Telematicus: Delivering data that drivers want

Telematicus: Delivering data that drivers want

The telematics market is at a potential tipping point in terms of credibility and relevance.

Telematics has always been about data capture and management, but the traditional focus has been on fitting aftermarket hardware devices to vehicles and then providing all the information captured to customers—whether they need it all or not.

In many cases the information that customers actually require is limited and they’re more interested in how the information is presented with links to their actual business KPI’s and measures to see how they are actually performing.

At Telematicus, we like to use the phrase “priority telematics” so we only collect, analyze and present the information that customers require.

Managing automotive information

Major companies have invested heavily in enterprise business systems that run their businesses and mission critical data on a global basis.

There is no reason why information that is collected from vehicles and drivers is not managed in the same way on an enterprise platform that can feed and collect the relevant information and data to and from the existing enterprise platform.

On the face of it, this approach may appear relevant only to companies who have global operations and have invested in an enterprise platform.

I would contend, however, that with the approach OEMs are taking toward a connected platform, as well as the interest shown by insurance companies in the topic of telematics, there is even more of a reason to have an integrated approach to telematics data management.

The smartphone effect

It is important to recognize the potential impact of smartphones on the field of telematics.

The market has exploded in the last 18 months, and the most significant change is not the hardware provider but the importance of software and in particular the Android platform.

Within 18 months it has captured roughly 48 percent of the smartphone operating system (OS) market.

Smartphones are powerful customer-interface and data-collection devices in their own right and will play an increasing role in the collection, analysis and feedback of telematics information.

They can interface directly with OEM platforms and with installed aftermarket telematics devices. They can also collect “priority telematics” data. 

People carry three things into their vehicle – their keys, their wallet and their phone/handheld device.

This nomadic device can be integrated directly into an enterprise platform and provide a data collection and feedback platform without further investment in hardware.

One of the interesting impacts of the smartphone and the software capability has been the approach to Sat Nav functionality; even entry-level phones have basic navigation, making basic Sat Nav a commodity.

The question is what other point solutions will become commodities.

Insurance and mitigating driver risk

The Insurance market is taking a good look at telematics as an alternative way to manage driver risks as well as its established role of improving vehicle security.

There is no doubt that from a vehicle security perspective, the installation of a device is relevant on a vehicle and can be managed separately without the need for an integrated approach.

But the installation of a device linked to one platform to manage driver risk is fine for one company or as at present for proof of concept trials.

But looking forward to mass deployment, there must be an integrated approach with the data and information collected, analyzed and presented on one platform which is device agnostic.

For motor insurance, changing boxes when you move from one insurer to another is not sustainable.

Data innovation

The telematics industry is changing from a hardware device focus to an integrated software focus, which means that the choice of hardware data collection device becomes less important than the enterprise system that collects, analyses and presents the information to businesses and consumers in the most cost-effective and efficient manner.

With an integrated approach, there is no doubt that the quality, relevance and innovation in telematics data will improve.

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