Telematics is becoming one of the most widely used fleet management tools today, according to a new study by Oyster Bay, NY-based consulting firm ABI Research.
In its new “Fleet Management Systems: Global Commercial Telematics Markets and Forecasts” report, ABI said fleet managers are using everything from just a handful of cell phones to large integrated and centralized commercial systems to improve operational efficiency.
The key to using this technology successfully, noted ABI Research analyst Steven Bae, is for fleet managers to get help determining what telematics solution best fits their needs.
“Telematics vendors must understand the particular user-requirements and market-barriers for specific [fleet] segments,” he said. “Applications may vary greatly among these markets. In a complicated operational environment, choices can be difficult and guidance may be hard to find.”
Bae said ABI’s telematics study not only reviews the current and future mix of commercial technologies, but also identifies the relevant applications for them and how vertical markets are building “use-cases” for them within application and business process environments.
For example, he said systems employing cellular services are best suited for domestic fleets or those that need frequent communications, such as short-haul trucking, for-hire, taxi, rental, and emergency service fleets. By contrast, satellite communications can provide—albeit at greater hardware and subscription cost—global coverage and no roaming charges, meeting the needs of long-haul fleets. However, those fall short in the bandwidth needed for upgrades.“It is complexities such as these that successful market players must navigate in today’s competitive environment,” Bae stressed.