Under the bracket “Fleet Management” they include all aspects of vehicle management, transport management, driver and mobile workforce solutions and applications linking vehicles to enterprise IT systems.
The prediction is that the European market for M2M communications is entering a sustained growth phase that should deliver a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 21% for the next five years. This would mean that the number of installed fleet management systems will grow from it’s current level of around 2 million to over 5 million by the end of 2017.
There seem to be a few factors driving this adoption. Health and safety initiatives have a part to play, as do asset tracking and security concerns. However the main factors identified by the research seem to be the cost reductions (in hardware and connectivity) that have really enabled the widespread adoption of fleet management services. A fleet that can be identified, monitoring and managed via wireless enabled devices installed in each vehicle is a fleet that, quite simply, costs less to run. Whilst, as we have already established, this is not the only consideration for companies adopting wireless M2M technologies into their operations, it is certainly one that shows a lot of promise.
A second feature that by no means takes a back seat is the flexibility given to fleet owners. If their vehicles are in need of a service, the wireless device will be able to communicate with its central (parent) system and alert a manager or engineer and those vehicles can be scheduled for repair. Alternatively, if a driver is exceeding the speed limit then the device will record this event and send the information to its hub. Both an improvement of road safety and a reduction in fuel consumption are good reasons to take advantage of M2M communications technology.
Berg also point to the notable consolidation trend that’s happening in the market as vehicle manufacturers and OEMs begin partnering with one another and with service providers to offer a comprehensive service approach. It’s something that’s been in the news recently when Spanish telecom giant Telefonica announced a partnership with fleet management company Masternaut. It looks like this might be the beginning of a trend as the major players look to take advantage of this market growth.