Vehicle tracking and other commercial connected-vehicle technologies will eventually be purchased when a fleet manager orders the vehicle from the manucturer and will come equipped with the vehicle rather than be added as an aftermarket solution, Verizon Connect's chief executive said at the annual Latitude conference.
"Over time, there will not be aftermarket solutions," Andrés Irlando told the audience on Oct. 23. "There will be embedded solutions."
Irlando returned to the same stage at the Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, where a year ago he spoke about the connected vehicle provider's plans following its acqisitions of Fleetmatics, Telogis, and other companies. This is the seventh year of Latitude, which started as a Telogis user event.
Since the 2017 event, Verizon Connect has been working to integrate the 10 acquired companies into its business plans, and is now focusing on investing in innovative technologies, finding new ways to help fleet managers "extract the ROI story" for senior executives who must sign off on telematics purchases, and improving the customer experience.
Telematics has become a more indelible product that's helping fleet managers "solve new problems and old pain points," Irlando said.
"There was a time when telematics was a nice-to-have," he said. "Now, mobile workforce management and telematics is a must-have."
Irlando said Verizon's Oct. 1 introduction of next-generation 5G broadband service could be an emerging field for the commercial sector. The faster speeds will enable 10,000 devices to connect to a radio cell compared to the 300 that can conneect to a 4G LTE cell now, and increase battery life of devices to up to 10 years. The wireless technology could enable autonomous vehicles, an enhanced supply chain, and smart cities, he said.
At the conference, Verizon Connect announced several new products, including an enhanced Workforce Mobile app, video category for its partner marketplace, an asset tracker for trailers that's the size of a deck of cards, updated electronic logging device product, improved on-board diagnostics device with a Bluetooth speaker, a product that relays the health of a connected device, self-service analytics, and real-time location updates so service fleets can better update customers about a driver's ETA.
Verizon Connect now maintains 15 partnerships with various manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, FCA's Ram, Hino, Mack, and Volvo.