Connected car technology is quickly reshaping the future of the global automotive industry, but the future of the automobile will be defined by connected car telematics. Automotive telematics, which combines telecommunications and vehicle informatics, enables vehicles to share data with the outside world, and it’s big business.

How big? The global automotive telematics market is projected to reach US$62.4 billion by 2025. Market revenue will be shared between OEMS and the growing list of companies whose products and services comprise the Internet-of-Things (IoT) ecosystem.

In this company, we examine five ways telematics and connected car technologies are merging to transform how we use our automobiles. We will also examine the value of telematics in connected car applications for personal and business uses.

1. Insurance Telematics
If there is one aspect of vehicle ownership with which we have a love-hate relationship, it is probably insurance. Without it, we would be responsible for paying the medical bills of anyone we injured in an accident, and we would have to pay to repair the victim’s vehicle as well as our own. Our car insurance policy gives us peace of mind, but we sometimes wish it could be administered more fairly. Sure, drivers who get traffic tickets for speeding have to suffer the consequences through higher premiums, but what about irresponsible drivers who seem to never get caught?.

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Thanks to telematics, the guy who passes you at a high rate of speed might not get caught by law enforcement, but he may soon be reported by the very vehicle he is driving.

Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) is a telematics-based insurance product that drivers can choose to install on their vehicles. UBI usually involves plugging a dongle into the vehicle’s OBD II port or downloading a mobile app. The UBI device or app will track driver behavior and report the details to the insurer. Depending on the insurance company, insurance premiums may be based on any combination of the following driving characteristics:

Speed during turns
Miles driven
Frequency of driving
Time of day
UBI, or Pay-How-You-Drive (PHYD) insurance, as it is also called, offers advantages for drivers and insurers, including reduced premiums for customers, reduced risks for insurers, driver coaching and feedback, distracted driver detection, and automated claims processing.

Although UBI insurance is currently optional, it is likely that auto insurance companies will mandate UBI policies in the future, as it is only to their advantage to do so.

2. Fleet Management Telematics
Telematics is changing the way fleet managers operate their commercial vehicles. Whether one manages a fleet of cars, pickup trucks, vans, box trucks, or tractor-trailers, telematics technology improves the safety and efficiency of commercial transportation.

Fleet management services are finding a lucrative market that is eager to adopt IoT technologies. By collecting GPS tracking, along with telematics information, providers can provide cloud-based managed services that can be accessed by desktop computers or mobile devices. Custom-designed apps interact with vehicles’ telematics systems to provide a complete picture of how the fleet is operating.

Telematics fleet management services offer managers the following advantages:

Fuel consumption tracking
Improved operation efficiency
Asset tracking
Compliance verification
Route optimization
Improve fleet safety
Real-time vehicle tracking
Automatic trip logging
Vehicle maintenance issues alerts
Risky driver identification
While GPS tracking is nothing new, advanced telematics offers fleet managers a wealth of data not available until now, along with a growing list of benefits that only gets longer with advances in telematics technology.

3. V2X Connectivity
Vehicle-to-X (V2X) is a communications technology that allows a connected vehicle to connect to any IoT device that can affect the vehicle. While vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) enables a car, for example, to exchange data with other connected vehicles, V2X allows a vehicle to exchange data with other vehicles, smart traffic lights, toll road collection points, and 3rd-party products and services.

As the vehicle telematics system is, in many respects, the central hub of all connected car data, it is also central to V2X connectivity.

But V2X is about more than connecting vehicles to external IoT things. It must also foster intelligent and cooperative IoT data exchanges that are relevant and useful to the driver at the time they are executed. Artificial Intelligence (AI), is being employed to help transform connected mobility into intelligent mobility.

Current V2X technology relies, for the most part, on Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) radio frequency technology in order to facilitate data exchanges. As telematics technology advances, it is all but certain that V2X will increasingly rely on cloud-based services to overcome the inefficiency of siloed data exchanges.

V2X offers drivers a wealth of information and features, including the following:

City information
V2V communication
Collision avoidance
Intersection information
Road hazard warnings
Traffic alerts
Emergency vehicle alerts
Pedestrian crossing alerts
Smart home connectivity
Commercial enterprise offerings
As telematics systems become more advanced, and as autonomous cars finally hit the road, V2X capability will become essential. OEM systems may get the headlines, but purveyors of aftermarket and 3rd-party V2X products and services will, nevertheless, likely dominate the market.

4. Mobile Apps
Regardless of the type of telematics system — OEM or aftermarket, drivers and passengers can interact with the vehicle through the telematics or infotainment display. However, mobile apps provide expanded features and, in some cases, better features than are included in the OEM user interface.

Here are just a few examples of the type of apps we will see in the near future, if not already available:

UBI insurance
Personal driving behavior monitoring
DIY vehicle diagnostics
Customized GPS location of family members or other groups
Low-cost fleet tracking solutions
Vehicle maintenance alerts
Whereas a small collection of telematics-related apps are already available through iTunes, more and more will be made available as developers figure out just how much data is available to them through connected car telematics systems.

5. Consumer Telematics
Lastly, we cannot ignore the useful features connected vehicle telematics systems can offer every driver.

Here is a shortlist of features that telematics now offers, or will soon offer to connected drivers, passengers, and even family at home:

Remote vehicle location by GPS
Remote access to vehicle operation information
The ability to remotely limit vehicle speed
Turn-by-turn navigation with augmented 3rd-party information
Family notification of vehicle collision
Automated emergency calling
Vehicle diagnostics and maintenance notifications
It has yet to be seen how autonomous driving will open even more demand for automotive mobile apps. Till then — and maybe afterward, market demand will outpace availability as more connected vehicles hit the highways.

How Dirigible Can Help
Vehicle telematics systems have been around for decades; the ability to connect them to things around the world has not. A 
US$62.4 billion market awaits automotive technology companies that can tap the power of connected telematics to make driving safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable.

However, market success in the highly complex field of connected vehicle telematics requires a combination of technologies that not many companies possess under one roof. Vehicle technology, cloud technology, big data technology, IoT technology, and mobile app development are just a few of the disciplines that must be brought to bear for the development of telematics products.

Dirigible offers outsourced development of cutting-edge automotive technologies and app development. We were experts when a car was just a car, and we are experts in the technology that will power autonomous vehicles. It’s just a matter of what you need, not whether or not we can pull it off — because we can.

We operate an R&D lab in Nigeria, and some of the best developers in the world are on our team. Our success comes from leadership that is truly visionary, and from a whole-team commitment to making our clients succeed. If you are looking for a technology partner who knows the road, why not contact us today for a no-cost consultation? We’ll do the driving.

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