India’s TaTa Motors partners with Microlise

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It’s not just in the Western world that telematics are becoming a popular solution for commercial vehicle manufacturers. In India too, which has one of the world’s fastest growing automotive industries, vehicle tracking is becoming a must have feature for those operating large fleets of vehicles and for the odd person looking to reduce their car insurance premium. In a new deal announced today however, TaTa Motors, India’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer, has said that it’s teamed up with fleet management firm Microlise, to provide fleet telematics solutions to the Indian market.

The agreement between the two firms, according to Business-Standard, will last for five years, with an option to extend from both parties should it prove fruitful. Both companies will be working together to make sure that large segments of the Indian transport industry are tracked before long. This will allow for fuel savings across the board, as well as help reduce vehicle wear, cut back on pollution and as we’ve seen in many instances, even make drivers safer since they’re much less likely to go tearing around when they feel like someone is watching them.

Microlise is currently set to provide the technology and back end software solutions, while TaTa motors will be in charge of figuring out the best way to integrate it with commercial vehicles. It will also be handling the delivery of the service, therefore any front end phone support for those struggling with installation or ongoing usage, will go straight through TaTa. Some of the vehicles will have the hardware and software installed during the manufacturing stage, meaning that when the vehicle finally reaches the consumer it’s set up and ready to go, but TaTa will also be offering an aftermarket solution for those that want to install the system themselves and reap the benefits without buying a brand new vehicle.

Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director Commercial Vehicles Business Unit, Tata Motors, said of the news: “We as Tata Motors wish to lead the shift towards electronic control of drivelines and other vehicle systems. We also wish to harness the power and potential of such a digital approach by introducing advanced telematics and fleet management services.”

What’s a little surprising about this move however, is that TaTa hasn’t even been involved in telematics for that long. While some companies have been pushing for tracked vehicles since the late 90s, TaTa only began exploring its possibilities at the start of this decade, launching the TaTa Fleetman Telematics and Fleet Management services brand in India in 2012.

This didn’t perturb Microlise though, who’s managing director, Nadeem Raza said in a statement: “Microlise is extremely proud and excited to be working with Tata Motors. The cultural fit between the two organisations, and a very clear shared vision, has meant that both companies have been able to develop the new Tata FleetMan system, ensuring that it will not only address the requirements of Indian transport companies today, but will continue to deliver future features and functions, to meet ever increasing demands that will be placed on transport operations as the exciting growth story in the Indian economy continues.”

Clearly he’s not the only one pleased with the news either, as many people, including several high profile fleet managers at third party companies pledged their support for the move.

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.