North America leading growth in telematics market
Statistics vary but the global telematics market is expected to register a CAGR of 15-20% between now and 2026. What researchers agree on is that North America is a leading light.
For North American fleets, this is an opportunity and a challenge. There’s a long way to go before stakeholders (particularly drivers) are convinced of its merits and for fleets to make valuable sense of telematics data.
For fleet managers, the benefits of so doing are great: increased driver safety, cheaper insurance, fuel and operational cost savings, boosted customer service and more. But what’s in it for drivers? They’re the ones who connect the rubber to the road.
If we highlight what came out of the Connected Fleet Conference earlier this year, drivers are still suspicious of the “spy in the cab” and data privacy (or even just privacy) is seen as an obstacle to acceptance.
Insurance telematics leading the way
However, if we take the example of insurance telematics, the answer is simple. Incentivisation!
Insurance telematics monitors, guides and sets boundaries for driving behaviour. It rewards that behaviour, financially, with cheaper insurance. The concept is currently booming in North America with the number of policies expected to grow at a CAGR of 36.2% from 10.6 million to 49.8 million by 2023 (according to Berg Insight).
So, how can fleet managers convince and/or incentivise drivers to get on board with telematics?
Suggestions include stakeholder management strategies, including gamification and clear communication of the benefits for drivers, plus giving the driver some control over privacy. This could be a simple switch they can use to change into private mode.
Additionally, fleets should communicate what telematics is about: delivering information to where it can return value for the fleet, which in turn benefits them.
Telematics helping fleets introduce EVs
Telematics is already playing a role in the introduction of EVs into fleets by enabling comparison of fleet data (including fleet optimisation) with other fleets. This offers insight as to whether or not EVs are a good fit or substitute for conventional powertrains.
But what about the future of fleet telematics?
Telematics is also considered a precursor to AI (the ability for a computer to learn and think) and autonomous driving. Telematics data, coupled with AI, is critical for effective routing, accurate delivery and predictive maintenance.
Crucially, however, if fleet telematics is to have a future in North America, stakeholders have to be willing to collaborate and that’s not going to be easy.