Fleet Telematics: A Technology Trip Continues
Large fleet operators have deployed telematics technology long before the U.S. government’s mandate that Electronic Logging Devices be installed in long-haul trucks. In the last few years, however, the ELD mandate “had the most significant impact of any single thing” in driving greater interest from a broader array of companies in and use of telematics technology , according to Clem Driscoll, founder and principal of C.J. Driscoll & Associates.
In the next few years, growth in use of telematics for fleet management and other applications could continue. Earlier this year, Driscoll and Associates observed in the “2019–20 U.S. Mobile Resource Management Systems Market Study” that about 13 million devices enabled with GPS and wireless connectivity are deployed today to manage fleet vehicles, trailers, equipment and field service workers across a variety of industry verticals. By 2022, that figure will grow to more than 20 million units, with yearly hardware and service revenues reaching more than $6.8 billion.
At the same time, technology innovation will continue, with video telematics becoming more common, and truck trailer manufacturers creating more “smart trailers” that will generate and leverage fleet telematics in new ways. Driscoll recently spoke with IoT World Today about the telematics evolution. Here are highlights from that interview, which have been edited for clarity and length:
IoT World Today: Your market study from earlier this year focuses on telematics and mobile resource management. Are these terms synonymous, or is one a subset of the other?
Clem Driscoll: We use the term “mobile resource management” quite a bit, and it covers all the sectors covered by telematics — GPS fleet management for local fleets, driver behavior management solutions, trailer monitoring and other asset monitoring solutions. But, it also addresses field resource management solutions. The purpose of those systems is to communicate and help manage a field worker, as opposed to a fleet vehicle, so it’s really not a telematics system. Some of those are handset-based, so there may be nothing in the vehicle connecting. That’s why we use the term “mobile resource management.” It’s a little bit broader, a term used to encompass systems that aren’t tied to the vehicle. But, to get to the heart of your question, commercial telematics is the subset of mobile resource management.