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How Cloud Telematics Solutions Will Add “Value” to The Value-Chain

| September 8, 2011

Author: Dale Calder, Axeda Founder

Vehicles are everywhere! Personal cars, rental cars, company cars, trucking fleets, delivery trucks, service vans, construction equipment, farm equipment, snow plows, garbage trucks, planes, trains, boats – you get the idea! All of these vehicles have a couple of things in common:

1)    They move

2)    Someone or something cares about where they are and what they are doing.

The amazing thing is that with the billions of vehicles that are in existence, the collective value they represent, and the importance that they provide to the global economy, they largely go about their daily tasks completely unmonitored.

There is an industry that is interested in filling this gap called telematics.

Today’s telematics solutions were built to track a vehicle’s location via a control center, dots on a map style interface.   These systems create value by enabling an organization to better operate the vehicles they own.   Unfortunately, they stop there.   If you want to take that vehicle information deeper into your organization, to your customers, or supply chain partners – you are out of luck.

These solutions were just not designed to think of a vehicle as a source of information that could be consumed by many stakeholders, both in and out of your organization.

 

Enter the Cloud.

Cloud-based solutions represent a fundamental sea change in the telematics industry.   At its heart, the Cloud is all about the consumption of information.   Built on open web standards, Cloud-based systems are inherently scalable and inherently consumable.   A cloud-enabled vehicle can be utilized to power many solutions and dramatically extend that vehicle’s value-chain.

Let’s take a simple car and look at all of the parties that could benefit from a direct connection to that car.

Driver

As the user of a vehicle I have a vested interest.   If my air bag deploys I want my car to call for help. If I am lost, I want turn-by-turn directions. If I lock my keys in the car I want a way to open them from my smart phone.   As a parent, I want to monitor the whereabouts and driving habits of my children – AT ALL TIMES!

Manufacturer

As the manufacturer, I want to know when the car is not behaving normally.   If it needs service, I want to alert my customers.  If the car needs a firmware update, I want to do it without forcing my customers to come to the dealer.  I want to do everything I can to improve the experience of my customer and the reliability and safety of my product.

Insurance Company

As the insurer, I am interested in many aspects of that vehicle.   I would like to know where it goes, if it is subject to hard breaking or fast acceleration, and how much it is driven on a daily basis.  In the end, I want to provide discounts to safe drivers and charge more for aggressive drivers.

Insurance Ratings Company

As the insurance ratings company, I am interested in correlating driving behavior to claims.  I want to make sure that the insurance for the car is priced appropriately for the type of driver that is using the vehicle.  To do this, I need data!

Leasing Company

As the leasing company, I want to know how much my vehicle is used and ensure that it is serviced appropriately while on lease.   If I need to repossess the vehicle, I want to know where it is.

Car Rental Company

As a car rental company, I want to know that the car I have rented is where it should be and is being driven responsibly.

Corporate Service Department

As a corporate customer, I am interested in all my vehicles.   I want to know if the vehicle is where its workflow says it should be.   I want to avoid excessive idle times in order to save fuel. I want to make sure the drivers of my vehicles are driving according to company guidelines.

 

Today, each of these constituencies would require their own connection to the vehicle and a purpose-built telematics solution to provide them with the information they desire.   I think that 10 cellular modems hanging off one vehicle is a pretty impractical solution.

But with a Cloud-based platform, all of these solutions, and more, could be powered by a single connection.   The Cloud hides the physical connection and creates a virtual environment where a given vehicle can be interacted with, as if it were the real thing.   Since the Cloud is built on standards, anyone can build solutions using commercially available tools.   Want to develop your application on a smart phone? No problem – it will interact with a Cloud-based vehicle in exactly the same way.

The Cloud provides a platform that enables vehicles to become valuable assets for the organizations and individuals that own, sell, and operate them.  Cloud-based telematics solves the problems of traditional telematics solutions and unleashes a value-creation engine that is only limited by your imagination.

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About the Author:


Dale Calder, Founder
Dale Calder founded Axeda in 2000 with a vision to create real-time connections between people, companies, and assets – revolutionizing the way in which businesses interact with their products and customers.  Calder believes that any product that can be connected – will be connected.

Calder is widely regarded as a pioneer in the M2M market.  According to Connected World magazine: “Without question no one company has touched so many facets of M2M technology as the brainchild of Dale Calder. Calder has been putting ‘code to paper’ envisioning a company that has come true helping companies to realize the power of M2M.”

Calder speaks frequently at industry events and contributes regularly to key media outlets such as Wireless Week, Connected Planet, Connected World Magazine, and Network World through interviews and bylines.

Prior to founding Axeda, Calder also founded and successfully exited FactorySoft, a world lead in connectivity tools for the industrial automation industry.  Prior to founding FactorySoft, Calder held several management and technical positions in the industrial automation marketplace where he focused on real-time data acquisition and presentation.

Calder received a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Duke University. He also attended the M.B.A. program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

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