OYSTER BAY, NY — 2005 will witness two major commercial telematics developments across multiple continents, according to ABI Research on December 16. United Parcel Service (UPS) will introduce the first of 70,000 new Delivery Information Acquisition Devices (DIADs) it intends deploy over the next three years, starting with the U.S. and Europe (DIADs are the wireless mobile terminals UPS drivers use to make their deliveries). "The DIADs now feature Global Positioning System (GPS)," says ABI Research analyst David Schrier. "This makes them full-fledged commercial telematics devices that can now provide enhanced information regarding package delivery status, driver location, dispatching, and routing. Dispatchers can issue turn-by-turn maps and directions, and change pickups, routes and schedules on the fly." ABI Research notes that in addition to GPS, the new mobile terminals will also feature Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This will significantly widen the gap between UPS and its leading competitors, FedEx and DHL. Meanwhile in Germany, the automated truck toll project will finally go "live" on January 1st, after many long delays. What has been called "the world's most sophisticated road toll project" was resurrected early in 2004 in renewed negotiations between the German government and TollCollect, the consortium that includes DaimlerChrysler, Deutsche Telekom and French motorways operator Cofiroute. The addressable market of trucks that move to and through Germany is estimated at over one million; the required onboard units, featuring Siemens and Delphi Grundig equipment, have been installed in some 150,000 trucks thus far. Schrier believes "there's a huge opportunity here for vendors to co-market their products to help shipping firms reduce idle time and overtime, track maintenance, among other fleet telematics applications. These can be combined with the onboard hardware of the toll system." ABI Research's "Commercial Telematics Service" examines the fleet telematics industry and provides insight into major market developments such as those described above. Adjunct technologies such as cellular, satellite, DSRC, Wi-Fi, UWB, and Bluetooth are also analyzed for their potential.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials