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How Telematics Services will Use Transportation Data

Converged devices, such as media tablets, are driving the telematics market with global shipments forecast to reach more than 5 million units by 2020, according to an ABI Research study. Moreover, the introduction of these devices creates the emergence of new business model opportunities and more data applications.

The key advantages of utilizing converged devices, such as tablets in commercial vehicles, include the ability to employ automated vehicle inspection in rental car fleets, signature capture for delivery truck fleets, as well as aggregating crowdsourced data and generating customer community feedback.

"The adoption of converged devices opens the door for entire application ecosystems and the emergence of dedicated commercial telematics application marketplaces," said Dominique Bonte, vice president at ABI Research.

Case in point: telematics service providers (TSPs) will accumulate crowdsourced data as a means to provide drivers with updated information on rest stops, traffic jams, road works, and other driving-related information in near real-time.

Emerging Applications for Telematics Data

The telematics information exchange goes beyond smartphones and tablets, which will further develop the market for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) apps. Smart wearables offer consumer vehicle OEMs the opportunity to combine biometric and diagnostic data onto the same form factor.

Typical vehicle data viewed on smart watches include fuel consumption, driving behavior, and trip-related metrics. Apple recently partnered with Telogis to introduce telematics applications for gamification, enabling drivers to compare their driving performance, truck-specific navigation, and compliance to its iOS platform.

According to the ABI assessment, this type of app illustrates the growing importance of converged devices for improving travel safety and productivity, a realization that the mobile communications industry will adopt.

Plug-and-play On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) dongles are gaining momentum. It is currently the most affordable solution to offer basic features, such as tracking, diagnostics, and driver behavior monitoring.

Geotab, a commercial vehicle fleet management and asset tracking vendor, is a leader in the OBD-based hardware space and is currently applying on-board diagnostics to offer plug-and-play solutions to small and medium fleets.

In another example, Novatel Wireless recently acquired DigiCore with the goal of creating a vertically integrated technology company covering telematics modules and professional services that are targeting fleet management, usage-based insurance, asset tracking and monitoring markets.

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