The internet of things – the vast global network of smart devices sharing information – is expanding quickly.
IOT Analytics predicts that it will almost double in size from 14.4 billion devices in 2022 to 27 billion in 2025, and connected vehicles are an important contributor.
Fleets, which operate the newest vehicles on the road, will be the earliest adopters.
Epyx, which counts four million cars and vans on its 1Link fleet-management platforms, says 76% of combustion-engined and 97% of electric vehicles registered by customers are already connected; and predicts that by the middle of the decade, non-connected fleet vehicles will be rare.
How is access to vehicle data improving?
Matt Waller, director of connected car at Epyx parent company Fleetcor, cites several reasons for improving data provision.
The eCall SOS system became a mandatory part of type approvals in March 2018, which means most new models have a built-in SIM card.
Connected features, such as cabin pre-conditioning, charging functions and battery health checks, are desirable for EVs.
Bandwidth is increasing as 4G and 5G coverage becomes more widespread.
Legislation, such as the EU’s incoming Data Act, is recognising the societal value of having standards for sharing and accessing this data.
In turn, over-the-air software updates, subscription-based service and other revenue streams have become “low-hanging fruit”, Waller said, and vehicles’ raw data could have operational benefits for fleets if packaged and presented effectively.
Why should fleets be interested in connected car data?
Epyx is trialling a connected car solution focused initially on light commercial vehicle (LCV) fleets, where Waller says operational costs are highest and potential savings are greater.
Vans tend to offer car-like connectivity but with easier interoperability between brands.
More than half (55%) of LCVs on the 1Link Service Network have readily accessible data – a legacy, perhaps, of the wider use of telematics in vans.
The 1Link platforms automate fleet management throughout a vehicle lifecycle, from procurement to remarketing, through maintenance, repairs and sourcing hire cars.