30 May 18

Innovation and technology, friend or foe

While innovation and technology can certainly improve your vehicle fleet operations, there are a few issues we must address, some of which being data privacy concerns, regulation and the ongoing changes taking place in mobility.

Starting day two of the Global Fleet Conference was a talk about how fleet managers can take advantage of technology such as telematics while dealing with these issues. Here are a few comments from some of our speakers.

First of all, although telematics is a useful tool for a number of reasons, it is still not very common in most countries around the world so there is much untapped potential, according to Deloit Consulting partner Sebastian Pfeifle.

While the United States leads with a 20% penetration (2016 data), it is not very common in Europe with the exception of Italy at 17%. Other markets to point out are China (5%), the UK (4%), Germany (1%) and France (1%).

“By 2030, the telematics market should be a US$750bn industry and the world’s connected car fleet is expected to exceed 600mn,” said Pfeifle.

However, there is definitely push back from some who do not want to give out their private information and this is something being regulated by several institutions around the world. Among them are GDPR in Europe, COPPA in the United States, and PIPA in Canada and South Korea.

Although harmonizing regulations on a global scale could make things easier, it is very difficult right now. Regulations are more local or regional at the most, Pheifle added.

According to David Omodel who is Sr. Procurement Engagement Manager at Microsoft, the profile of drivers is changing.

“Approximately 80% of people are interested in alternative (non-car ownership) mobility options, being 40% public transport and 40% ride-hailing such as Uber. However, only 5% are interested in car sharing (30% with financial stimulus),” said Omodel.

Besides this, 70% see the environment as important, 50% would consider a hybrid or electric, and 60% a mobility app, he said, adding that Microsoft is planning to launch a transportation credit system which involves vehicle sharing and public transport by the end of the year.

Takeaways from discussion

Wrapping up the morning session was a discussion with five panelist, among them Ridecell senior account director Karina Ingerslev, TomTom Telematics connected car leader Georges de Boer, and Vodafone Automotive production development head Marco Canesi.

Joining them were Ericsson connected vehicles global sales VP Juergen Daunis, and Omoove mobility sales and marketing VP Edwin Maria Colella, and these are some of their takeaways.

“It is relatively easy to start a rideshare or carshare service but having the right tools to actually generate revenue is another story. One way is by analyzing the supply and demand of your vehicles in detail and then developing ways to optimize the usage of your fleet,” said Ingerslev.

“When managing big data, we must acknowledge the driver and this means considering all applications related to the car and not just driving. These technologies [blockchain, telematics, etc.] will change the way we drive cars and also the way we market them,” said de Boer.

“One thing we need to address is latency, or the speed in which information gets transferred between vehicles. Currently, we are testing out 5G in Milan. This enables more data to be managed by the network and maps out practically everything that is happening in and around the vehicle,” said Canesi.

Remember that security is the most important, as well as the most difficult issue to deal with when it comes to vehicle usage, according to Collela. Get ready, “telematics is already available for the aftermarket and are gradually making their way into the world of automakers,” he said.

Authored by: Daniel Bland