OEM hardware to overtake telematics smartphones

As it stands, telematics are split into two distinct camps, the specifically engineered hardware and software suites that often come pre-installed in vehicles and those added afterwards by insurers and consumers. The latter does have some hardware specifics, but more often than not, it’s much cheaper and therefore easier, to use people’s smartphones, since they have all the built in features really necessary for a basic telematics system: an accelerometer, magnetometer and GPS. However, industry experts believe that within the next few years, we could see pre-installed hardware become so prolific, that it easily overtakes smartphones and aftermarket solutions in the telematics race.

Thanks to research conducted for the Insurance Telematics Report 2014, Telematics Update spoke with over 300 executives in the insurance and telematics industries. The 80+ page report drew many conclusions about the shape the industry will take over the next few years, but the most obvious trend highlighted by nearly 60 per cent of those quizzed, was that in the next few years, telematics hardware installed by the vehicle manufacturer is going to be more common than smartphone solutions.

If this turns out to be true, it would be a marked boon for the telematics industry, since not only would no company have to provide their own solution, but it would mean the ground work has been laid for them already. Insurers won’t need to partner with software companies or have their own app developed, they can simply contact the consumer and request to have access to the data. While this might mean incentives for consumers aren’t quite so high, insurers stand to benefit much more from the move.


In the case of independent telematics manufacturers, there’s also a huge potential for business growth, but companies will need to get in on the ground floor and strike a deal with a manufacturer while the iron is hot. If they are able to become the favoured choice of a popular car maker such as Ford, then business could explode over the next few years as more and more models come pre-fitted with tracking and statistics gathering hardware/software. However, if the boat is missed and every manufacturer signs up with someone other than yourself, then the next few years could get very hard indeed, as the dwindling number of unequipped cars creates a tighter and tighter market to compete in.

Of course this is all something Telematics Update is hoping to sell you on with its report, which isn’t free. In it, it promises to help you and your business understand the current trends in the industry, the new market drivers and barriers, as well as how to design a strategy that will help you take advantage of all of it.

There’s also interviews from Ford, A.T. Kearney, Vodafone and a whole bunch of insurers, so there’s plenty on offer – just don’t expect it to be the cheapest report you’ve ever purchased.

However, if you just want to take a quick look at an extract to see if it’s worth your time, you can get a complimentary trial look at it here.


    Jon Martindale

    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.

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