Colin-on-Cars – Big data getting bigger

It is big. It is massive . . . and it is growing every day. It is the internet and our connectivity and, if you can rattle the imagination, Facebook alone generates around 4 petabytes of data per day—that is 1-million gigabytes.

As the automotive world delves even further into connected vehicles – meaning a vehicle that is equipped with Internet access, allowing it to remotely send and receive data – each of those generates approximately 25 gigabytes of data every hour according to management consultants McKinsey & Company.

This data volume is increasing exponentially as entirely new data sets are incorporated into transmissions, such as weather conditions, traffic flow, road conditions, etc. Their forecast is for data volume from connected vehicles to increase 50-fold in the next 10 years.

Then, looking even farther into the future, one prediction is the autonomous vehicles of tomorrow will generate up to 4 000 gigabytes of data a day – that is more than 1 400 terabytes of data a year from a single vehicle.

For fleet managers this volume of data can be quite terrifying acrtoss a large fleet of 100 or more vehicles.

Writing on the Eqstra Fleet Management blog, Sudesh Pillay says: “Telematics and its role in fleet management has grown exponentially from fairly humble beginnings in the 1960s. Informatics and telecommunications formally merged when the US Department of Defence developed GPS systems to track asset position and improve communication on the battlefield.

“The Soviet spacecraft, Sputnik launched in 1957 and its technology gained the name ‘telematics’ only in 1978. However, it was not until 1993 when the US Government offered full GPS access to civilians that the systems we take for granted today started to grow.

“In the world of fleet management, telematics originated as a system to keep track of vehicles and, as more satellites were fired into space, the levels of accuracy improved significantly.

“In the early years, fleet managers had to physically download the data from each vehicle and manually work with it to compile a meaningful report. At this time, the commercially available GPS units were separate attachments.

“Separately, but in parallel, automakers were building electronic sensors and computer systems to coordinate various sub-systems and optimise performance into their vehicles and the cellular industry was beginning to flex its muscle.

“This meant the data being collected by the car and the tracking information could easily, and instantly, be transmitted to the company offices giving real-time information.

“Present-day telematics technology is synonymous with fleet management systems and at the heart of machine-2-machine (m2m) and Internet of Things (IoT) based business model innovation.”

With rapid advancements in telematics technology and mobile internet speeds, the stage is set for internet-connected vehicles to begin merging and integrating with telematics on an elemental level. With the evolution of telematics technology and the connected car converging rapidly, a new groundwork is being laid for a new world of automated travel and fleet management.

Add to this the evolution of the automated vehicle – both cars and trucks – and the importance and role of telematics again grows exponentially.

Fleet managers are on the verge of a data avalanche. Now is the time to prepare!

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