Greater impact and a broader reach for telematics in 2016

Jonathan Hewett, CMO and head of Strategy, Octo

There is a critical need for better value insurance, safety measures to reduce the number of road accidents, as well as improved efficiency to ease ever increasing traffic congestion. Octo anticipates that 2016 will be another exciting year in telematics as new technologies add more value to insurance propositions.

Telematics technology has come a long way since Octo invented Insurance Telematics. Today, telematics can gather vast amounts of data on driver behaviour, vehicle performance, fuel consumption and driver safety, all of which is analysed in depth within a cloud hosted environment, says Jonathan Hewett, CMO and head of Strategy, Octo Telematics.

The introduction of application programming interfaces (APIs) has made the technology easy to integrate with other business systems, such as insurance claims functions, invoicing, risk management and compliance.

Crash and claims information adds tremendous value to the consumer and the insurer in terms of both the safety of drivers and the efficient allocation of premiums and pay-outs. Advances in technology mean the scope of impact for consumers, insurers and fleet managers is set to broaden, meaning greater impact for existing users and huge potential for new areas of interest.

Here are the developments we expect to see in telematics in 2016:

1. Ease, simplicity and consumer savings will drive connected car adoption

The connected car will be in the spotlight throughout 2016, as we’ve already seen with the swathe of announcements at CES 2016. Vehicle connectivity means telematics data can be processed and fed back not only to the provider but also to the drivers in real-time so that they can make informed decisions about their behaviour. An app that adds weather information to route planning will help drivers avoid potentially dangerous road conditions. The development of useful, relevant applications is driven by simplicity. Telematics apps and the systems they run on need to work as simply as smartphones do with any app store to be taken on board.

2. The rise of the telematics-based Insurer

We expect that the proliferation of wearable devices will allow telematics to monitor other activities for the purpose of usage based insurance, moving away from the traditional driver focus. This is likely to include travel, home services and health in particular.

We are seeing great advancement in the ability to monitor and analyse medical symptoms with smartphones without needing to visit a doctor, from a simple heartrate measurement to blood glucose monitoring for diabetics. This revolution will lead to a greater optimisation of the insurance market across sectors and transform the industry.

3. Realising the intrinsic value of data

Telematics data in 2016 will be mined and used for far more than tracking and tracing vehicles. The end product of telematics is not the data itself, but how the data is analysed and displayed to the end user through an engaging interface, enabling them to take appropriate action. Greater focus on analytics and visualisation will help unlock the true revenue potential of collected data.

4. Integration with existing business processes

Telematics data can be extended beyond insurance and fleet management to other software systems in the company. Telematics information collected from the field can be connected to accounting, payroll, driver training software, or CRM systems, just to name a few. The integration of telematics with other business systems creates a powerful business optimisation tool.

5. Security will be defining for data companies in 2016.

For anyone who produces software, security is currently the biggest issue and we will see telematics data security become an even bigger challenge for insurance providers and for fleet managers. It only takes one weak link in the chain, one API error, to cause a huge amount of problems. In 2016, we expect to see more fleet managers adopt secure software development processes, impose stricter rules for authorising who can access certain data, and promote best practices for data security.

6. The driverless car enigma

Jonathan Hewett, CMO and head of Strategy, Octo Telematics
Jonathan Hewett, CMO and head of Strategy, Octo Telematics

The concept of a fully automated, driverless car is one of the most captivating tech ideas on the horizon. For many the concept seems truly space-age and tough to imagine, but we already have many of the features in existing car models. Parallel parking and lane change assistance, sensors and automatic braking are all early stages in the evolution of the self-driving car. The challenge is to find comprehensive, forward-looking solutions to the thorniest issues such as decision-based ethics, privacy, and security. The security, legal and regulatory challenges are bigger hurdles than the technical challenges for self-driving cars. Industry-wide effort is needed to address those issues.

The author of this blog is Jonathan Hewett, CMO and head of Strategy, Octo Telematics.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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