Connected technologies will lay groundwork for smart networks in 2022

According to the Global Fleet Survey on Connected Vehicles, the pandemic urged 32% of fleets to speed up connectivity strategies. In comparison, 48% of them have set the goal of becoming connected by 2025. Remote fleet management tools have become obligatory for fleet managers, the importance of fleet software has surfaced and the hardware necessary to run it on. 

By Müfit Yılmaz Gökmen, Editor, Fleet Europe (pictured) 

A swift increase in the awareness of telematics has been a breaking point for fleet managers, who needed urgent and reliable solutions to increase the performance and security of their fleets. Consequently, it's not surprising to see 72% of fleet managers state the importance of connectivity in fleet strategy. 

The true milestone, however, happened as OEMs started to transform into hardware and digital service providers and expanded their investments in electrification projects. Conversely, fleets became the merging point of the software and hardware innovations, applying these technologies through another rising star of fleet management technologies: Data analytics. Eventually, the data analytics of 2021 draw a clear picture of the goals and trends lying ahead for technology and connectivity. 

Better data and increased collaboration

The ever-growing electrification ambitions have created a competitive market where traditional OEMs shift their operations to EV technologies and form partnerships to reduce investment risks during the chip shortage period. Today, OEMs are establishing R&D labs one after another to bring forward the newest innovations in software and hardware such as Over-the-Air (OTA), autonomous driving and new generation batteries. 

Some of the most remarkable developments have occurred in telematics, as cloud-based data gathering and data analytics platforms provided an immense boost for fleets, especially in delivery services. 

Statista says the global telematics market will reach $103 billion in volume in 2022, driven by broader connectivity systems inroads. Boosted by 5G infrastructure and Internet of Things (IoT), the advances in V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) will eventually lead to the rise of the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), the next step in telematics adoption. 

V2G and autonomous technology will be the big players

According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the number of connected IoT devices will reach 41.6 billion and generate 79.4 zettabytes of information by 2025. From 2022, further developments in connectivity technologies such as Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) will pave the way for intelligent transport systems (ITS), integrated into smart city traffic networks. But the smaller steps will see the adoption of new telematics technologies such as video telematics to gather full insight data and perform highly beneficial data analysis. The increased number of sensors and data analytics platforms will play a significant role in fleet electrification processes. 

The new year is to bring many developments in autonomous vehicle technologies, such as Level 3 automated systems in public transport, commercial vans and passenger cars. The approval of EasyMile EZ10 shuttle's acceptance as the first fully autonomous vehicle to operate on a public road in France was one of the milestones in 2021. The increased use of micro-mobility and autonomous public transport will also lay the groundwork for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology, turning privately owned EVs into chargers of smart power grids for optimum energy usage. 

V2G is an interesting note to understand what the OEMs and technology companies will be developing in 2022. The integration of EVs to power grids to charge and return electricity is what Volkswagen Group plans with the vehicles built on the Modular electric drive matrix (MEB). But V2G is just a small proportion of the technologies OEMs are developing with their partners. From GM's Ultium batteries to Tesla's LIDAR free self-driving technology, fleets will have tons of developments to consider for the years to come. As the number of independent EV makers and partnerships increases, fleets will have to follow the advancements closely to cherry pick to meet their needs from the tech pool manifesting in front of them. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen