With the introduction of GPS technology to the public, the world of business and logistics were transformed 

Informatics and telecommunications formally merged back in the 1960s when the U.S. Department of Defense developed GPS systems to track asset position and improve communication on the battlefield. Telematics gained traction among competing superpowers pursuing technology-driven warfare tactics and the innovation soon made waves across the enterprise market and the consumer sector alike. Telematics consists of three interdependent breakthroughs of the modern technology era: Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication, GPS and Internet.

Milestones in the history and evolution of telematics:

1960: Introduction of GPS technologies by the U.S. Department of Defense for military and intelligence applications amid heightened Cold War in the decade. The technology was originally inspired from the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik launched in 1957.

1960s: The invention of Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), the first network to use Internet Protocol suite.

1968: M2M conceptualized by the Greek inventor and scientist Theodore G. Paraskevakos while he was working on the Caller ID technology.

1978: The term ‘Telematics’ coined in a technology development report to the French prime minister.

1988: Major EEC research programs launched to experiment vehicle telematics with the objective of improving road safety and reducing environmental impact.

1993: GPS technologies reach the consumer market as the U.S. government offers full GPS access to civilians.

Early 2000s: Enterprise-wide use of telematics technologies for use in Web-based fleet management systems with real-time information updates to remote networks. Slow tracking rates limited to one or two instances per hour.

Mid 2000s: Consumer market flooded with GPS-based vehicle navigation systems.

Late 2000s: Advancements in cloud and M2M technologies enable super-fast and precise tracking of GPS data and other sensor parameters accessible for real-time reporting.

Present: Unprecedented innovation in Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M based telematics data management capabilities for the enterprise and consumer market.

Business Implications for the Evolving Telematics Ecosystem

Present-day telematics technology is synonymous with fleet management systems and at the heart of m2m and IoT-based business model innovation. UPS may be the king of m2m, adopting m2m technologies early on to revolutionize their fleet, and drive wider adoption within other enterprise companies. IoT sensors installed in UPS vehicles produce 1.25 billion telematics records per week and include a combination of customer delivery information, driver behavioral data and other GPS-based fleet management information. Results include savings of nearly one million gallons of fuel annually, faster and more accurate delivery, enhanced resource utilization and increased revenue streams.

The consumer market itself is experiencing a similar boom with global integrated telematics to reach 88 percent for new cars by 2025 according to a recent research report. Employing commercially viable telematics strategies is key to business success in today’s ever-connected era. Advancements in M2M, GPS and sensor technologies is altering the face of competition, presenting telematics big data as one of the most valued assets for business organizations.

The technology is essentially changing the industry structure, creating new ways for companies to outperform their competition, and even spawning an entire line of business from the organization’s existing operations. However, the strategic significance of telematics goes beyond blind investments and encompasses the wider practice to reshape business operations, products, and the entire value chain.

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