Wireless Applications

Sensor Integration Moves Telematics Beyond Trailer Tracking

November 13, 2008

According to ABI Research, sensors are enabling greater efficiency in fleet management operations. The research firm believes new applications will emerge to optimize temperature control in refrigerated containers and minimize fuel usage of auxiliary power units, as well as truck engines.


NEW YORK /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Simple location tracking of mobile assets, such as trailers and containers, was one of the original applications that launched the commercial telematics industry, soon after GPS technology became available for non-military purposes. This basic function is still the core of the trailer-tracking business, although as the server applications have become more powerful and better digital mapping and faster graphics have been developed, the data available to fleet managers is much more comprehensive than it was in the early days.

"The integration of sensors into trailer-tracking applications has added a new dimension to the business value equation," says ABI Research Principal Analyst David Alexander. "Refrigerated container temperature and trailer door open/close sensors were the initial offerings, with new developments in load content and tire-pressure monitoring becoming available from many of the market participants."

What these sensors are enabling is greater operational efficiency. Temperature monitoring of refrigerated trailers is a special case of a specific group of customers requesting a feature essential for a particular business vertical. But with the recent hike in fuel prices, there is now increasing interest in monitoring the fuel usage of auxiliary power units as well as the truck engines. We expect to see new applications emerging that will optimize temperature control to stay within specified limits while minimizing fuel usage.

"Tire pressure monitoring is one technology that can contribute to overall fleet efficiency by making sure that trailer tires maintain correct inflation," adds Alexander. "Underinflated trailer tires require more fuel to overcome increased rolling resistance, and tires are more likely to burst if excessively under- or over-inflated. So there are cost-avoidance benefits as well as operational efficiencies to be gained from the latest generation of trailer tracking systems."

ABI Research's "Trailer Tracking Markets"
ABI's "Trailer Tracking Markets" study examines the main applications and how they are relevant to the commercial fleet market. The latest business and market drivers and barriers are discussed, and forecasts of subscriber volume, market value, and market penetration are provided for North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Africa/Middle East. This report is part of two ABI Research Services, Commercial Telematics and M2M.

About ABI
ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Using a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, call 516-624-2500.


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