Positive Outlook for Factory Installed Telematics

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Last year 11.5 million cars were shipped globally with factory-installed safety and security telematics, but expect that number to surge. According to projections from ABI Research, that number will reach 50.8 million by 2018, a percentage increase of nearly 350% and a compound annual growth rate of 34.5%.

”Traditional safety and security telematics services such as eCall, bCall, stolen vehicle tracking, and remote diagnostics continue to be rolled out across the globe,” Dominqe Bonte, VP and Practice Director at ABI, said.

Some of that growth will be driven by new telematics mandates, including the EU’s eCall, Russia’s ERA GLONASS, and Brazil’s stolen vehicle tracking legislation, CONTRAN. eCall, which the European Commission is aiming to fully launch by 2015, will deploy a device in all vehicles that automatically dials the emergency number 112 in the event of a serious road accident and wirelessly sends data about airbag deployment and impact, as well as precise GPS coordinates, to local emergency services. eCall is projected to reduce emergency response times by 40% in urban areas and by 50% in rural areas. Although the idea and the technology behind it were first proposed–by a student–in 2001, only the European Commission has approved the plans and although assent from the European Parliament and Council of the European Union is expected it hasn’t arrive yet, throwing the 2015 launch date into question.

Russia’s ERA GLONASS will deploy a similar telematics-based system to alert emergency services about accidents on the country’s famously perilous roads. However, implementation has stalled due to lack of cellular coverage in much of rural Russia and a deficit of high quality digital maps of more remote areas–places where a telematics-based call to emergency services could be the most valuable. CONTRAN, meanwhile, will tackle Brazil’s burgeoning car theft problem by outiffting all vehicles with tracking devices. However, again, implementation has been slow and it may take until summer 2015 until all cars that roll off Brazil’s assembly lines are equipped.

OEMs like BMW, Ford, and Daimler are taking safety telematics still further. Not content to merely respond to accidents once they have occurred, these manufacturers are pioneering uses of telematics to prevent collisions, including Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), V2X–including communication between vehicles (V2V) and between vehicles and infrastructure (V2I)–and other autonomous driving programmes. Usage Based insurance is already taking an active role in drivers’ safety, providing driver behavior monitoring alerts and feedback designed to reduce dangerous driving and increase road safety. Even as legislation for more passive safety features lags, these more advanced devices may drive telematics growth in the years to come.

Other uses of telematics, including in the collection of tolls, the charging of drivers, the burgeoning insurance telematics industry, also show promise

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L. V. Smith

Lauren has written for a variety of publications on both sides of the Atlantic. She prefers driving Automatic.