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New Technology Fuels Road Freight Innovation

Today's supply chain leaders seek to access the most cost-effective road transportation. Deploying configurable and scalable fleet management solutions is enabling the efficient operation of commercial truck and van fleets of all sizes.

Digital hardware and software advancements continue to create new use cases and capabilities of telematics to enhance the commercial fleet performance, improve efficiency, and save operating costs.

According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, commercial telematics revenues will reach $41.67 billion globally by 2027.

Commercial Telematics Market Development

The revenue includes hardware telematics units such as Telematics Control Units (TCUs) and subscription fees charged by telematics services vendors for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps.

These technology-based solutions could include a broad range of functionalities -- such as vehicle diagnostics, broader data sharing, and real-time data-enabled analytics.

This upside growth potential guides competition, partnerships, and investments to address continued labor shortages in the trucking industry, sustainability considerations, and high fuel charges.

Due to recent innovations, the fleet management industry has also been experiencing an extensive adoption of video telematics solutions, according to the ABI assessment.

"Video telematics solutions have been improving and are fulfilling more and more use cases. The fact that solution providers can now provide dashcams with more annotations and run Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the edge for various use cases has widely expanded its usage," said Adhish Luitel, senior analyst at ABI Research.

The kind of transparency that video telematics solutions provide enables drivers and fleet managers to track critical infractions during a trip and over time — information that can increase accountability and encourage safer driving habits.

It can also reduce insurance liability, as recorded video from within the truck or van can be stored as evidence in case of road accidents.

"We are witnessing advancements in cloud and machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, enabling quick and much more accurate tracking of GPS data and enabling other sensor parameters accessible for real-time reporting," Luitel also adds.

Furthermore, data aggregation platforms that provide commercial fleet managers with a single data view combined from disparate sources are also expanding and growing.

Current fleet management systems represent the heart of wireless M2M- and IoT-based business model innovation. Some notable key fleet management vendors include Targa Telematics, Verizon Connect, Samsara, Ridecell, and Geotab.

Outlook for Fleet Management Applications Growth

The industry is also witnessing a movement of commercial telematics solutions shifting from aftermarkets to trucking OEM factory fits, allowing connected commercial vehicles to be the norm. 

"Such developments, coupled with recent supply chain disruptions have allowed fleet managers to realize the importance of collecting actionable data about how their vehicles, drivers, and mechanics are performing to optimize fleet utilization or make those concise and well-informed decisions in the future," concludes Luitel.

That said, I believe the ongoing developments in advanced wireless communications, such as fifth-generation cellular networks, will enable the development and testing of more innovative commercial fleet management applications.

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