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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Commercial Telematics Apps Help Fuel IoT Growth

The growing applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) within the commercial vehicle marketplace has reached an inflection point where numerous benefits are increasing adoption. New eCommerce shipping logistics optimization apps are just the beginning.

The commercial telematics industry is now primed for growth in the next five years, especially in the enterprise and SMB segments, with players such as Telogis and Fleetmatics leading the way in these respective verticals in the United States market.

According to the latest market study by ABI Research, it's just a matter of time before the first vendor exceeds one million vehicles under management -- with Fleetmatics having set a target of 1.2 million subscriptions by 2020.

"We are witnessing the emergence of a very dynamic ecosystem characterized by cut-throat competition, aggressive marketing, mergers and acquisitions galore, and high levels of equity investment with high expectations about quick returns," said Dominique Bonte,  VP and GM at ABI Research.

This results in accelerating awareness about the many benefits of commercial vehicle telematics far beyond the traditional asset tracking, diagnostics and fuel saving paradigms.

Technologies such as onboard diagnostics (OBD) dongles and Cloud or SaaS solutions linked to hardware agnostic approaches leveraging third party application developer ecosystems on smartphones and ruggedized tablets are critical growth drivers.

They allow vendors such as Telogis, PeopleNet (Trimble), Astrata, Zonar, CalAmp and Geotab to cost-efficiently address wide ranging requirements across a large number of segments -- including the growing commercial vehicle OEM opportunity.

ABI believes that optimized routing and truck-based navigation capabilities enabling low-cost delivery are becoming critical assets for addressing exploding eCommerce retail models, goods distribution and work flow management.

However, while telematics increasingly empowers the knowledge worker, new smart mobility paradigms are already appearing on the horizon, threatening to disrupt the status-quo with autonomous trucks and self-driving taxis expected to redefine the role of the driver or even removing it completely.

Finally, commercial vehicle telematics and fleet management solutions are no longer mainly confined to the United States and Western Europe -- with China, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East, and Eastern Europe representing new opportunities for both local and foreign vendors.