The biggest takeaway is that shifting to telematics won’t be as tricky as it was in the past because the network infrastructure is finally here.
Thanks to the pandemic, telematics has become mission-critical to the automotive and fleet industries. New trends coming down the pipeline for 2022 promise bigger, stronger connectivity that these industries can rely on to manage disruption and ensure security.
What’s spurring telematics?
Telematics is a combination of computer science, telecommunication, and vehicle technology. It’s helping companies with distributed operations in fleet management track their large vehicles and create more efficient operations. There are two massive drivers for adoption.
The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation
Digital transformation happened on all fronts, whether companies were ready or not. The disruption in services and the economy taxed even the thinnest margins, so companies needed new ways to put data into motion for real-time decision-making. Forecasting wasn’t enough.
Companies needed ways to reduce costs without affecting performance. A few years ago, a study showed that a majority of fleets easily recouped their investment in telematics. Today, rapid advancements could make those monetary advantages even more distinct.
The 5G rollout enables even more connectivity
5G will also help spur advancements and the adoption of telematics. Vehicle devices like IoV (Internet of Things for Vehicles) can help streamline fleet management without adding massive processing to the list.
IoV and 5G enable:
- efficient order and shipment tracking
- mileage reporting and compliance documentation
- improved fuel consumption
- greater control over routing while in the field
- overall reduction in emissions thanks to better management of entire fleets
With lower latency, more significant bandwidth potential, and connectivity right from a smartphone even to more remote locations, 5G opens a new world for monitoring.
Some obstacles are less of an issue
Challenges in telematics are also clearing up. In the past, complicated and onerous post-market installation prevented large-scale adoption. Now, many of these devices are plug-and-play, which enables a collective improvement in fleet management. As more providers innovate these devices and improve delivery, the burden of making the change becomes possible even for already-large-scale operations.
Data collection and processing have also been challenging but switching to cloud-based processing offers advantages for fleet management. These processing environments are more agile yet can handle the type of big data created from hundreds or thousands of devices.
A culture change also makes telematics easier. Drivers may have balked at “big brother,” but monitoring has been more commonplace in recent years. This acceptance and willingness to drive vehicles with these devices help companies finally make the decision to invest in telematics solutions.
5 telematics to watch in 2022 and beyond
Thanks to these two major catalysts and the easing of previous obstacles, fleet managers can look forward to these trends in telematics.
Leveraging sensor data for dynamic mapping of road conditions? Telematics enables companies to alert drivers of high-risk conditions and reduce risk to both fleet drivers and others in the area. Combing through millions of data points right in the field for to-the-minute decision-making? Cloud operations bring those visualizations to the forefront.
Even historical data can shed light on newer ways to provide better service and reduce environmental impacts. Operational analysis ensures fleet managers can make the best decisions possible.
Vehicle to Infrastructure connectivity
Thanks to the pursuit of autonomous vehicles, fleets will soon have expanded vehicle to infrastructure connectivity. Smart sensors in road markings, traffic lights, and signs provide vital information in the field for drivers and managers. This extra layer allows vehicles to interact intelligently with the environment and change routes or tactics to match road conditions.
A focus on driver communication
Of course, fleet managers have always communicated with drivers, but now, increased vehicle connectivity makes it so much easier. When drivers have trouble, they can communicate with control stations, receive up-to-the-minute suggestions based on driving and infrastructure data, and receive a solution more quickly.
This reduces downtime and unnecessary rerouting. Sensor communication reduces human error in driver records and offers better monitoring. Drivers can improve their performance thanks to consistent data collection—distraction warnings, drowsiness monitoring, speeding assistance, and collision avoidance, among other potential safety benefits.
Greater sustainability initiatives
Driver communication and data collection also help fleet managers achieve sustainability goals. Emerging technologies related to the telematics field offer data-driven solutions that reduce unnecessary driving, route for fuel economy, and build stronger relationships with customers concerned about the environment.
Telematics offers beneficial data tracking whether fleets are mostly older, traditional vehicles or newer electric or hybrid options. Telematics can also help offset the costs of adopting green initiatives by offsetting operational costs in other areas.
A step towards autonomous driving
Fleets also benefit from autonomous vehicle technology. 5G will offer a step towards that goal with telematics. Right now, vehicle capabilities offer the base level of automation, but IoT sensors could graduate to level three. For example, these automations might decelerate the vehicle in response to environmental signals or driver performance. They all offer the potential to reduce human error and improve safety.
5G a precursor to the next level of telematics
We’ve come a long way since the first network generations. 5G rollouts will jumpstart new trends in telematics and allow fleet managers to edge closer to autonomous capabilities. For now, a greater focus on driver communication, safety, and monitoring will bring good changes to the industry and improve safety.
In the long term, sustainability will continue to stay on everyone’s mind thanks to real-time data insights from IoT and IoV. Telematics will improve cost and allow even smaller operations to make strides in sustainability. The biggest takeaway is that shifting to telematics won’t be as tricky as it was in the past because the network infrastructure is finally here.