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TomTom sells Telematics fleet-management business to Bridgestone

Bridgestone will use the service for data on "tire operating conditions."

TomTom Telematics device
Telematics accounted for 18 percent of TomTom's business in 2017.

TomTom, the company perhaps best known for portable GPS navigation devices, has sold its Telematics fleet-management division to Bridgestone. The 910 million euro ($1 billion) sale will give tire manufacturer Bridgestone access to data from 860,000 vehicles, which the company will use to garner, "unprecedented insights into vehicle and tire operating conditions."

Bloomberg reports that TomTom Telematics accounted for about 18 percent of the company's 2017 sales, and that divesting the division will help TomTom fund research and development into future in-car mapping and traffic technologies that could be key to connected and self-driving vehicles.

"We will continue to invest in our innovative map-making system, enabling faster map updates while lowering operational costs, paving the road towards autonomous driving," TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn said in a statement.

TomTom says its Telematics division is the number-one such fleet management service in Europe, with 860,000 vehicles delivering two million data points daily. Bridgestone will apparently use that information to help monitor tire wear and other data, saying that it intends to offer a "tire predictive maintenance service" and other fleet services.