utilizes a network of radio transmitters. The company is also said to be working on a link between the tracker transmission unit and a standard satellite navigation system to allow fleet operators to track vehicle locations. Trafficmaster, headquartered in Milton Keynes, operates a real time traffic information systems which is relayed to subscribers via the Vodafone pager network. Sensors mounted on road bridges pick up traffic congestion by monitoring vehicles slowing down to under 30 mph. Users can choose between a dashboard mounted screen or a cheaper audio based system to receive updates. Tracker announced interim profits on Thursday of 451,000 pounds on revenue up 36.7% at 6.8m pounds in the half. Sales have been picking up recently after a sluggish first few periods. In contrast, Trafficmaster lost 3.4m pounds in its last full year on revenue of just 3.5m pounds, and it’s clearly desparate to find new ways of drumming up business. The two companies see synergies developing from the overlap in their customer bases.

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CBR Staff Writer

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