Equipment Type

Telematics Applications from the Auto World

The automotive industry is using telematics in ways far advanced of our industry.
June 02, 2014

Rod Sutton is editorial director of Construction Equipment magazine. He is in charge of editorial strategy and writes a monthly column for the magazine, The Sutton Report. He has more than 30 years in construction journalism, and has been with Construction Equipment since 2001.

BMW was recently annointed the auto brand with the best high-tech features by the Telematics Research Group. Examples included night vision, adaptive cruise control, and park distance control.

The automotive industry is using telematics in ways far advanced of our industry. I don’t know how many will end up on an excavator, but there are some interesting developments.

  • Usage-based insurance (UBI). Auto insurers provide discounts based on driver behavior. The most notable is Progressive, which is using braking frequency along with other data points to monitor—and reward—driver behavior.
  • Quicker data input. As insurance companies evolve UBI, they are seeking for more real-time and compressed-time data, for example, monitoring braking within a 24-hour period instead of over six months.
  • Harmonization of data across devices. BMW has its own system, which differs from Ford, and they produce different levels of sophistication. As insurance companies put more value on the data, the push for a standard platform grows.
  • Automated engagement. Auto dealers who know the mileage on the car can alert the driver of maintenance services due and even allow the driver to schedule the appointment.
  • Driver—operator—behavior modification. Drivers have adjusted their behaviors in order to obtain better insurance rates. A study in Canada showed that 50 percent of drivers said they had become safer after monitoring their own driving habits online.

See a demo of the telematics package on the Porsche 819 Spyder, powered by S1nn, a telematics provider in Germany.

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