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Commercial Vehicle Telematics Is Imperative

What you can look for in this article:

  • Commercial Vehicle Telematics market worldwide will grow by a projected USD 27 Billion.
  • Exciting trends and projections for the global Commercial Vehicles Telematics are in store.
  • Information technology services have boomed during the pandemic.
  • Telematics are shaping the future of the commercial vehicles industry.

The coronavirus outbreak had found its way into 185 countries within the first quarter of 2020; forcing many nations to resort to lockdowns to flatten the curve of its spread. These lockdowns meant not only confining citizens to their homes but also shutting down businesses and putting a stop to almost all economic activity. As a result of this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the global economy is expected to shrink by over 3 percent in 2020, leaving businesses counting the costs.

However, things are starting to take a positive turn. With most countries easing the lockdowns and gradually re-opening their economies, businesses are seeing an opportunity to reinvent and restart. According to an article published by the World Trade Organization: If the pandemic is brought under control and trade starts to expand again, in an optimistic scenario we would see most regions could record double-digit rebounds of around 21 percent by next year. Roberto Azevedo, Director-General of the World Trade Organization reinstates this hope when he shares, “This crisis is first and foremost a health crisis which has forced governments to take unprecedented measures to protect people’s lives… But a rapid, vigorous rebound is possible”.

In the US, as states began slowly restarting business and allowing Americans to go back to work, a glimmer of positive change was seen in the declining unemployment rates. In May 2020, The Labor Department reported that unemployment in the US reduced to 13.3 percent, a stunning improvement from the 14.7 percent seen in April.

Commercial Vehicle Telematics (CVT):

For those of us looking to understand CVT, let us first understand Telematics. Telematics is the convergence of telecommunications with information and communications technology. Simply put, it uses telecom (like the internet) to access real-time information (like road safety or driver behavior) and delivers that data to a cloud where it can be stored and accessed by authorized persons anytime, anywhere.  

Telematics can involve any of the following:

Commercial Telematics is an interdisciplinary branch of information technology and telecommunications, allowing long distance transmission of information in commercial automobiles. In this, telematics devices are used to transfer large amounts of information from the vehicle to a hub using telecommunication systems to provide quick and easy access of information. The advancements in telecommunications as well as connected vehicles is accelerating growth of the Telematics market. Subsequently this growth is leading to multiple connectivity features being offered in vehicles. 

Major applications for Commercial Vehicle Telematics (CVT):

CVTs are largely used for vehicle tracking, vehicle maintenance, security, safety of passengers, and other similar applications in the transport and logistics business. It is being implemented by various governments to curb traffic incidents and provide immediate assistance to the drivers and passengers.

Advanced telematics tools like those you will find at Matrack Inc, are now offering sensors and controllers that measure the driving performance of the vehicles along with mapping its location and fuel consumption. This data can further be analyzed and used for streamlining operations to reduce costs.

Automotive or Vehicle Telematics can be implemented by every business. While companies operating on tight budgets can employ basic GPS tracking tools, those with deeper pockets can choose fully integrated telematics solutions offering electronic logging devices, smart route planning, dash cams, and advanced driver management systems. ​

With a host of benefits like improving the traffic flow, reducing travel times and mileage, preventing accidents, optimizing safety issues as well as facilitating fleet management and maintenance, CVT is proving to be the future of transportation.

Changes in The Commercial Vehicle Landscape:

An unusual period in history, the coronavirus has unleashed a series of unprecedented events disrupting almost every industry. It has transformed the market into a complex interaction between supply and demand shocks which could extend well beyond the 2021 horizon.

With many countries under strict lockdowns, major industrial production chains were brought to a halt. This came as a wake-up call for supply chain managers and manufacturing companies; as plant operations remained suspended for weeks and an air of uncertainty hung over the future. China, which delivered one-third of the world’s manufacturing saw a drastic fall in industrial production, sales, and investment in the first three months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019.

Today, governments are intervening with monetary packages and fiscal policies to counter the negative growths of the economy. In an effort towards restoring balance in the US markets and seeing that supply lines of many companies manufacturing in other countries were disrupted during the crisis, President Donald Trump recently announced his intentions to slap new taxes on companies that do not on-shore their production lines. This move, if implemented, will result in an industrial boom on American soil and increase demand for technological interventions in the manufacturing processes and supply chains.

