Telematics penetration in the construction industry is set to exceed 30% globally by 2019, according to ABI Research.
Although penetration is currently quite low, operators are beginning to realize the benefits as more original equipment manufacturers include telematics solutions as standard in their vehicles, notes the market-research company.
Operators typically cite the tracking capability of telematics systems as the greatest benefit, but telematics can also promote better machine utilization and facilitate more efficient maintenance and repair schedules, according to ABI Research.
Telematics can also help fleet operators with safety compliance by allowing them to control site access and observer noise-limit requirements more easily.
Nevertheless, a lack of standardization continues to hold back the adoption of telematics in the construction sector, says ABI Research, with most construction fleets comprised of vehicles from different manufacturers using incompatible technologies.
“As construction fleets adopt telematics, fleet operators are increasingly demanding more standardization, easier interfacing, and a single-source site for all OEM API data,” said Gareth Owen, a principal analyst at ABI Research.
Encouragingly, companies like Caterpillar (Peoria, IL, USA), Komatsu (Tokyo, Japan), Volvo (Gothenburg, Sweden) and John Deere (Moline, IL, USA) have been working with aftermarket suppliers including Navman Wireless (Keele, UK) – as well as industry bodies – to develop standard application programming interfaces for some of the basic data, such as vehicle identification, location and hours of use.
“Some operators, such as rental fleet companies, are also calling for standardization of more advanced data feeds such as geo-fencing, immobilization, safety devices and alerts, and no doubt this will follow,” said Owen.
Caterpillar and Trimble (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) recently announced their development of a brand-agnostic fleet management and site productivity solutions platform designed for contractors with mixed equipment fleets.
The two companies operate a telematics network for construction fleets through a joint venture.