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The Internet of Things (IoT) has taken over the transportation industry. In a press release from Microsoft, the tech giant has officially confirmed the launch of Azure Location Based Services (LBS). This feature is integrated in the Azure platform to complement other existing LBS systems found in Microsoft’s cloud solutions. With the Microsoft Azure combo covering the technology, it adds credibility to the kind of “world-class standards of privacy, compliance, scalability, management and simplicity” Microsoft is known for, the company said.

With IoT technology applied to fleet equipment, tracking and mapping becomes available for logistics services.

Microsoft Azure’s director, Sam George, explained: “For instance, a department of transportation can now use Azure Location Based Services to analyze and improve traffic in congested cities, freight companies can provide improved fleet management and logistics, and all businesses can track the location of assets and be notified when their location changes.”

Comparisons with the tracking solutions that Honeywell launched several months ago in a joint venture with Intel is inevitable. That solution provides protection against cargo damage. The LBS provided by Microsoft Azure is backed up with supply location data from Amsterdam-based tech company TomTom. Solutions from mapping to routing related to vehicle tracking solutions are provided in this joint venture which Microsoft Azure owes to TomTom’s global digitally mapped network.

TomTom’s Managing Director of BU Licensing, Anders Truelsen, took pride in the venture with Microsoft. “We chose to partner with Microsoft because it has expertise in scaling globally with enterprise customers and shares a joint vision with TomTom to make location a fundamental aspect of the cloud.

“Mapmaking is in TomTom’s DNA. By building on top of Microsoft’s cloud, we believe this will make our data more accessible than ever and will empower developers to use our APIs to light up mapping scenarios for both consumer and commercial customers,” Truelsen added.

This is a sentiment shared by Christopher Cappelli, Esri’s Vice President of Global Business Development and Sales. “Microsoft and Esri have been strategic partners with one another for more than 20 years and have joint customers all over the world. Our joint customers have already benefited from incorporating their existing Esri ArcGIS systems using our GeoEven Server with Microsoft Azure cloud and Azure IoT solutions.”

Esri’s expertise and dominance in mapping technology has made it the company to go to when it comes to developing a geographic information system (GIS) with Azure LBS. With the two companies working with Microsoft Azure to ensure location mapping solutions are provided accurately, the product will be ready in time for early 2018 launch.

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