Telematics suppliers still think there is plenty of demand from the commercial vehicle market, to judge from their displays at this year's CV show. There were admittedly fewer exhibitors of telematics and mobile fleet management products this year, possibly reflecting a degree of consolidation in the market. There has also perhaps been a recognition among some of the more general fleet management tracking specialists that tracking truck fleets is a rather specialized area.
However, the suppliers that were on hand had evidently concluded there were still plenty of sales opportunities out there, providing they could package the product in a way that suited operators.
The sector seems to be divided into distinct areas. Smaller fleets want a Web-based integrated package, it seems, and so do those who want to add greater mobility or real-time capability to legacy systems without having to go back to square one. Then there are companies who want a low-cost solution for tracking unpowered assets. As a result, the show reflected plenty of interest in Web-based reporting systems, along with a renewed focus on real-time reporting and communication with the driver, plus navigation aids.
This year's CV show at the NEC saw a flock of new launches in the truck telematics market, among which TomTom WORK. TomTom is best known for its consumer satnav products, but is moving into the fleet management area with the TomTom WORK. This combines personal navigation solution with tracking and tracing technology, two-way communication and reporting capabilities. Users pay around £1.20 per day. TomTom has also developed the TomTom LINK, a compact GPS/GPRS unit which is placed inside the vehicle and periodically uploads data to the WEBFLEET internet site.
[M-logistics, June 2006]