Chris Miller, Abax UK CEO, looks at building on existing technology to make the connected car of the future.
Running a vehicle fleet offers many advantages to a business owner, but, as with trying to keep on top of office emails when out on the road, management of remote assets can present some challenges.
If you are to visualise a vehicle tracking device as a mobile phone then it forms the basis of being able to connect a car to the internet and intelligence can be shared widely. That intelligence is derived from a combination of on board diagnostic (OBD) data and GPS information.
But what about the information that is not recorded by or easily detected with OBD? Recently one of our fleet was involved in a minor prang and picked up a dent to the bumper.
This got us thinking about how the dent could have been detected by those not involved in the incident. After all, it is easy for the human eye to glance over a scrape or bump and smaller vehicle damages can go under the radar.
One suggestion was to make use of existing technology fitted to a car, for example a telematics tracking device, alongside a set of sensors.
An external sensor could be triggered by any damage and the information carried via the telematics device to the fleet manager or leasing company through real-time monitoring.
Fleet leasing companies in the UK lose tens of millions of pounds each year from minor vehicle damages. There is lots of potential to save on huge costs related to paint jobs or panel-beatings, and then in the longer term cheaper insurance as a result of better control over damages and settled claims.
Connected technology has reformed the automotive ecosystem. Now there is the ability to connect the connected car to its surrounding environment and truly allow the vehicle to enter the Internet of Things (IoT). The end result to a customer could be huge.