28 Aug 19

Futureproofing with data in Australia

The connected car and smart city technologies are gaining traction in Australia. While connectivity made its entrance in Australia many years ago, it is now being rolled out in fleets outside of the logistics ecosystem; both governmental and corporate fleets are looking into telematics to improve TCO, productivity and safety.

Earlier this year, Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, opened an office location in Adelaide. Headquartered in Oakville, Canada, with a presence on all continents, the company has over 1,000 employees and processes billions of data points daily. Geotab is also one of the most established names in the telematics industry, with over 1.8 million connected assets on the platform. The expansion into the region provides a great opportunity for Australia’s technology experts to join a company that’s successful both locally and globally.

Geotab’s Chad Polley, Geotab’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing Australia, was invited to Connector’s M15 to represent the growing industry of connected car data providers or, as they’re commonly called, telematics companies.

Big and small data

On the benefits of telematics, Chad says: “Combining telematics with big data provides many more benefits than operating from your own data island., Geotab telematics increases safety and profitability, and helps corporate clients explore additional benefits and streams of income. Current tech is capable, for instance, of detecting mechanical failures before they impact the driver, which means that parts can be ordered and downtime reduced to a minimum. Also, companies can integrate their own vehicle data with other data sources to assess if its warehouses or offices are at the right location.”

This is where Chad introduces the M15 audience to the concept of “small data”: nuanced data sets that can improve the way employees use their vehicles, drive in bad weather and avoid bad quality roads.

Open platform

When comparing with other telematics suppliers, Geotab has the unique advantage of being an open platform. This basically means that the clients – corporate or other vendors – are not locked into the system. They can integrate the Geotab data in other platforms or systems.The client can truly make the most out of their own data.

All businesses benefit

There are many use cases for telematics. For example, a telecom provider used the Geotab solutions to coach its drivers, using in-car feedback of driver behaviour, resulting in a decrease of accidents and a 10% savings on fuel and CO2 emissions. Another fleet – governmental this time – managed to optimise the usage of their vehicles, downsize their fleet size and optimise their sourcing strategy by going from long term engagements to short term rental, just by analysing the real usage data of their fleet.

“But it’s not only good news for large fleets,” says Chad. “Smaller fleets can benefit from telematics by rightsizing their car fleets, optimise routing, predict technical failures, monitor driver fatigue and manage accidents and incidents. Benefits are not linked to the size of the fleet.”

Going electric

Does it make sense to electrify a corporate fleet? Chad: “Telematics can help the client assess whether EVs can be a suitable alternative for the combustion engine. Thanks to data, the client can analyse, down to driver level, usage profiles, replacement cycles and lifetime costs in order to hit the electrification button – or not.” In addition, connected EVs can inform the Fleet Manager about battery statuses, energy consumption and ways to optimise EV charging. “Switching to EVs is an expensive adventure. Using data is the only correct way to select and manage EVs.”

A look into the future

Chad predicts a far wider integration of car data with other players in the fleet ecosystem. “Both private and public sector fleets can benefit from insights on how roads are used and what the quality of these roads are.”The M15 audience was quickly aligned on the benefits of connectivity, especially in the context of cost saving, safety and optimisation of data. Australia’s appetite for connected cars is real!

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Authored by: Yves Helven