The promise of capturing vehicle data and turning it into profitable new services and business models has driven significant investments in the commercial vehicle telematics space by truck manufacturers and suppliers.
However, despite significant investments in IT platforms, vehicle technology, and service innovations, we have not yet reached the maximum. We still have spaces to make more progress.
With all the sensors that can be placed on vehicles and the large amount of data that can be collected, it is necessary to implement a data collection strategy. Players need to understand which services create value from a fleet or owner-operator perspective, how this translates into a dataset to be collected, how sufficient data quality can be ensured to define baselines, and which sensors can be effectively deployed to collect the relevant data.
What you need now is to find the right engagement model, collaborate on service design, and potentially co-create services together with customers. All of this is to protect the core business around predictive maintenance and dealer integration, for example in service activities.
From a fleet perspective, the central element that enables fleet productivity and profits continue to be the driver. Driver availability and escalating driver costs are top-of-mind for many fleets globally.
Making the job of a driver more attractive is a key challenge. Ways to address this are increasing cabin comfort and convenience, leveraging the right communication technology in the vehicle, and providing the right environment in terms of software and app support to drivers both from work as well as a leisure perspective. Telematics plays a role in all these areas.
Starting from a safety and security perspective, traffic accidents involving trucks are a major issue for all road participants. Technology that documents a crash, such as via a video camera that tracks the environment and the driver, can provide vital evidence in legal trials. Beyond this application, a basic breakdown service that communicates the severity and location of the crash as well as informing the emergency services is a clear benefit.
Driver health tech tracking heart rates, stress levels, and glucose levels can contribute to improved road safety as well. In emergencies, such as a heart attack, the vehicle can take over and execute a safe emergency stop.
On driver welfare, interior memory settings are used to adjust factors such as seating or mirror positions to meet driver needs. Radio stations and apps can be pre-selected according to driver preferences. Condition-based or predictive maintenance enhances uptime which is good for fleet managers but also for drivers who are paid per mile driven.
Predictive maintenance, statistical analysis of workshop activities, and their integration in the workflow have the potential to generate profits either via increased revenue or via reduced cost.