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Motorola, IBM Get in Wireless Driver's Seat

Wireless initiatives gained two more important backers Thursday as IBM Corp. and Motorola Inc. teamed to develop wireless Internet services for cars and trucks.

Citing a growing demand for in-vehicle information systems, IBM (IBM) and Motorola (MOT) plan to combine their technologies, products and services to develop telematics for auto manufacturers. Telematics refers to in-vehicle, on-board and embedded electronic systems.

The two companies plan to create technology that allows emergency calling and roadside help, as well as wireless communications and Internet access, navigation with real-time traffic routing, security and anti-theft protection, personalized information, e-mail and entertainment options. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Working together, IBM and Motorola will jump-start what is expected to be a large market opportunity for automakers to develop stronger, long-term relationships with their customers," said Mark Bregman, general manager of IBM's pervasive computing division. "Automakers will be able to offer a variety of services to their customers that continue to add value to the driving experience long after the purchase of the car."

"IBM and Motorola have complementary offerings and by combining them, we are creating new opportunities for us and for our mutual customers."

Motorola brings its expertise in advanced electronic systems and services, software enhanced products, wireless communications products and networks, as well as extensive experience in developing rugged, embedded electronic solutions for the automotive market.

IBM has expertise in computer technology, hardware, software and IT services, as well as new software for managing pervasive devices across multiple networks.

This is not the first time Motorola has created a joint venture to promote wireless technology. The company teamed up with America Online Inc. (AOL) in October to create a wireless instant messaging tool.