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Telematics Go-To Guide Part 3: The Future of Telematics

Have you ever wondered what telematics is? Or maybe: What's the history or telematics? What does GPS have to do with telematics? Who uses telematics? We've answered all these questions and more.

If you’ve been keeping up with our series on telematics, you know that telematics give us the ability to receive and analyze data of all kinds, from all sorts of vehicles. Telematics are an important part of the Internet of Things, as connected cars, trucks, fleets, and other machines give individuals and companies significant advantages when it comes to understanding how their vehicles are used. In this article we talk about some of the potential uses of telematics, which will undoubtedly shape the way we live and move in the future. 

Traffic Prediction
Traffic prediction isn’t nearly as much of a celebrity as driverless vehicles, but it has almost as much potential, especially for logistics and shipping companies. If you have a delivery vehicle, you pay for every minute your driver spends in traffic, and if your deliveries are late, real trouble can arise. Traffic prediction is an exciting field of telematics that allows route optimization to a high degree of detail. By understanding how many cars are where at what time, whether weekly, monthly, or yearly, delivery routes are simpler to draw. If traffic is always a nightmare downtown at rush hour, why not schedule those deliveries at night? If there is a dangerous intersection where accidents happen frequently, why not take the route that avoids it?

Traffic prediction has benefits for the individual user as well. As anyone who uses well-known navigation apps understands, traffic prediction can save any driver time, any day of the week. Municipal governments who have access to this data can use it to avoid road closures for construction at high-volume times, leading to smoother travel for everyone on the road. 

Big Data
Big data sounds scary, but we don’t mean “big” in the Big Brother sense. When we talk about telematics and big data, we mean that from objects equipped with telematics, we are collecting almost more data than we can handle. The volume of data is such that a major problem is where to store it, to the tune of billions of connected vehicles. Whether this data is used for insurance purposes or government policies, telematics give us the ability to collect data that is more accurate and easier to organize than ever before, which can have significant benefits on the customer side. To analyze the data, countless algorithms are being written, countless data sets stored and visualized, and thousands of specialists are being hired to figure out the best application of data for each field or enterprise.

For example, telematics can collect information about battery usage in a vehicle, which is especially significant in a world where more and more electric cars are on the road. It can sometimes be difficult to say how long the lifespan of a battery is, as a variety of factors influence battery health and exact readings are difficult to collect (think about how often your cell phone battery says 1% but lasts for hours, or says 40% and dies after a single phone call!). Telematics can collect battery health information from many vehicles, and this data can be analyzed for trends that can help consumers understand which batteries last longest in which vehicles, and the ways in which their batteries are likely to degrade.

“Smart Cities”
Connected cars aren’t the only way telematics can be used in the future. Smart sensors placed at intersections, on street lamps, and on buildings can measure data points such as emissions, accidents, and even road conditions such as potholes or black ice. Some cities are taking on the challenge to become “Smart Cities,” which means gathering huge quantities of data and commissioning agencies and private groups to process that data and make recommendations about future policies and innovations. Different cities have different priorities, and differing resources to devote to IoT innovations. However, the more time goes on, the more data is collected and the more energy can be devoted to understanding that data and collecting information after changes have been implemented. Whether you live in Orlando, Denver, or Dubai, you can expect to see small changes in your daily life that are powered by innovations in telematics. 

Want to learn more about Telematics? Check out our series:
Telematics Go-To Guide Part 1: What is Telematics?
Telematics Go-To Guide Part 2: Telematics and Fleet Management