One of the components of world economy most directly affected by COVID-19 may be services trade. Owing to the impositions of transport, the global travel restrictions, and the closure of many retail and hospitality establishments the service industry has had a tough time. The contributions of services in trade—like transportation services—often work as an invisible hand but most trade would not be possible without them. Unlike goods, most services cannot be stocked for later. So, trade analysts rightly observe that declines in services trade during the pandemic may be lost forever.

On the other hand, some services are riding the wave and benefiting from the crisis. This is true for offerings like information technology services; demands for which have boomed during the crisis. While companies have been enabling employees to work from home and creating avenues for people to socialize remotely, or creating automated supply chains and adapting tracking telematics, technological services are helping businesses in beating the restrictions forced by the pandemic.

The service market will be reset to a new normal which going forward, in a post COVID-19 era, will be continuously redefined and redesigned. No matter the industry, staying on top of trends and accurate analysis is paramount now more than ever to manage the uncertainty of change and continuously adapt to new and evolving market conditions.

Market Trends of the CVT Ecosystem, in the New World:

With economies around the world working to find the new normal post-COVID-19, technology is clearly a frontrunner for stabilizing the markets. Continuous monitoring for emerging signs of a possible new world order is a must for aspiring businesses seeking to find success in the now changing CVT landscape.

Despite the major slump in commercial vehicle sales brought about by COVID-19, the global base of connected truck telematics is still forecast to record 10% year-on-year growth. Backed by an increasing demand for connected vehicles and better safety management clubbed with the growing advancements in Information and Communication Technologies, the CVT market is expanding despite the odds.

Much of this expansion has to do with the fact that leaders are beginning to recognize telematics and connected technologies as crucial productivity and performance enhancement tools that will be at the heart of their survival in volatile markets. Add to this the increasing acceptance of advanced safety systems and driver assistance functions like fuel efficiency monitoring at pocket-friendly prices and you have a win-win package for the CVT industry and its customers.

Highlights of a study on ‘Global Commercial Vehicle Telematics Industry’ (post COVID-19) suggests a bright future for the industry:

  • Amid the COVID-19 crisis, the CVT market worldwide will grow by a projected USD 27 Billion, driven by a revised compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.1 percent.
  • Service, one of the segments analyzed and sized in the study, is forecast to grow at over 18.7 percent and reach a market size of USD 19.4 Billion.
  • As part of the new emerging geographic scenario, the United States is forecast to readjust to a 22.1 percent CAGR.
  • Within Europe, the region worst hit by the pandemic, Germany will add over USD 960.9 Million to the region’s size over the next 7 to 8 years. In addition, over USD 1.2 Billion worth of projected demand in the region will come from rest of European markets.
  • In Japan, the service segment will reach a market size of USD 1 Billion.

Some foreseeable trends and projections in CVT: 

  • Popular verticals: Vehicle telematics in Healthcare, Transport and Logistics, Government and Utilities as well as Robotics and Automation are likely to witness highest growth.
  • Economies will stabilize: Global GDP will eventually grow post COVID, leading to an increase in freight volume and, therefore, growth of the commercial vehicles and CVT markets.
  • Increased risk in supply chain: Labor costs are steadily increasing and will come with several restrictions like physical distancing. Similarly, prices for raw materials are also likely to increase; requiring industries to implement better sourcing and supply chain telematics to reduce costs and chances of material misplacements.
  • Demand for heavy vehicles: Larger vehicles are probably the foremost end-user segment of the global vehicle telematics market, especially during the Corona crisis. The growth of this segment is predicted because of the rising concern of tracking and security of the truck as well as goods.
  • Reach consumer even in volatile markets: The COVID crisis triggered a change in consumer preferences and how a business fulfills them. Major vendors are now trying to get the attention of end-users by deploying the latest telematics to analyze demand and reach them through the shortest channel.

