The market of smart fleet management technologies is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.0% from 2017 to 2022, to reach USD 462.48 billion (AED 1,698,00 bln) by 2022 globally. Some of the major factors responsible for the growth of this market are:
Government regulations for safety
Increase in demand for real-time tracking
Increased need for fleet monitoring by fleet operators in order to reduce transportation cost and increase operational efficiency.
Since HH Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum launched the initiative to transform Dubai from e-government to smart government back in 2013, more than 1,000 services (and counting) have been made available just a click away for the public by 2017. Such impressive level of change would not have been possible if businesses and governments did not come together to set the foundations of such smart city. A range of communications platforms highlighting the importance of big data, telematics, smart transportation, smart services and other revolutionary technologies emerged.
One of those communications platforms happened to take place in December 11-12, 2017 at the Dusit Al Thani on Sheikh Zayed Road under the title: “Smart Fleet Management”. The conference highlighted the importance smart telematics. Smart Telematics is the new telematics, government and businesses are no longer interested in knowing the whereabouts of vehicles or what is known as simple track & trace. The new trend is the V2X/V2I where vehicles communicate between each other and with the road infrastructure.
The conference was co-sponsored by Location Solutions, and had brought together local government entities with regional telematics solution providers (TSPs), M2M providers, transport companies, and many international telematics stakeholders.
An array of trends and challenges have been discussed during the 2-days event, yet the core topic revolved around the increased economic activities in the region that will undeniably stimulate the growth of fleet operations in the area. With this being said, fuel and driver behaviour management, along with fleet safety and security will remain under the spotlight.
In his opening speech, Tim Piper, the Managing Director of Transpo Group, indicated that these, and other challenges of the industry can be handled by means of implementing advanced technologies and data management solutions. And those who use them will significantly contrast from those, who don’t.
Mohammed Al Nabhan, Monitoring and Enforcement Department Director at RTA, spoke about the number of initiatives supported by TRA, shared strategic plans of the national agenda, and stressed the fact that these changes will impact the regional transport and logistics sectors in a smart and positive way.
Youssef Beydoun, the head of cargo business relationships at Dubai Airports, shared some of the first developments which are taking place in the organisation in the advent of EXPO2020, the UAE vision 2021, and other smart initiatives, supported by the government.
As part of the expert panel with Mohammed Al Nabhan, RTA, and Dr. Turhan Bilgili, Project Manager and Senior Consultant Al Majdouie - Zaim Azrak, CEO of Location Solutions shared that excellence in technology generation does not necessarily lead to regional economic benefits, and that the most essential ingredient of success in this challenging industry is to look into the problems and try to solve them, rather than provide applications and try to sell them.
During the presentations, delivered by experts from Michelin, Shell and Toyota, attention was given to the digital transformation of products and business processes, which is now occupying the minds of many. Increasing transport facilities and stringent safety regulations are changing government approach towards fleet operators, drivers, passengers, and goods safety. Governments had imposed many regulations, which mandate transportation OEMs to deliver vehicles equipped with safety features.
As part of urban infrastructure, driverless cars are coming into the center of global dispute, therefore, a panel discussion by industry experts, including Alex Smirnov, the Business Development Director of Gurtam Middle East, and Zakaraya Al Ashek, Director / Solutions Marketing - Internet of Things at Etisalat, and Manish Malhotra, Regional Head - MEA and General Manager of Toyota Asia Pacific - were focusing on how infrastructures and legal environments can be adjusted to autonomous vehicles, and whether or not the smart cities of the Emirates are ready to accommodate.
On the 2nd day of the conference, experts from logistics companies, research agencies and consultants came together to share the best practices for fleet management and transport planning.
Apart from this, a number of experts shared their concerns over the usage of Big data in the region. Why is Big Data such a big deal nowadays? How do we plan efficiently and bring down the cost of data-mining? In order for smarter innovations to function at its best, it is deemed essential that the region utilizes data to the fullest, yet tooling up to handle this stuff requires major investment in computer hardware. Dubai is now recognised as the trendsetter of change, with large volumes of data generated from a number of connectivity platforms on a daily basis.
As for Ivan Reynolds, the Hub Manager at Borouge, smart people management technologies is of highest importance. No matter how smart technologies are, or will be, regardless of the scale of deployment -- they will still be operated, or controlled, by people. If users of the technologies are not qualified, or fitted to handle the job, technology will be simply misused. This will drastically affect the pace of implementation, which is crucial to success.
A range of considerations have been voiced during the panel on “the implementation of smart technologies in fleet management”.
ADAS systems are to play a pivotal role in the quest towards implementation of smart technologies in the region. Its higher adaptability in all passenger cars in some of the advanced economies gives this technology an edge. A range of regulations are becoming focused on mandating safety features for ADAS systems. These factors make the ADAS systems one of the most prominent technologies in the smart fleet management market.
Other aspects of implementing smart fleet management tackled the development of infrastructures, which includes smart parks, and road planning and safety facilities, such as weight-in-motion projects, and live traffic monitoring with a range of useful applications, based on big data to give real-time awareness to citizens, fleet managers and agencies over the traffic condition in the cities.
Overall, Location Solutions enjoyed the conference, and will be happy to collaborate with other platforms, aimed at empowering change in the region, and strengthening the effort of organisations that work together. On top of all, this is gratifying to understand that the region is on the verge of technology change, which we are by all means ready to empower.