The fleet world gathered June 11-13 in sunny Toronto, Ontario for GEOTAB CONNECT 2018. Here is a recap of the keynote presentations and sessions on Day 1. This blog post was put together with the help of Maria Sotra, Ella Socol, and Pilar Cervigon.
Day 1 Recap
After an exciting kick off with two receptions hosted at different venues, GEOTAB CONNECT 2018 got underway. CEO Neil Cawse provided an overview of the Geotab ecosystem and took a look forward to how it is evolving. Cawse said planning is key for businesses right now. Companies must ask themselves: “Where are we going and what is our business going to look like in 20 years?” IoT data such as connected vehicle data from Geotab — the biggest and richest vehicle data set in the world — helps support business planning and decision-making.
Major Announcements on Day 1
Geotab announced the acquisition of clean-tech solution provider FleetCarma, a 40 person team in Waterloo, Ontario, which is part of the region called the Silicon Valley of the North. FleetCarma’s team has specialized knowledge in providing telematics for hybrid and electric vehicles. Combining these unique EV telematics capabilities with Geotab’s open platform approach offers customers a complete telematics solution for electric vehicle fleet management.
FleetCarma CEO Matt Stevens also spoke to conference attendees about the close link between adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and telematics. Go to the Geotab Press Roomto read this announcement and more.
Key Themes from GEOTAB CONNECT 2018
With 20 breakout sessions streamed into three tracks (government, technical and business), there were a lot of new ideas and fleet solutions to discover. Here are some of the common themes that emerged from GEOTAB CONNECT.
In his welcome address, Colin Sutherland, Geotab’s Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing, described how the world is rapidly changing. These days, online retailers offer the ultimate in flexibility with delivery right to your door next day or even same day. Sutherland encouraged attendees to embrace change instead of fighting it.
The theme continued with Tony Seba’s talk: Strategy in the Age of Disruption. His message was to not dismiss new technology as it could eventually become the mainstream. As an example, Seba referenced the cell phone. Industry experts initially downplayed the market potential of the cell phone but it ended up taking over and revolutionizing life as we know it.
Seba said disruption can happen quickly and the number of areas being disrupted is increasing. Uber, Lyft, DiDi Chuxing and Ola are transforming the concept of transportation. Seba highlighted that in New York, ride-hailing apps are becoming more popular than yellow cabs, and in San Francisco, 20% of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are from Uber and Lyft vehicles.
Going Beyond the Norm
In the Beyond Dashboards breakout session, Geotab Partner Account Manager Laurie Sehl spoke about the importance of digging into the telematics data that Geotab offers. Vehicle sensor data is one area in particular that is incredibly valuable to fleets but underutilized. Ignition, engine speed, road speed, odometer fuel, seat belt, and engine light are all types of data that can be used for a number of purposes such as predicting component failure, avoiding major repairs, reducing fleet costs and informing buying or selling decisions. Read more about engine diagnostics versus GPS only in this blog post by Jordan Guter.
In Dashboarding with Big Data, Bernard Cheng and Gordana Jekic showed new possibilities for working with data in MyGeotab and encouraged fleets to “Go deep into your data.”
Gordana introduced two unique features that they are working on for MyGeotab: Snapshot and Drill Through. Snapshot is a handy tool that allows you to take a picture of your dashboard to make note of something interesting, but then go back to what you were doing without interrupting your workflow.
Drill Through allows MyGeotab users to navigate to another dashboard or a URL. In essence, you are following the thread to find out what story the data is telling. For example, you could start at the dashboard for Top Performing Drivers, then focus in on one particular vehicle, clicking through for more stats, such as the vehicle’s average safety score, erratic driving incidents, or safety exceptions breakdown. These data visualization tools will be released in beta soon. Check out Bernard’s blog post on infographics here.
The New Global Mobility Revolution
Lukas Neckermann delivered a powerful talk about the transition from cars to mobility and how it impacts the landscape. He spoke about how people are rejecting car ownership and driving, and embracing the alternatives. “The most powerful tool for mobility is your smart phone,” said Neckermann. People can have full control of all types of mobility from their smartphone, whether it is their car infotainment system, accessing public transportation, ordering a delivery online or hailing a ride from an app.
GEOTAB CONNECT 2018 attendees all received a special edition of Neckermann’s book, Smart Cities, Smart Mobility, which shows how the mobility revolution is set to change the economy, society, and the urban environment, and what challenges it might bring to industry and cities.
Stefano Peduzzi, European Engineering Director presented Securing the Future of Connected Vehicles: The Neutral Vehicle Platform which outlined the new global mobility environment. Peduzzi described the current mobility trends: autonomous, sustainable, connected and shared. He also highlighted some new market disruptors, such as the DiDi Chuxing and noted that 6 of the top 10 EV OEMs come from China. Europcar, a traditional rent-a-car company has changed his name to Europcar Mobility Group.
What is the common thread of all these stories? The thread is that people now expect global mobility services. However, closed systems threaten innovation and consumer choice. Only open, reliable and safe systems can make it possible. That’s why Geotab, together with some industry experts proposed the Neutral Vehicle Platform to make it happen.
Moove Connected Mobility from the Netherlands presented their Connected Maintenance Program. Henk Kooijman introduced Moove Shring, an innovative car sharing system based on the Witte Box, from Witte Digital. Witte Box, soon to be a Geotab Marketplace Partner, makes it possible to lock/unlock a car via a smartphone easily. The car key is hidden in the box that is placed in the car and only the user needs to press a button to open the car and get the key.
Day 1 of GEOTAB CONNECT ended with a sunset cruise on Toronto harbor. On Day 2, there will be much more!
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