There's one place where the Internet of Things (IoT) already has a proven track record of success, that's the road transportation sector. For more than two decades, numerous Smart Cities and local municipalities around the world have used IP technologies to build systems that help to reduce traffic congestion.
Some of the early pioneer projects where in progressive European nations. According to the latest worldwide market study by Berg Insight, the market value for Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) deployed in public transport operations in Europe was €1.03 billion in 2014.
Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 7.2 percent, investment in projects is expected to reach €1.46 billion by 2019. Berg Insight is of the opinion that the European market for ITS for public transport is in a growth phase which will continue throughout the forecast period.
Across Europe, the fluctuating economic climate has had a limited effect on this market, as the public investments which underpin a major part of the ITS initiatives have remained stable throughout the periods of crisis in most countries.
Meanwhile, a group of international aftermarket solution providers have emerged as the leaders on the European market for public transport ITS.
According to the Berg assessment, the dominant providers are Trapeze Group, INIT and IVU -- all having European headquarters in the German-speaking region and substantial installed bases across a multitude of countries in Europe and beyond.
Examples of companies with major market shares on national markets in Europe include Ineo Systrans in France and Vix in the UK. Other significant players include the Spanish groups Indra, GMV and Grupo Etra, Swarco's subsidiary Swarco Mizar in Italy, Atron in Germany, Italy-based PluService, the Norwegian provider FARA and the Belgium-based company Prodata Mobility Systems.
Volvo Group is also a notable player from the vehicle OEM segment, offering the ITS4mobility system in partnership with Consat Telematics in Europe.
"Similarly to adjacent telematics verticals, the European market for public transport ITS has in recent time seen a number of significant mergers and acquisitions," said Rickard Andersson, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
He mentions the recent deals such as Prodata Mobility Systems, which was acquired by Kapsch CarrierCom in July 2014 and Sabatier Geolocalisation's acquisition of SPIE Sud-Est's Silvie business in October in the same year. Trapeze Group has also acquired a large number of providers of complementing technology during the 2012 to 2014 time-frame.
Berg Insight anticipates that the consolidation trend will continue. Several players still have inorganic growth as a key strategy, so further mergers and acquisitions are expected among the telematics and ITS providers for public transport between 2015 and 2016.