The Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle states it is impossible to know the position and the velocity of an object at the same time. If only Heisenburg had lived to see telematics and the Internet of Things (IoT)—he would have seen that measuring velocity and position is just the start.
To be fair to Heisenburg, he was dealing with quantum particles, so maybe it’s not a fair comparison. But there has been a quantum leap in telematics in recent years, and the global market is projected to grow from $40.18 billion in 2021 to $158.31 billion in 2028.
In simple terms, telematics refers to the use of wireless devices and other technologies to allow organizations to track the location of their assets in real time. The technology has historically been used for applications such as managing transport fleets, but new deployments, especially when used with IoT technology, are limited only by users’ creativity. Telematics is now also used to provide real-time information on airbag deployments and locate stolen vehicles. It is also the technology that powers pay as you drive (PAYD) and pay how you drive (PHYD) insurance commercial fleets or learner drivers.
Through our Wialon platform, we have connected over 3 million moving and stationary assets and are seeing a number of industry trends as organizations use telematics to solve their specific challenges.
1. Basic GPS tracking is no longer enough.
Geolocation tracking has almost become a commodity product, and there are numerous low-cost or even free applications offering basic location tracking. Competing at this level of service is unsustainable, which is why two-thirds of the projects we saw entered for IoT project of the year were full-featured, integrated solutions, deploying far more than simple GPS tracking. Functionalities including advanced fuel reports and fleet efficiency analysis are now commonplace, enabling operators to make informed strategic decisions.
2. Automation is now a necessity.
Eighty percent of the projects submitted for the awards focused on automation, with 30% automating complex, industry-specific processes such as monitoring turtle egg incubators in Mexico and managing hay baling in the Australian outback. Telematics really is touching every corner of the world.
3. Technology has removed barriers to entry.
Gone are the days when only market leaders could afford complex smart solutions and full-scale digitalization of their processes. Today, small businesses are also keen on adopting telematics and IoT technologies.
This has become possible due to the most recent technological advances over the recent years. There is a device for any business need, from fuel monitoring sensors to advanced video surveillance systems. Internet connection covers even the most remote areas. Computing is faster than ever, and the speed will only increase with broader 5G deployment. Cloud storage is limitless and affordable. Advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are getting more widespread and accessible.
4. Education and training are key to shaping the industry.
Many businesses are still unaware of just how much they can gain from telematics and IoT implementation. At Wialon, we know that educating the wider industry is essential, and we support our partners with marketing support and joint activity at exhibitions and events.
As organizations become more aware of the flexible and endless solutions telematics and IoT can provide, we expect to see even more creative applications. It is this that inspired us to create our IoT project of the year awards which is now in its third year. The awards recognize innovative solutions and the tangible benefits they deliver for businesses.
With projects like this, we have a few best practices that all solution developers should keep in mind. The first step is identifying a clear business need and then finding the technology to solve the problem. Having said that, within sectors that require monitoring and tracking of assets, it is very likely that telematics and IoT will form a significant part of this solution.
However, no matter how innovative solutions look, it is always worth remembering that, as with all technology solutions, technology is only a tool. As businesses look for certainty in an uncertain world, we expect telematics solutions to become embedded in all sectors. The flexibility of the technology means solutions will be limited only by users’ creativity, and telematics really will touch every corner of the world.