American internet and satellite radio broadcasters Sirius XM have bought Automatic, the “connected” car company in a giant $100 million deal.

SiriusXM aren’t strangers to having their products in cars, being in charge of radio services, but Automatic are a very differently focussed company. Automatic’s products are based mostly around collecting real-time data on cars for drivers, including tips on driving more fuel efficiently and automatic crash alert services.

It may not seem like the most logical purchase but SiriusXM emphasise the growing importance of driving data, which is becoming a focal point for car manufacturers and third-party developers around the world. Automatic will still remain largely separate despite its new ownership. Automatic said in their release statement that they had turned down offers before because they “didn’t think those companies would give us the creative freedom we needed”.

Automatic spoke on their progress leading up to the acquisition and SiriusXM’s role in their statement:

We founded Automatic with the vision that unlocking the data in cars could make owning a car safer, cheaper, and smarter.

Over the last six years, our small team shipped four generations of connected car products and a robust developer platform, all powered by our custom cloud infrastructure to process the millions of miles of driving data that come in every day. We were just getting warmed up!

Our plan had been to remain an independent company so we could ensure the products we believed in would see the light of day. Sometimes we couldn’t move as quickly as we wanted with our limited resources, but had turned down previous acquisition offers because we didn’t think those companies would give us the creative freedom we needed.

Unlike other companies, the folks at SiriusXM truly share our vision and they value what we’ve built. What’s more, we’ll be able to make progress faster together because of their strong relationships with automakers, significant existing connected vehicle business, and financial resources.

So what happens now?

SiriusXM believes in us: our brand, products, and team are staying right where they are. We’ll be able to focus on making better products than ever and there are no plans to change your daily Automatic experience. Here’s an FAQ with more details.

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Ljuba Miljkovic