Posted on: Monday, 6 July 2015 by Jackie Langridge
Just as the advent of affordable GPS revolutionised telematics and subsequent developments, the increase in mobile network bandwidth available such as 4G will allow for ever-growing volumes of data transfer.
While the first generation of telematics systems allowed operators to build a comprehensive picture of how vehicles were performing, the transfer of this data will increasingly happen in real time. The potential of vehicle-to-vehicle telematics is also being looked at by experts and by the industry.
As Nigel Base at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders puts it: “There is a lot of discussion about the potential of vehicle-to-vehicle communications, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications such as vehicles in communication with traffic lights and platooning—when one vehicle follows another. Throw in automated braking, cruise control and lane assist and you see that the technology is marching at a pace. The issue is that the legislation can lag behind.”
As telematics become better at determining the causes of accidents, and indeed help to reduce them, fleets using such systems and with improving safety records may be able to negotiate reduced insurance premiums. Closer linkage between the tracking of goods may allow the automatic tracking of goods on and off individual trucks, providing more information to shippers or to their customers. In time it could be possible to link telematics to road pricing, although this will depend on the appetite of regulators.
The impact of telematics has been incremental, and their usage - even at a basic level - is not yet universal. One can reasonably assume that ongoing advances will continue in this way - we do not predict a sea-change in the coming decades. However, as telematics reach saturation point and as the technology advances, they could reduce the impact of congestion, improve efficiency and reduce fuel consumption.