Telematics Trends 2019: VAS to gain ground in the age of connected vehicles and 5G

5g to significantly increase bandwidth for data uplink and downlink photo agency tech observer
to significantly increase bandwidth for data uplink and downlink. (Photo: Agency)

: The IT and digital transformation industry is witnessing exponential growth in the use of cutting-edge digital technologies like blockchain, 5G, AI, automation, robotics, cybersecurity and IoT. One can expect all these new age technologies to make greater inroads both in the Indian and global markets, in the years ahead. Applications of technologies like AI are now impacting many sectors, blockchain is simplifying and optimizing erstwhile complex multi-party processes while IoT continues to push the boundaries of data exchange and consequent actions by machines and humans. As the application of these technologies mature, businesses across industries will adopt them to re-imagine their business processes.

The vehicles of the future are designed and intended to be highly connected. With their ‘Always On' feature, there is a huge amount of data expected to be transferred from the vehicles to the cloud and back. Compared to 4G, 5G is set to significantly increase the sustainable bandwidth of both data uplink as well as downlink.

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With a fair understanding of the IoT market and working closely with the industry stakeholders for about 6-7 months, we found huge gaps in the adoption of IoT in the Indian automobile sector. This gave us the motivation for converting this challenge into a business opportunity. So, we set up Otodato and created a value-added services (VAS) platform for .

While 2018 has been a good year for demonstrating use cases of telematics and IoT, next year is poised to be the year of new innovations and opportunities in the automotive value added services sector.

In 2019, it is clear that telematics will be one of the prevalent assets which a business or a corporation can possess. Here are five key business intelligence trends to look out for in 2019.

A new breed of connected vehicles

As 2018 finishes, we have already witnessed a trend amongst the four-wheeler manufacturers who have commercially launched their connected vehicle programs in the Indian market. This opens a plethora of data to the end consumers. Through different platforms, vehicles manufacturers would be able to provide a host of VAS giving a holistic and rewarding ownership experience to the consumers. Similar to Maruti connect or Nissan connect, this would encourage other two and four wheeler companies to adhere to this trend and launch their connected vehicle programs.

Government regulation on telematics for commercial passenger vehicles

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have taken out a new mandate, dated 2nd November 2018. According to which the Automotive Industry Standard 140 (AIS 140) published by the ARAI (Automotive) for the vehicle tracking system, camera surveillance system, and emergency request button. This states that every commercial passenger vehicle will need to have a GPS tracking system and an emergency button. This will help the concerned departments in the tracking of these vehicles in case of an emergency and also enable the passengers to apprise the control room of any kind of mishap or other emergencies.

Telematics data is coming to the mainstream

The highly competitive market in the automotive VAS space is forcing the VAS providers to think out of the box and come up with innovative products and services, even new business models e.g. Acko general insurance partnering with OLA to provide riders for an in-trip insurance cover while booking the ride at a premium of Rs 1. Acko helped them write about 2,00,000 policies per day utilizing their huge customer traffic and ensure the customer's daily commute stress-free. Adoption of a telematics-based approach towards products and services may very well be a game changer for the automotive VAS providers. 

OEM's change their perspective

OEMs are using an omnichannel approach to enhance customer experience across their vehicles, leverage advanced analytics to spruce up sales and provide better service. Currently, in India, only 20 percent of the market is really interested in advanced telematics which we all know is the next big thing. Hence the OEMs are rethinking their features in the context of overall business model innovation and add VTS services as a standard in the new upcoming commercial goods transportation vehicle systems and subscription-based connected vehicle services for private vehicles like Suzuki connect, Nissan connect and Honda connect etc. This will then become the driving force in the market.

Increasing bandwidth and internet speed to push adoption of advanced telemetry

The automotive industry is experiencing digital transformation on two fronts: consumer and enterprise. Globally, the industry is witnessing the aggressive transformation from the consumer's perspective which will enhance customer experience. With the ever growing market and internet speeds, we see huge opportunities in India for telematics which will probably allow the use of much advanced and richer data like video and sound which coupled up with the basic GPS data can open up new dimensions.

The author is CEO & Founder, Otodato