Sergio Jabali, GolSat Brazil: Providing fleet technology and more
With some 98 million vehicles, Brazil can brag the largest vehicle fleet in Latin America. Nevertheless, with fleet industry issues such as recognition software, data privacy, and artificial intelligence to address, managing the ever-evolving national fleet is a tall task for the market.
However, with companies like local telematics firm GolSat, overcoming this challenge becomes a bit easier. Here are highlights from my brief discussion with Sergio Jabali who heads product innovation for the company.
Could you start by telling me a bit about the size and profile of Brazil’s vehicle fleet?
Jabali: Approximately 98.1mn vehicles circulate around the country (cars, LCVs, trucks, buses, motorcycles), of which 58.1mn are light vehicles and 1mn are heavy duty ones, according to DPVAT (Brazilian mandatory traffic accident insurance). Of this, about 7mn vehicles make up the national corporate fleet.
Fleet connectivity is on the minds of many fleet managers around the world. What types of services does GolSat provide to support this growing trend?
Jabali: What GolSat does goes far beyond fleet technology. Basically, we provide a full-service which includes installation and maintenance throughout the entire territory as well as connectivity and a continuous evolving software platform called Golfleet.
GolSat also delivers education and professional content to its customers, thus enabling its technology to be fully usable. Currently, we are working to bring our connected fleet solution to the largest number of customers possible.
I’d light to highlight two of our products. Besides our speed limit module which is already well consolidated, we have a new product which is aimed at identifying drivers through a camera.
snapshot of GolSat office in Londrina, Paraná state (source: GolSat)
Are there any government policies or regulations hindering the objectives of telematics companies, and how could governments do better?
Jabali: There are really no policies or regulations that actually hamper our work.
Nevertheless, there is a law regarding the working day for heavy duty truck drivers which stipulates that a professional driver cannot drive for more than four consecutive hours without taking a break of at least 30 minutes. It is not fully working, however, and this is due to a lack of enforcement.
Although GolSat’s focus is on light duty corporate fleets, we believe that the government needs to firmly enforce this measure. By this, many accidents would be avoided, something we feel could eventually reach the light duty fleet market.
In what way is Brazil ahead of the game when it comes to connected fleets? And in what way is the country lagging?
Jabali: Recognition technologies, security, data privacy, transportation, and advanced robotics are the trends to look out for in 2019, according to a trend report presented at SXSW, one of the most relevant innovation events in the world.
Thanks to our facial recognition software, we are ahead of the game when it comes to recognition technology and artificial intelligence. However, we still need to evolve and overcome the challenge of providing security in the face privacy concerns, something that is still creating a barrier in the country.
For instance, who does the on-board diagnostics (OBDII) data belongs to, the fleet owner or the vehicle manufacturer? In Brazil, there is this lack of interest in sharing data, so it becomes a little more difficult to work with these types of technologies.
And finally, what is the most interesting innovation you see coming to the market within the next two years?
Jabali: As greenhouse gas emissions and fuel expenses are serious problems which must be addressed in fleet management, an important innovation which is already underway is the arrival of electric vehicles (EV) for corporate fleets. Many EV launches are planned for 2019, and it won't be long before they start circulating in Brazilian fleets.
Moreover, we believe that much of the advancements in autonomous vehicles will leverage the current technology. This will bring many innovations to the fleet market in general, especially to telematics systems.