COVID-19 has disrupted every industry in the world. The lockdown crisis forced companies to rethink their business strategies and approaches to overcome the pandemic’s impact.
IoT equipment manufacturers are no exception. Here are five notable trends to watch out for in 2021.
The current situation with video monitoring in GPS vehicle tracking is a bit obsolete. Especially when you compare it to stationary video monitoring and opportunities it can provide, such as face and object recognition. Technologies that deliver color images in darkness are becoming popular in the security industry. How do cameras ensure visibility in extreme conditions such as heavy rain, snow, fog, or smog? They use thermal imaging that measures heat to generate images.
In telematics right now, in most cases, video monitoring means trivial video recording of everything in a row. It doesn’t quite work for transport. It is almost impossible to handle the records of thousands of hours of video from hundreds of cameras. Users need to get a piece of video of a specific event at a specific moment.
Mobile communication networks are evolving, but the networks’ current capacity still cannot provide a sufficient channel for the normal transmission of video. 5G networks could become a game-changer on that front. The capabilities of fifth-generation networks (with greater bandwidth and lower latency), which are now being actively built worldwide, could breathe life into telematics video monitoring. Users expect an uninterrupted and stable connection to their fleet camera systems, regardless of season, weather, or time of day.
BLE and Wireless Sensors
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a wireless data transfer technology. BLE is aimed at novel applications in the healthcare, fitness, security, and home entertainment industries. It is constantly evolving as a technology, opening up new opportunities for wireless sensor manufacturers. BLE has many advantages compared to other technologies: long-range transmission, a growing number of sensors, and simple network deployment. The versatility of the standard contributes to the appearance of dozens of types of new sensors and devices.
It is a matter of time when we see a wide range of new interesting devices and solutions that will expand the telematics services.
2G/3G to 4G LTE-M Transition
The number of connected IoT devices is constantly growing. This is the reason why 2G and 3G networks are becoming overloaded. The solution is a 4G LTE-M network. It is a specific LPWA network option for IoT devices. 4G LTE-M network meets the basic requirements of networks for IoT – they are low-power and long-range. The second reason is that many developed countries have already announced that they will turn off 2G/3G networks. Germany, for example, wants to switch off 3G this year.
What does this mean for equipment manufacturers? They will have to revise their product portfolios to add new, advanced equipment supporting new generation networks. These devices will help businesses take advantage of all the opportunities offered by next-generation networks.
Eco-Driving is a concept aimed at helping businesses take better care of their fleet and control and keep employees safe. Essentially, an Eco-driving solution is collecting information about how drivers are operating the employer’s vehicles. Eco-Driving helps a company know when drivers speed up, brake hard, or use the car carelessly, wearing out parts and components. Insurance companies are now also very interested in Eco-Driving. They are using the data from sensors for risk analysis and incident investigations.
But the true future of Eco-Driving is Big Data. The more sophisticated trackers are, the more data they can collect, the smarter and more effective services can be created based on this information in the future. Autopilots or intelligent road infrastructure are examples that are becoming a reality in 2021.
For GPS tracker manufacturers, this trend means new business niches and directions for R&D.
Increasing Complexity and Integration
Transport monitoring is becoming increasingly complex. In the past, it was enough to know the location of a unit and its movement history. Nowadays, the list of tasks has expanded considerably. Companies want to see the whole picture of their business and control every aspect. That is why modern telematics solutions can’t be separated from other platforms (such as ERP or BI) but should be an organic part of the whole IT ecosystem.
What does it mean for device manufacturers? Trackers should be more complex to provide clients with a wide range of information. A modern tracker is a device that receives data from dozens of vehicle sensors and components. It should exchange data with external systems and work with the car’s CAN-buses.
Addressing IoT hardware manufacturers, business requires more sophisticated and smarter trackers to collect information and be seamlessly integrated into enterprise infrastructures.
The trends mentioned above indicate that we are approaching significant changes in telematics equipment. And we will likely see completely new solutions on the market soon.