There have been an immense amount of developments in the field of telematics over the recent past. Various subdivisions have emerged from it as the potential of this technology grows more apparent with time. One of these subdivisions is vehicle telematics. Vehicle telematics burst on to the scene shortly after the concept of telematics gained a firm grip on a cluster of industries. In the basic sense, the term vehicle telematics encompasses the process of scrutinizing a vehicle through GPS set-up and other active diagnostics to churn out packages of data. While vehicle telematics is still relatively new, its impact in such a short span has been tremendous. Big projections are being made about this technology. As per a research, it’s expected that United States alone will have over 116 million connected vehicles. The prophecies of glory don’t stop just here. If market assessments turn out to be precise, then this humongous amount of vehicles supported by telematics technology will upload approximately 25 gigabytes of data to the cloud every hour! Automotive industry is changing. There is a whole new lot of things that you must do in order to thrive. One such change arrived in the composition of profit. Those one-off car sales no longer hold the same weightage as they used to and much of it is down to factors like traffic congestion.

‘There are these irreversible trends going on in the marketplace, like ride sharing, better and new forms of public transport, and increasing urbanization, which cause people to be less and less likely over time to buy their own vehicle,’ Grant Halloran, the Chief Marketing Officer of OmniSci, a leading data analytics provider, explained.

While the telematics revolution has restricted one revenue channel in one-off car purchases, it has unlatched the gates for bigger sources. The current belief is that monetizing the onboard services on a vehicle is the most suitable replacement to move ahead with this evolution and become bigger and better in every possible way. If some reports are to be believed, this idea of monetizing the onboard services could form a massive pool of nearly USD 1.5 trillion or even more as collective revenue by 2030. This number beats every sullen patch in the car sales by a country mile. The key here is the effective management of the huge amount of data produced. If used in an intelligent and progressive way, companies can reap unprecedented benefits. These benefits are in no way limited to just finances. If provided with adequate data sum comprising of driving behaviour and vehicle condition, automotive manufacturers, logistics companies, fleet managers, and insurance companies can take measures to make the whole activity of transportation much safer, and enhanced in terms of overall experience.

Even though it’s all shiny and glossy, the method of data processing has its own challenges. Once the data is gathered, it’s pushed to a central location for aggregation and analysis. However, this is the part where it gets tricky. It’s relatively easier to collect data from the technology in place, but squeezing out meaningful insights from that data isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. There are other challenges too. The current system is producing so much raw data that it has gone well past the capacity of mainstream analytics platforms. As a consequence, the creation of insights from the data extracted is taking way more time and the productivity is seriously hampered. In addition, the issue of data wrangling is spelling another obstruction. Whereas constant innovation is a thing to commend, this very thing has become a cause of concern for the automotive industry. Discovery of fresh data sources are rendering the existing set-up as inept to shoulder the load. However, as the industry prepares for a transition, companies are dedicated towards eradicating these issues so that they can start with a clean slate.

‘Because telematics data is so variable and contextual, it is essential that humans explore those big data streams,’ Halloran said.

It’s hardly a secret that the whole procedure of vehicle telematics analysis requires to be carried out within milliseconds. From querying billions of records to delivering results, seamlessness and rapidity is expected from every part. To counter current vehicle telematics related issues, the industry is turning to IoT. In data scientists view, the importance of IoT cannot be emphasized enough. IoT is crucial for the development of machine learning, which is being groomed to augment the quality level of autonomous driving software. Machine learning isn’t touted by everyone as the perfect component for facilitating this transition. This is largely due to its alleged conflicting history with ad hoc, however, Halloran debunks that myth on the basis of how essential exploratory data analysis when it comes to building ML models.

Furthermore, transparency is another concern for the upper echelon of the industry. The automotive companies are expected to conform to certain regulations imposed by the relevant authorities. The industry isn’t quite sure on establishing such reliance on a technology that might be well-versed in its task, but doesn’t understand ways of the world. Nevertheless, there is a counter-argument for their worries.

‘ML models can’t be fired. Human decision-makers can. An intuitive, interactive, visualization of the data in the model allows data scientists to show others what the model “sees in the data” and more easily explain its decisions, allowing decision-makers to be confident that machine-driven predictive decisions will not breach any laws. One of our automotive customers calls this unmasking the black box,’ Halloran stated.

What we are currently witnessing is sort of an amalgamation of multiple industries driven by the purpose of mobility. While automotive prepares the base, telecommunications sector will be looked at for transmitting data and delivering infotainment into the vehicle. As these two industries link-up to work and develop the technology in question, civic authorities are also assigned a pivotal role. These authorities will study the data provided to chalk out their revamping plans for the roads in a way that helps them in better managing mass transit. This amalgamation of industries will also have a slot for retail segment. The retailers will bring a financial angle to the whole thing as they target the customers in those vehicles for advertisements. In addition, having the projection of an estimated amount of customers that will hit their stores within a specific period of time will push the retailers into enhancing the concierge experience.

‘For the future, if the automakers do claim ownership of the primary source of mobility data, they will build partnerships across traditional barriers that have divided industries all these years. This move provides new opportunities for cooperation, and also new opportunities for competition. One of the best ways to come out ahead in that new landscape is to understand what the data tells them, so that they can go into the relationships  that are going to be the most profitable for them with that telematics data,’ Halloran remarked.