These days, it is difficult to avoid telematics in the road transport sector. For the most part, manufacturers, logistics specialists and transporters themselves have some interest in it, whether this be in the form of solutions integrated directly into vehicles or other, more specific solutions that are linked to each profession. As a logical consequence, a myriad of start-ups have jumped on the telematics bandwagon, offering products that make life easier for fleet managers. We spoke to two of these companies: Numtech and Agaetis.
Numtech, a company whose expertise lies in modelling atmospheric phenomena
One of these start-ups, Numtech, which received the Innovation prize as part of the 2016 “Trophées de la simulation numérique” digital simulation awards, “specialises in modelling atmospheric phenomena”, explains CEO Pierre Béal.
The company is active in two core fields: “in terms of air quality, which is particularly important in the transport sector, we offer real-time monitoring and forecasting systems. With regard to weather forecasting, we mainly deploy forecasting systems at industrial sites. Our main customers are involved in organising road transport, urban development plans, the last kilometre. They can be towns or cities, general councils, logistics specialists or manufacturers”, and the company assists them, in particular, by developing scenarios that allow the impact of potential solutions to be assessed.
Listen to our interview with Pierre Béal, Numtech CEO:
Currently, the main role played by Numtech in the field of applied telematics with regard to road transport consists of “sending information to trucks, generally meteorological data, although we are currently in talks with manufacturers about also transmitting air quality data”, Pierre Béal continues. “In concrete terms, we warn drivers about storms or severe gusts of wind they may encounter a few kilometres ahead, for example”. Such information is vital for drivers, allowing them to adapt how they drive accordingly. However, as is often the case with data, especially big data, the transmission of information is not a one-way process: “We are very eager to obtain data from the truck”, Béal adds, “because the main difficulty we face is how to cover the region effectively. Therefore, we need ‘field data’, and the trucks are an excellent medium”.
Agaetis, a company specialising in data and digital strategy
We know that data is at the heart of telematics – its very foundation, perhaps – and equally, a large number of companies that collect and analyse data are showing an interest in the transport sector. That is also the case for Agaetis, a company specialising in data and digital strategy.
“We support our customers – key accounts and start-ups alike – in analysing data relating to their core business. In particular, we work with customers in the areas of connected agriculture, the factory of the future, connected vehicles, etc.”, explains Nicolas Roux, CEO of Agaetis. With regard to connected vehicles specifically, Agaetis first gets involved at an early stage “to help define a strategy; that is, to define the way in which a company will envisage telematics. The company asks itself a multitude of questions, which we help it to answer: how best to work with a telematics specialist, what types of data it is interested in recovering, whether it should consult a telematics specialist based in France and another in North America, etc. Our customers’ needs vary greatly from one field to another: some will rely entirely on one telematics specialist, while others will develop their own telematics box because they need information that cannot be found in standard products.”
Then, at a later stage, Agaetis helps to “capture, clean and interpret the data to find relevant information so as to move towards value creation. After all, as in many other sectors, road transport professionals need to develop and create new services. Otherwise, they risk seeing their rivals, who just yesterday may have been their partners, move in on their territory and threaten their own models.”
Listen to our interview with Nicolas Roux, Agaetis CEO:
Will the correct use of telematics quickly become a matter of not just growth, but even survival, for companies in the road transport sector? That is a possibility we cannot rule out…