ALK Technologies, the developer of routing, mapping, mileage, and navigation technologies founded by a Princeton University professor has been acquired by Trimble Navigation, a global provider of advanced positioning solutions headquartered in Sunnyvale, California

Financial terms were not disclosed by either company regarding the deal, under which ALK will become part of Trimble’s Mobile Solutions segment. ALK will complement other Trimble business products including transportation management solutions, onboard computing and mobile communications systems, and fleet management and worker safety solutions for the oil and gas industry.

Since 1999 Trimble has grown its business through a series of acquisitions, including five companies since 2011. This includes a deal last August to acquire TMW Systems from Pamlico Capital for $335 million.

“The addition of ALK expands the portfolio and scope of innovative solutions we can offer transportation providers, logistics companies, and shippers,” said David Wangler, president of TMW Systems.

“The combination of ALK’s routing, mapping, mileage, and navigation capabilities with our enterprise transportation management software and the mobile communications solutions under the Trimble Transportation and Logistics umbrella supports our comprehensive and industry-focused technology approach,” Wangler said.

ALK’s software products include: CoPilot Live, which offers onboard GPS navigation for professional drivers; and PC*MILER, truck routing, mileage, and mapping software for logistics, manufacturing, government, and transportation operations.

ALK products are sold worldwide and feature extensive international map data. According to a release by Trimble, about 64 percent of North American for-hire motor carriers use ALK solutions, including 98 of the top 100 largest for-hire carriers, 47 of the top 50 logistics companies, and 77 of the top 100 private fleets.

“This is a significant milestone in ALK’s long history in transportation,” said ALK executive vice president and general manager Barry Glick in a release. Glick will continue to lead the organization. The acquisition by Trimble will allow ALK’s researchers to keep a closer eye on the transportation technology industry.

“They know what the trends are and try to be a little ahead of the curve, just enough to anticipate where things are going,” Glick said. “Now we’re looking at where things are headed in the next three to five years and want to be in a key position there.”

According to Glick, the company will continue working on its own products and do its own research and development of new technologies in the GPS mapping field. “We’ll be our own separate entity and the ALK brands will continue, as will the ALK name itself. Our brands are leading brands in the industry, and I know Trimble is committed to both PC-Miler and CoPilot, both as products and brands.”

ALK has about 170 employees split between its Princeton headquarters and offices in Venice, Fl, London, Paris, and Munich. Founder Alain L. Kornhauser is currently a professor of operations research and financial engineering at Princeton University. Kornhauser’s wife, Katherine, is president of ALK and his son, Michael is senior vice president, enterprise solutions.

After its founding, the company was instrumental in converting a number of bankrupt freight railroads into a prosperous industry through network modeling that determines where it is and is not profitable to move freight.

After its success with the freight railroad industry, ALK Technologies turned to trucking and built the first digital map database of North America so that truckers could set up routes more efficiently and profitably. With the map database on hand it focused on GPS technology and in 1997 created the first “turn by turn” navigation system.

Last year, the company relocated its global corporate headquarters to a 40,000-square-foot office at 457 North Harrison Street. The move consolidated employees from multiple ALK offices in the area — including locations at 1000 Herrontown Road.

“ALK is growing to meet the rising demand for its products and services in the market,” said Glick at the time. “The expanded headquarters and office space enables us to increase staff and support our growth in the coming years.”

Trimble, which was founded some 35 years ago, has a portfolio that includes some 1,800 patents with product distribution in more than 141 countries world wide. “Though best known for GPS technology, Trimble integrates a wide range of positioning technologies including GPS, laser, optical and inertial technologies with application software, wireless communications, and services to provide complete commercial solutions,” says Trimble’s website.

ALK Technologies Inc., 457 North Harrison Street, Princeton 08540; 609-683-0220; fax, 609-683-0290. Barry Glick, CEO. www.alk.com

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