These are exciting times for telematics service providers across Europe.
Underlying technologies and communications infrastructure are mature, whilst new technologies for IoT and V2x communications are quickly moving into the mainstream.
This is according to Noam Cimand, General Manager of telematics service platform provider 3Dtracking. Cimand firmly believes that the market for telematics in Europe is positive and is creating a lot of attractive opportunities for service providers as well as technology vendors.
Businesses are benefiting from telematics with improved operational efficiency of their vehicle fleets and reduced transportation costs. Telematics services are helping businesses properly manage the operations of their fleets through the optimisation of routes, fuel consumption, driver behaviour and vehicle maintenance.
For the wider good, telematics facilitates the better use of public roads and safer driver behaviour. Insurance companies realise this and many now offer usage-based insurance policies that rely on driving statistics gather from telematics devices. Emerging V2x communications networks, which are tightly integrated with telematics, are designed to provide drivers with essential information for transportation updates, especially in emergency situations.
State of Telematics in Europe
The market for telematics services across Europe is mature. Some countries, like the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden, are more advanced, although in general, telematics and fleet management service providers across Europe are offering a full set of standard services. These services typically range from basic tracking through to advanced driver behaviour and vehicle diagnostics monitoring.
“We have found that most users of telematics and fleet management services start with entry level services, such as location tracking. As the initial benefits reveal themselves, they gradually utilise more advanced services, such as fuel monitoring, dispatch, driver behaviour monitoring, call centre functionality and more,” stated Cimand.
Many telematics service providers in Europe, according to Cimand, are looking to add additional value to clients by enhancing existing fleet management services through using video monitoring as well as tapping into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic systems.
“These types of enhancements allow a fleet management provider to gather more information about a client’s vehicles in a way that allows those clients to make more-informed and more-relevant decisions, helping improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the client’s fleet,” explained Cimand.
IoT technologies is another area service providers incorporating into their operations. IoT is allowing service providers to monitor a wider range of client assets beyond vehicles.
“The growth of IoT technology is having a significant impact on telematics as it allows service providers to monitor non-vehicle and access data from assets that were previously unmonitored,” said Cimand.
Impact of 5G on Telematics
5G will expand the capacity for telematics and fleet management services across Europe and other regions that will roll out these new communications networks. 5G will enable the regular use of many new video-based and other data-intensive applications for telematics and fleet management services. For example, 5G will improve the quality of live video feeds from on-vehicle cameras and allow for offline analysis of accidents and other events.
Telematics Service Infrastructure
When asked if service providers have the infrastructure to support many of these new services, Cimand has a very interesting response.
“This is a very important question that service providers often overlook,” he responded.
“We find that as service providers expand their service portfolios and roll out new offerings, their operations become unnecessarily complex because more often than not, overlapping service management software systems are typically being used,” observed Cimand.
This situation makes the overall management of services complex and requires manual input to connect between the various systems they are running.
Attractive Partnership Opportunities
3Dtracking has been active in Europe since the company’s founding in 2005. In each country in Europe, 3Dtracking typically works with only a few of service providers. The company works with these service providers in partnership style relationships.
“By working with service providers as partners we are able to ensure that our 3Dtracking platform remains dynamic and relevant, and continuously offers innovative approaches to improving overall fleet management,” said Cimand.
Many of the service providers in Europe using the 3Dtracking service platform stated with basic location tracking fleet management services and over time has added advanced telematics and asset management offerings. Most of the company’s service provider partners are utilising the 3Dtracking service platform in a white-labelled arrangement.