The future looks bright for connected vehicles. In 2019, experts expect the technology that makes smart cars “smart” will continue to mature as the value this tech provides—often in the form of realtime data—enables new use cases. Telematics solutions are connecting entire fleets and opening up many new opportunities for companies across multiple industries, and an autonomous future in which vehicles, roads, and infrastructure communicate seamlessly with one another looms nearer, promising everything from safer roads and to an even healthier environment.

A new research report from IDC (Intl. Data Corp.), entitled “IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Connected Vehicle 2019 Predictions” (October 2018, IDC #US44390818), suggests autonomy will become more affordable over time, with the average cost of the hardware required for Level 4 autonomy dropping to $8,000 per vehicle in 2023 (that’s down from $12,000 per vehicle in 2020). IDC also predicts that by 2024, 10% of all rides completed via ride-sharing platforms in major cities will be provided by automated vehicles and that 20% of all major cities will have begun implementations to support automated vehicles by 2021.

In the realm of telematics, mobility solutions provider Avis Budget Group recently announced it will connect an additional 75,000 of its fleet vehicles to its cloud-based, next-gen platform by installing in-vehicle telematics devices from I.D. Systems, a provider of wireless M2M solutions for managing high-value enterprise assets like rental cars. In the past year, Avis has already deployed 50,000 units, and the new agreement will help the company reach its goal of having a fully connected fleet by 2020.

I.D. Systems’ wireless in-vehicle management system permits two-way data communications between a vehicle and Avis’ cloud-based system and mobile apps. On the operations side of the equation, the connected-car management platform will allow for new efficiencies and reduced costs through realtime inventory counts, mileage management, and automated maintenance notifications, among other benefits. For customers, the solution may allow for new value-added services, especially through the Avis mobile app, as well as competitive rates.

Internationally, automotive technology provider ERM Advanced Telematics is sharpening its focus on the Latin American market in order to help meet the demand for fleet telematics solutions, which the company says stems largely from the need for tracking systems and other vehicle security solutions, including SVR (stolen vehicle recovery). ERM says its basic SVR implementation consists of vehicle location tracking and accessories include an immobilization system, an alarm system, break-in sensors, tow detection, and remote door and window control—all of which can help companies improve fleet performance, lower operational costs, and maximize ROI (return on investment).

For all automotive ecosystem players—from drivers and passengers to manufacturers, fleet providers, third-party developers, and beyond—connected vehicle platforms offer benefits such as improved vehicle safety, security, and performance and new and/or enhanced ways to interact with the vehicle. No matter what a fleet operator’s specific business needs are, connectivity solutions are helping them achieve their business goals and ultimately meet customers’ needs.

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