  • 5G data: Advanced on-board monitoring devices are being installed with 4G or 5G networks offering faster data transmission and quicker software updates in times of crisis.
  • Augmented usage of smartphones: Mobile devices and tablets can easily be integrated with the vehicle’s telematics tool in order to transfer the on-board information to the smartphones for easy assessment of real-time information. This allows the vehicle owners to monitor speed and incidents, control maintenance costs, and decrease fuel bills. A big step in reducing costs in a tight market.
  • Authentic Data: Vehicle telematics devices record data not just in real-time but also in tamper-proof devices, ensuring the data cannot be corrupted. This has started proving especially useful for fleet managers wanting to keep a remote eye on the fleet’s performance. Interestingly, insurance companies and even the police departments are depending on these trusted data tools for visual proof of facts during a road mishap. Enabling these technologies has also helped in reducing unsafe driving practices like speeding, hard braking, and rapid acceleration.

  • Social Media Integration: The integration of social media in vehicle telematics is making it easier for businesses to reach customers. Let’s say a mobile health van conducting COVID-19 tests parks into a particular neighborhood and sends out a notification about its location on social media… This way it will quickly and easily reach out to a large base of consumers with the help of telematics.

  • Some tools might be more popular: Within the broad range of telematics solutions, some might be picking up greater momentum owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, it is easy to foresee higher demand for solutions like in-cab internet access and driver health monitoring services.

  • Price, a deciding factor: New-age vehicle telematics solutions are acing in terms of functionality, but in a COVID-hit market, size and price will also be key determinants. At a time when fleets (and smaller businesses) will find it challenging to invest in high-end embedded solutions, there might be a greater uptake of more basic solutions with flexible purchase models over high-end offerings.

  • Restricted avenues but high demand: Factors such as the growing demand for transport vehicles with in-vehicle telematics services, rising demand for integrating navigation and safety-related solutions in vehicles, and high dependence on roadways for the transportation of goods in times of COVID are contributing to the CVT’s growth.

  • Government Mandates and reduced cost of tools: During the COVID crisis, major drivers propelling this market include growing government mandate for deploying vehicle tracking in commercial vehicles, increased usage of smartphones, and decreasing cost of sensors. These factors are also expected to shape the future of the global market. 

Next-Generation Telematics Protocol: NGTP is a technology-neutral telematics approach that aims to provide greater flexibility and scalability to the automotive telematics industry and enables OEMs to provide new services to both legacy and upcoming vehicles will be a game-changer in a world seeking customized and flexible tech solutions.

Easy communication from vehicle: With the advancement of Vehicle to Vehicle and Vehicle to Individual communication technologies, (and in the near future the introduction of self-driven vehicles), the number of automobiles that can communicate with each other is increasing. This is the need of the hour in a market that is realizing the cost and vulnerability of human dependency. Modern technologies are allowing companies to monitor the GPS location, driving patterns, and access information, such as medical details of drivers and their family as well as routes traversed, which may prove invaluable in times of a crisis. 

Professional services segment: It is expected to have the largest market share owing to the need of technological consulting and continuous support and maintenance activities for the deployment of smart technologies.

OEM telematics segment: It is expected to grow at the highest CARG owing to increasing trend of providing OEM-embedded telematics solutions and due to their extensive foothold in manufacturing embedded modules.

Increased focus on Healthcare: The pandemic has triggered extensive use of commercial telematics in the healthcare vertical—from location tracking of staff during emergencies to tracking the transport of medical assets. It has also highlighted the necessity of a robust technological backbone that can support the healthcare system in case of future pandemics.

Telematics Service Providers (TSP): One can already see indications of fundamental changes occurring, both in hardware and software offerings in the TSP game. This will be represented by two major steps: firstly, towards creating open architecture platforms allowing for easier third-party integration and, secondly, towards singular hardware modules that will replace the need for multiple components for different purposes.

In the TSP field, there is also an opportunity for aggressive strategic maneuvering. Amidst COVID unleashed turbulence, cash rich companies and industry giants will look to build their competitive firepower and be future-ready by investing and acquiring potential market disruptors and innovative start-ups at bargain prices.

TSPs are also witnessing a unique opportunity to capture a larger portion of business in the commercial vehicle manufacturing segment which is struggling to put new vehicles on the roads. Here, designing a flexible business plan like targeting low cost leasing or purchasing business models will be pivotal to formulating a winning strategy.

Global on-board diagnostics (OBD): OBDtelematics market is expected to grow by USD 1.74 billion during 2020-2024.

