Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Government is Adopting Commercial Telematics Apps

The Internet of Everything (IoE) includes many new applications for wireless IP connectivity. Vehicle telematics is high up on the list of most promising use cases. Like any other emerging technology, a market catalyst can help to increase the early-adopter deployments.

ABI Research forecasts that the total revenue, comprising hardware shipments, and service subscriptions, for commercial fleet telematics in the government sector will increase from $618 million at the end of 2012 to $1.26 billion globally by the end of 2018.

In the current economic climate, government and public sector agencies are under relentless pressure to reduce costs while at the same time maintain service levels, and are looking at ways of improving the utilization of their vehicle fleets and ensuring that these fleets comply with new regulatory and environmental legislation.

"The main market drivers behind the adoption of telematics in government fleets are government mandates designed, for example, to lower fuel consumption and gas emissions or to promote the use of alternative fuel vehicles," said Gareth Owen, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Acting as a catalyst for progress, the U.S. government is promoting the adoption of telematics in federal vehicles by simplifying the purchasing process.

Federal agencies can add appropriate telematics solutions to vehicles leased from GSA Fleet -- the vehicle leasing arm of the federal government -- and add the cost of the telematics to their monthly leasing plan.

Key providers with pre-qualified Blanket Purchase Agreements to offer services in this way include NetworkFleet, Trimble, and Drivecam. There are similar purchasing initiatives at state and local levels.

"Although there are no plans to mandate telematics adoption at the federal level yet, there are a number of initiatives underway to mandate the use of telematics at state government levels," adds Owen.

State departments typically have more sophisticated requirements as they operate specialized vehicles, such as snow ploughs and refuse vehicles, where there is a need to demonstrate that certain operations were carried out satisfactorily.

As a result, telematics is increasingly effective in improving services levels, productivity, and in particular, disputing insurance claims.

Telematics providers who have developed specialized applications to meet such requirements include Teletrac and Sprint (with partner Geotab) in the United States and Masternaut and Digicore (via its Ctrack brand) in Europe.

These findings are part of ABI's latest market study, which provides detailed analytical and quantitative information on developments in the commercial telematics industry around the world.