What will 2020 bring to the telematics market? The 4 most important trends
The end of the year is a great time to look back at what we’ve achieved in the last 12 months and see what awaits us in the new year. 2019 has been very successful for Mapon team – we’ve participated in quite a few international industry trade fairs (Transport Logistic in Munich, Telematics Conference in Dubai and Prague, Expo Seguridad in Mexico City, GITEX Technology Week in Dubai, etc.), expanded our business to Middle East and Latin America and strengthened the company’s position in our home – the European market. Speaking about our future plans, we’re sure that they will be influenced by multiple important market development trends that we would like to point out in this article.
The future is electric. Although we currently hear a lot about Tesla’s electric vehicles, electric scooters, etc., those aren’t the only topics worth paying attention to.
Most telematics companies are used to working with vehicles with internal combustion engines, but in 2020 we’ll need to adjust our platforms so that they would be able to serve fleets with eco-friendly vehicles – both electric and gas-powered ones.
If we look at the expected changes, in general, they don’t seem too big. However, in reality, they can completely change several well-known axioms. For instance, it’s quite easy to steal fuel from the vehicles with internal combustion engines, while fuel theft from electric or gas-powered vehicles is much more difficult to do. Meanwhile, charging electric vehicles takes a lot of time, if we compare it to vehicles with internal combustion engines.
How to measure vehicle usage efficiency? Is it possible to use the charging time effectively? What to do in situations when employees take vehicles home and charge them there? Can company vehicles be replaced by using public transport, taxi or an electric scooter? These and other questions occur the minute when we start thinking about switching to more eco-friendly vehicles, and that moment has already come.
The topic of carbon emissions, in general, has been on the table for a very long time. We’ve used facts about CO2 in our marketing too, but now we feel that the world has changed. It’s not a marketing tool anymore. The topic has become something that companies think about daily. There are even countries where the annual vehicle tax amount is based on how many carbon emissions it produces. Moreover, they have various programmes to collect fees for the pollution caused.
Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg did a lot of work this year to bring the emissions topic to the world’s attention.
The more we’ll talk about this question with our prospective clients, the more interested they’ll be in how good they look from the carbon emissions perspective.
Currently, it’s trendy to use the emissions topic in marketing and make big announcements that the company is carbon-neutral. But how do these companies know that? The only answer is – by measuring it. Mapon, being a telematics company, can help businesses to evaluate the level of emissions their fleets produce and make decisions that would allow them to reduce their carbon footprint.
Additional data from vehicles
Regardless of how much we focus on more eco-friendly transport, there are plenty of challenges that aren’t directly influenced by the type of energy the vehicle is powered with. Currently, companies are interested in getting even more data about their fleets – information about the tire pressure, video to oversee what’s happening on the road, how drivers act in different situations and whether they’re driving while intoxicated. If some of the things mentioned above already seem self-evident then others will become that in 2020.
The future will not only be electric – it’ll also be autonomous. There’s already a lot of discussion going on that this technology will develop in a way that will allow manufacturing fully or partly autonomous vehicles.
Although telematics companies should be afraid of such a future scenario, what we really should do is to see the opportunities in it.
The story is not only about the vehicle being able to autonomously move from point A to point B. It’s about the fact that we’re approaching a future where the human engagement in various processes will no longer be required. Telematics companies are here to find ways to automate people’s work. Even if we can’t be directly involved in the programming of autonomous vehicles, we can automate the decision making at the office. We can make decisions for CEOs, dispatchers and other parties involved, and that’s the direction we should head to. Personnel costs increase every day, and our goal is to lower them by automating internal processes at the company.
Throwback to the most important trends of 2019
At the end of 2018, we published a blog post in which our Co-CEO Ingus Rūķis shared his thoughts on what’s going to happen in the telematics market this year. We must say, that our predictions have been quite precise.
White-label segment development
Mapon has experienced noticeable growth in the white-label segment this year. We’ve also seen that several niche platforms have appeared in the market, for instance, electric scooter rental solutions.
The rumours about a few big deals in the market were going on already at the end of 2018. They became reality at the beginning of this year, but we still see that there are new deals being closed and we’re quite sure that the tendency will remain the same in 2020, too. We, at Mapon, are also following the changes in the market and are ready to discuss interesting telematics company selling offers.
OEM tracking solutions came into market
We must say that many vehicle manufacturers have done their homework this year. While aftermarket telematics companies are developing solutions for fleet management that are based on fixed maintenance intervals (distance, motor hours, time intervals, etc.) vehicle manufacturers are using their advantages to offer dynamic maintenance intervals based on the driver behaviour. This is, without a doubt, a thing that the aftermarket solutions providers can work on. However, we must admit that this is currently one of the main tools to use in the fight for the client’s hearts.
5G, NB-IoT, 4G CAT M1, Sigfox
In 2019, we heard about these abbreviations more than ever before. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen the opportunity to apply these technologies to our business globally. Each of them is designed for a specific goal and, for now, in a limited territory. They lack roaming, good network coverage, etc. We put a lot of hope in the rapid development and growing popularity of these technologies in 2020.
Telematics companies’ role in business development
During 2019, we and our partners have proved to many large companies that our telematics solutions can greatly ease their day-to-day operations and make the business more transparent.
We see that nothing will really change in this area at least for the next few years. Companies that will want to have even more transparency in their internal processes will have to use telematics solutions. No matter, if it’s a transportation or trade company or a vending machine distributor – if the company can’t measure the usage of its devices, it can’t make responsible business development decisions.
2019 has been a productive and challenging year for both our team and the entire industry. We’re sure that the new year will bring us new opportunities, partnerships and technology, so after 12 months it’ll be quite interesting to look back and see whether our predictions have become reality and how 2020 will have changed the global telematics market.