Need for Increased Automation: The fragility of a human-managed supply chain came into focus during the COVID crisis. Going forward, businesses will be eager to adopt automation in fleets to reduce dependence on human labor and increase productivity, preventing the chances of slowdowns should such a crisis repeat.

Environmental Impact: During the COVID crisis, governments of several countries are being pressurized to re-look at their environmental strategies. Towards this, some nations might issue mandates regulating CO2 emissions by increasing fuel efficiency requirements. In addition to this, sourcing of fuel will be difficult and perhaps slow with several national borders remaining sealed. Hence fuel efficiency will be the need of the hour. With an increased fuel cost burden, fleet owners will look to invest in advanced fuel-saving technologies.

Why does a post-COVID-world need CVT:

The demand and the need for vehicle efficiency, safety, and uptime was never greater than today. So, platform sciences like vehicle telematics are gearing-up to not only improve the fleet manager and driver’s experience but to also keep the world running.

As commercial carriers are slowly moving towards full time operations with businesses resuming in the country, it is necessary for them to adopt automated and digitized solutions for staying ahead of the competition. In the post COVID-19 era it is necessary to make sure that all the aspects including visibility, hygiene, and customer experience, are taken care of, with digitized precision.

Here’s a glance at how CVT is helping businesses overcome COVID roadblock:

Increased Shipment and Carrier Visibility:

  • Lack of visibility is the biggest organizational bottleneck, especially when freight management is concerned. Owing to the social distancing norms today, carrier visibility at pit stops (to ensure they do not gather in groups during COVID) and asset tracking throughout the route are important.
  • CVT also does away with manual logs by ensuring all data is recorded real time on a cloud platform. So, in case of sudden issues like roadblocks or ill health its easier for carriers to know the status of the trucks or connect with the customers to convey updates.

Protection of Assets in Transit:

  • While enroute, drivers are responsible for the asset they carry. However, situations like a pandemic call for greater efforts to safeguard goods (especially perishable food or medical supplies). Physical inspection of goods at pitstops is not only tedious but also increases the chance of damage to sensitive materials. In such cases, asset monitoring technologies that log and monitor goods can reduce operational costs and significantly increase carrier productivity while ensuring compliance to sanitary norms.

  • Moreover, with drivers having access to the platform, they can track the volume of trucks waiting outside pit stops and defer the arrivals in a planned manner. This will also help them avoid crowds and covid-19 induced infections.

Competent Customer Service

In case a product must be returned, the interactions between the customers and carriers must be seamless. For instance, if the customer wants to refuse the order before arrival, they can place automated requests beforehand. The carriers can use the intelligent interface to identify the best course of action and plan, accordingly.

Future-ready businesses are backed by telematics


There’s a silver lining amidst the dark clouds for the commercial vehicles industry—the resilience of commercial vehicle deployments in logistics and transportation industries, driven by eCommerce and last mile deliveries. The other bit of good news is that connected truck telematics services are in robust health thanks to their role as acknowledged productivity enablers during the global pandemic.

Telematics helps fleets where it matters most—reduced fuel use, savings on cost and time, and improved vehicle and fleet efficiency. All of this, of course, ties up neatly into higher revenues and profitability. No wonder then that fleets are continuing to ramp up investments in telematics technologies and becoming future ready to hit the gas on the post COVID road.

Are you a fleet owner or manager looking to make your business future-ready? Matrack Inc. is here for you!

Matrack Incorporated was started in 2008 with the aim of bringing cutting-edge tracking technology and outstanding customer service to businesses like yours. In the past 12 years we have scaled to become the leading provider of GPS fleet management solutions for the trucking industry. We are dedicated to providing revolutionary affordable and straightforward solutions to individuals and companies.

We understand that today new world markets are demanding flexibility, and technology is playing a key role in helping companies constantly adapt to the demands of an ever-changing and uncertain market. With the forecasted increase in on-shore businesses in the US, demand for efficient transport services will be rising. There is no arguing that fleets backed by advanced technologies like vehicle and asset tracking will be ahead of the curve.

So why wait? Whatever your transport business size, if you’re ready for the fast lane, get in touch with Matrack Inc. today!

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