The future of telematics is looking bright and FleetDynamics is very excited to be a part of that future for Australia. What once started as simple tracking systems using GPS to remain aware of vehicle locations has now grown into a complete data system. That benefits businesses in many different ways. In 2017, telematics is going to continue to grow in importance thanks to these emerging technology trends;
In the beginning, telematics was just about one thing; GPS location tracking. Today, telematics can communicate not just with wireless networks and other satellite network systems, but even other vehicles that have their own networks. This means that vehicles in a fleet, or even other similarly enabled vehicles on the road can communicate with each other and share information.
This kind of connectivity with vehicles and other networks makes it possible to receive updates on weather, traffic congestion, and even parking space availability or loading/receiving delays. All it takes is for someone to take advantage of the technology and push it to the connectivity capabilities of modern, telematics-enabled vehicles.
In Florida, in the USA, the American military has already begun trials with self-driving trucks for new “super convoys” that places trucks closer together, and drive at more consistent speeds, thanks to the inter-connected nature of the vehicles. Closer to home, RAC recently launched its first self-driven bus in Western Australia which uses telematics technology to safely interact with passengers, cyclists, pedestrians and other vehicles.
Telematics data is absolutely essential on the road to autonomous vehicles, and the data that is being gathered now all over the world is creating a critical foundation on which future self-driving fleets will base their operations. A connected, self-driving vehicle is an exciting new possibility in transportation logistics, but it won’t arrive without good telematics information and technology.
Driver Information & Entertainment
Even when the self-driving future arrives, there will still be a need for people on the road, in some vehicles. Telematics must—and is—pushing ahead with more considerations for driver comfort and information. Movies, TV programming and books read aloud are a few of the ways that drivers can keep themselves engaged while waiting, or experiencing some downtime.
However, even as the entertainment aspect keeps drivers sharp and alert, good telematics information can keep drivers informed. Metrics such as an analysis on driving style and errors can help new drivers to avoid bad driving habits and form good ones, while environmental and traffic updates help drivers to avoid delays due to external factors.
As more and more of telematics data is broadcast on networks, the security of those networks themselves becomes a major concern. Hackers have already demonstrated a sense of hostile ingenuity by hijacking “Internet of Things” devices such as baby monitors and other devices, sometimes even using them in widespread DDOS attacks, as unwitting accomplices.
Digital security becomes even more important when it comes to the handling of job-critical information such as routes, destinations, and potential obstacles. Telematics information needs to be reliable, and that means it needs to be secure, and free from outside interference. Better, more comprehensive network security is a vital part of that reliability and will remain a top consideration for keeping the data useful and accessible to only authorised personnel.
A Bright Future
Telematics in Australia is only going to continue to grow in importance over the coming years. Knowledge is power, and the constant, up-to-date nature of telematics data makes it extremely important both as information for the job at hand, and research data to help improve things. We’re excited to be on this journey as we help make telematics grow.