Smart mobility, Artificial Intelligence, IoT usage – these trends penetrate more and more to the Middle East & Africa region alongside with the other world. Telematics tendencies and the perspective of IoT and M2M technologies were discussed at the Telematics Conference MEA that gathered the leading industry players.
For a better understanding of what is currently going on in the market, it is important to remember that basic approach is going to be replaced by a more mature telematics. The first trend is that vehicle manufacturers such as MAN and others are offering their telematics assistance that comes with the fleets. Another trend – companies offering cheaper connectivity. They have their own applications with competitive advantages and have to stay creative. And the third challenge is autonomous vehicles. These trends are developing simultaneously in many countries but the Middle East region is definitely one of the leaders. By 2030, 25% trips in Dubai are going to be autonomous. So this is something that has to be taken into consideration.
One more trend is collaboration. Telematics business is also changing. The market has already filtered those who have been there just to get fast profit. Crisis and taxes introduction make it hard for the unprepared companies to survive. Companies operating in the same sphere just have to cooperate and once they do it, the next time they do it on a bigger scale.
– We need to be prepared for the coming of big companies such as Ericsson into OEM field. Very often they find government support. So the unity of telematics entrepreneurs will be able to provide the alternative or at least the helping hand to the companies that will have to use certain providers. The question is how we can teach companies, businesses, and end users to use the tools such as driver’s behaviour monitoring, fuel control, maintenance and so on, to boost the business efficiency of fleets. Now it’s a must to be in the market together to provide the best solution, – says Aliaksandr Smirnou, business development director, Middle East, Gurtam.
– Africa is a continent with developing the economy, there are a lot of challenges as well as resources starting from its people. Many companies are interested in investing in Africa. However, the major problems are for sure its infrastructure and the financial system that doesn’t allow business to be developed as it is required. Banks are considering certain African countries as quite a risk. But it is also a testing ground for such technologies as mobile payments, bitcoins, cryptocurrencies that can be used as an alternative source to a centralized banking system because these days they are accepted as a normal way of transactions, – considers Hamadou Hamidou, IoT consultant for Africa countries.
One more crucial point is security and safety. Sicuro company from Dubai is putting much effort to provide for the cargo and people security in Africa and other countries. They develop their apps which help to have an emergency call once there is an unstable situation. So, in that way telematics companies are helping to provide safer transportation in Africa.
The tendencies that are clearly seen in the Middle East region are as follows: smart mobility, Artificial Intelligence incorporation, growing integrations within IoT framework. Greater emphasis is nowadays on the services that can be added at the after sale stage: applications, sensors, reports, and KPI dashboards. Since Dubai is a global digital capital, a lot of changes that we are discussing now will be implemented here. The question is who will be the stakeholders, and what are the companies that will implement these technologies.
– Some time ago it was a big deal to see all the vehicles online. Now we can get any kind of data considering what the driver is doing, even if he is sleeping or smoking. To process this information we need to partner with other technology providers. So we get data from the devices in the truck and it’s necessary to have a complete solution serving the purposes that we need. For example, in Saudi Arabia a new regulation was introduced: women can drive now. This is a very progressive step but it also means that there must be some safety measures for this new group of drivers. So it’s natural that video monitoring and ADAS systems will be in high demand, – says Aliaksandr Smirnou, business development director, Middle East, Gurtam.