Most of the articles you’ll read about here on the telematics blog are, understandably, to do with telematics. However, nine times out of ten, those telematics articles are to do with Western developments, be they US telematics advances, or deals struck between British and European companies, all looking to do more tracking of their customers and fleet vehicles. That’s all well and good, but we’d be doing the international community a disservice if we didn’t occasionally look at how telematics is developing overseas as well.
Fortunately there’s a new report from the likes of CJ Driscoll & Associates and it describes how China, with its near record breaking population, is the fastest growing fleet market in the world and is therefore the most ripe for a telematics explosion and indeed, that’s what we’re seeing. As it stands, there are over five million GPS and BDS tracking units used to monitor fleet vehicles in the country. Compare that with TomTom’s recent revelation that it’s tracking just 400,000 vehicles and is proud of the fact and you can see that China is going to be a monstrous market in the years to come.
In the report, Driscoll and pals point out that China’s current generation of telematics devices has a similar mix to Western markets, with a number of different vehicle controlled, specifically installed units and smartphone applications. It also speculates about the near future of the telematics industry, with expectations that we could see as many as 12 million telematics devices being used by as early as 2018.
The Driscoll report, which is available for 1-5 users for a whopping $3,500, also looks at the many factors that are contributing to the growth of telematics in the country, including what MarketWatch describes, as a “compelling need to improve logistics efficiency.” There’s also been a steady uptake of basic tracking services to help avoid auto crime, especially when it comes to heavy machinery and unique vehicles which are hard to come by.
The government is also helping to push telematics technology forward, to cut back on the unauthorised usage of government vehicles, which over the past few years have been abused in some sectors. As telematics become more common place, that type of practice will become far harder to achieve, as those in charge will know where vehicles are at all times and if one goes missing or shows up somewhere it shouldn’t be, they’ll know who is responsible.
The report also suggests that with China’s growing problems with congestion, pollution and dangerous road networks, that teaching people about safe driving and improving their driving practices could lead to less congestion – since there should be less accidents – safer roads, due to less speeding, sharp acceleration and braking and reduced pollution as people improve their fuel consumption.
The China Commercial Telematics Market Study also has break downs of some of the major telematics providers in the country and how they’ve expanded their businesses over the past decade or so. It also looks at who are likely to be the big players in a few years time. Some of those could be foreign companies however, as there is certainly a big enough market for Telematics in China that a company from the UK or elsewhere could sweep in and take on a lot of business.