Despite the prevalent use of telematics in commercial vehicles, fleet company cars have been remained relatively untouched by the telematics market. Fleet-centric businesses have relied heavily on the use of telematics technology because the vehicles for these jobs are necessary to deploy employees. However, use of telematics in company cars is often overlooked because these vehicles are seen more of a perk.
Unfortunately, telematics has a negative connotation associated with it as the term carries a tone that implies drivers are being constantly watched. Other fleet companies may think that the cost of using telematics is simply too high compared to the long-term savings. And some businesses see mountain of data as a time consuming venture that is not worth the challenge.
But experts in the industry contend that things are shifting, and telematics will be found in a majority of company cars in the near future. This change may not necessarily happen because fleet managers will choose to do it, but because vehicle manufacturers are taking a greater interest in the technology.
Many higher end vehicles already have a built-in telematics device that have the ability to record events like speed and brake pressure during collisions. A growing number of vehicles also use vehicle diagnostic systems like OnStar. And systems that use telematics are becoming more sophisticated as well.
Standardization of Telematics
However, one of the biggest challenges has become standardization.
Vehicle manufacturers are implementing a wide range of systems, but businesses tend to use a mixed fleet. This creates issues for a company because they understandably do not want to use several telematics systems.
And in terms of cost, it would make sense for the telematics market to move towards a subscription model. But it’s been a slow move to take this approach because companies that provide telematics generally would prefer payment upfront for the hardware.
It’s also an issue that insurance companies which have joined the telematics market have been dealing with.
If a fleet decided to change its insurance provider, it’s not always possible to transfer the telematics device. If insurance companies can find a way to work around this issue, then they could have a big influence on the uptake of driver behavior style telematics in the fleet market.
Long-Term Look at Telematics
The use of at least a basic model of telematics will likely become an essential function of fleet cars within the next decade, depending on when manufacturers decide to fit systems as standard.
Still, some form of software cohesion is going to have to be required to enable efficient reporting for fleets and leasing companies on different models of vehicles, which may take some time to overcome.
Third-party providers that provide telematics software will have opportunities because of the knowledge they have gained through years of supplying top-of-the-line products and by offering more sophisticated and bespoke features to customers.
They are also likely to link up with manufacturers to provide more cost-effective solutions.