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Telematics for the future

What will the next services provide in the short and long-term?

Insurance telematics has already vastly redefined the automotive industry and business analysts agree that telematics is set to continue this trend, forecasting that the adoption of connectivity and telematics services and products will sky rocket by 2020. 

However, these projections are based on current technological know-how. The real turning point will be represented by the introduction of new products and services that are not even conceivable in terms of today’s technology and knowledge. And this point is not necessarily that far off into the future.

Futurologists, who refer to this turning point as the singularity, as the moment in time when artificial intelligence and other technologies will lead to innovation on a scale never seen before in human history, forecast that it will take place somewhere between 2030 and 2045.

Until then, however, let’s look at forecasts grounded in a more mundane, albeit interesting panorama of technological innovation and disruption. What are the trends that will characterize telematics in 2016 and beyond?

Faster and Greater Data Transmission

As we approach a scenario characterized by connected cars, multiple radio access technologies will come into play. Although, LTE connectivity (also known as 4G) is expected to grow the fastest, the increasing demand for real-time information transmission and exchange, as well as on-board infotainment services, will seek to fully exploit all existing technologies, including older 2G and 3G standards.

More Efficient Exploitation of Data

Big data collected by telematics systems will be mined and used for far more than the mere tracking and tracing of vehicles, or to understand how to get from one point to another. Telematics data can also be precious to other software systems, such as enterprise “just on time” mechanisms, thereby serving as a tool to optimize a wider range of business processes. 

Moreover, companies are going to seek to share both raw and processed data across a variety of software platforms. Indeed, allowing systems to share information across platforms will make the same data fare more powerful and valuable.

Increased Use of Video

While Octo Telematics has already introduced video recording features to its services with Octo Rider 2V, we will soon see a greater acquisition of video information to capture exactly what the driver was doing – or not – at the time of an accident or other driving event. Improved transmission rates and compression algorithms will allow constant video feeds that will be useful both to determine who caused an accident, was well as to help companies point drivers towards safer driver styles. 

Towards the Future

Each year, telematics services grow more powerful and automated. Every year, we move closer to the reality of self-driving cars. While 2016 will certainly not mark the commercialization of self-driving cars, further tests will be conducted on roads around the world to perfect a wide range of telematics systems. 

What will continue to evolve – and grow more popular – in the short-term are semi-autonomous features such as hazard lights which flash automatically under hard braking (or when a vehicle is following too closely at higher speeds), external air bags (for pedestrians), rain-sensing automatic wipers, lane-wander driver alerts, lane-wander auto-correction, automatic emergency proximity breaking (already reducing rear-end collisions), automatic road sign identification and similar technological features. 

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