In 2015, vehicle telematics will continue to grow as an important fleet management tool predicts Niels Helkov who is a vice president of e-Health & M2M Americas at Orange Business Services.

Helkov’s firm provides telematics and connectivity solutions to the automotive industry. The firm’s main U.S. headquarters is in Atlanta. The company’s worldwide headquarters is in Paris, France. Helkov offered his views on telematics trends to Government Product News.

GPN: What's new in vehicle telematics for 2015?

Niels Helkov: Orange Business Services is assisting a growing number of customers in the automotive sector build and deploy new innovative digital solutions for their cars and fleets with the aim of enhancing the end users’ digital experience. Based on what we see, telematics are becoming tightly ingrained in automotive. Vehicle analytics offer greater detail, turn-by-turn navigation can take into account traffic flow and available parking, and vehicles are being equipped with social media and video capture tools. The European Union, Russia and Brazil have all decreed that new vehicles must have wireless connectivity by 2015 to aid in public assistance on the highways. Mandated connectivity in all cars is an opportunity for government fleets in those respective countries to better leverage telematics. Security and accountability will be a major benefit for government fleets as they will be better able to track the location of individual cars. The popularity of this technology is also catching on in the U.S. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a favorable report back in March on the potential for telematics to achieve cost-savings around fleet size and fuel use.

GPN: Does telematics help in preventive maintenance and improving performance of government vehicles?

NH: Yes, sensor technology tied to a car’s built-in computer system can monitor and transmit variables such as engines, brakes, fuel and temperature to a maintenance center. Fleet managers can use each car’s exact readings to schedule vehicle maintenance and plan replacements more efficiently and effectively. Any potential problems are flagged and a car can be removed from the field before it becomes a problem. This monitoring reduces the risk of unexpected mechanical accidents and improves worker productivity by eliminating the chances of being stranded without a replacement vehicle.

GPN: Does telematics help save money?

NH: There is definitely a green savings that can be calculated. Interactive navigation services can lead to better fuel efficiency and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Industry statistics indicate a decrease in fuel consumption between 6 to 15 percent.

GPN: Does telematics help in determining true value of fleet vehicles?

NH: Telematics can provide quantitative evidence to the condition and the performance of a vehicle. With such metrics it is possible to reduce a vehicle’s total cost of ownership (TCO), a critical challenge for all fleet managers. Such technology is available now in the consumer space and available for government equipment buyers. Orange Business Services recently partnered with PSA Peugeot Citroën to offer a telematics solution to help fleet owners cut back on their TCO. PSA Peugeot Citroën fleet owners subscribe to a Web portal that calculates the data findings from individual fleets.

GPN: Thank you, Niels Helkov, for your views.

On a related topic, the AEM/AEMP Draft Telematics API (Application Programming Interface) Standard, Version 2.0, is now available to all interested parties. The standard is a collaborative effort of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), working on behalf of their members and the industry. It expands the original AEMP Telematics Standard, Version 1.2 to include 19 data fields (with fault code capability). This Draft API replaces the current version 1.2. Go here to download the newest available standard.

The 2015 AEMP annual meeting and conference takes place March 17-20, 2015 in Orlando, Fla. The topic of telematics will be a large part of the AEMP’s professional development efforts at the conference.



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