Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Government announces 5G Competition to cement UK’s position as World leader in development of 5G

 

5g-testbed

The UK Government has announced a new £25 million competition to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in the development of 5G technology.

Digital Minister Matt Hancock revealed the 5G Testbeds and Trials competition as part of the UK Government’s £740m National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF), which was set up to support next-generation digital infrastructure like 5G.

The government is seeking further locations across the country for test sites in order to support the rollout of 5G network technology. To that end, it’s inviting project proposals to receive grants of up to £5 million.

Winning project proposals must come from UK registered organisations that are carrying out projects in the UK and working in collaboration with others. They must also be industry-led, or at least have a strong industry component.

Submissions for the 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme will be accepted from October 23, and the process will close on December 13.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “To stay competitive we must be at the cutting edge of new technology and we are determined to be one of the first countries in the world to use 5G. In these very early stages we want all ideas, from all parts of the country, that will help us get the technology and the roll-out right to have a nationwide network of 5G innovators.

“It’s all part of our determination to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a digital business, and deliver for all citizens now and in the years to come.”

It was during the 2016 Autumn Statement that the UK Government first announced its intention to invest in a programme of 5G testbed intitiatives. This has led to the likes of BrightonBasingstoke and the North Eastall establishing 5G testbed programmes.

Besides these Bristol University, King’s College London, and The University of Surrey have all teamed up to create a world class 5G technology test network of their own.

In recent days Worcestershire has joined the roster of UK regions looking to supply their own 5G testbed facilities. It will be interesting to see which UK city or county will be next.

Image credit: Panchenko Vladimir/Shutterstock.com

Source: 5G.co.uk

How UPS deliveries are electrifying London’s streets – and beyond

Urban delivery fleets are often considered the natural environment for electric vehicles, so it stands to reason that a logistics giant such as global parcel company UPS should be one of the pioneers of EVs in the British capital.

The company got into the London plug-in game early, with its first EVs going into service in 2008.

Peter Harris, Director of Sustainability at UPS Europe, said, “A lot of our routes in Central London are relatively short, so we don’t have particular range restriction difficulties and it’s ideal in terms of being able to address some of the pressing air quality concerns the city has.”

PETER HARRIS, DIRECTOR OF SUSTAINABILITY, UPS

Range anxiety is a frequent hang-up for businesses operating electric vehicles. UPS’s London fleet hasn’t been affected by it in the slightest but power supply, which reared its head when the firm reached 10 EVs, has been a far bigger issue. An upgrade to the local supply bought some time and capacity but it wasn’t cheap, nor was it a permanent fix if the plug-in fleet was to expand, so the company looked for alternatives.

“We wanted [something] that would get beyond this conventional grid upgrade, so we’re implementing a technology called a smart grid, which will make much better use of the available energy that was already present throughout the entire charging period but [which] we didn’t have access to, because our vehicles were recharging in the conventional way.”

Via the medium of various different tie-ups, including with Innovate UK – a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – UPS has embarked on a trial of a smart charging system, with the capacity to optimise the timing and the amount of available power based on grid loads and the fleet’s needs.

Harris explained, “It will be a combination of a conventional grid upgrade with a smart grid, in conjunction with local energy storage. It’s a two-year project that started in April, and we want to come out at the end of it with a strategy on the optimum way to electrify any of our urban fleets. We want to be able to take the strategy into any of our buildings in Europe, or indeed globally, that will allow us to lay out the optimum approach.”

“If this smart grid is successful in the way that we think it will be, it will unlock the ability for us to effectively deploy an entirely electric Central London fleet – that’s all 170 vehicles. If that is the case, then we will certainly plan to proceed down that road.”

The move has allowed the firm to increase the number of electric vehicles based out of its Kentish Town depot. It currently has 52, was limited to 63 by its outgoing power supply, and can now handle a further 20, bringing the total to 72. The trucks themselves are 7.5-tonne items, converted from UPS’s existing diesel vehicles.

UPS CHARGES ITS OWN VEHICLES OFF-GRID AT ITS KENTISH TOWN DEPOT

“What we’ve been doing for the past five or six years is a conversion programme in conjunction with a German company called EFA-S. We take Mercedes Vario-based distribution vehicles – that already have UPS bodies on them – but at mid-life, which is about the seven-year mark, we work with EFA-S to convert them from diesel to electric. Some of the work is done in-house at UPS and some of the work is done in Germany. We’ve done about 150 of them across Europe now and about a third of those are in Central London.

“It’s been a practice that has worked out well for us [but] it’s not where we want to be long term; it’s a bridge technology. We want to eventually to get to the point where we can deploy brand new vehicles from the ground up. The market doesn’t yet supply those, so this is what we are doing in order to not be held back.”

The first 10 of the new vehicles are due to hit the streets in the final quarter of this year, the second 10 in the first quarter of 2018 and, according to Harris, they will perform exactly the same duties as conventional, diesel trucks. “One of the things that we require from our alternative fuel programme is that the vehicles are able to step in and replicate what their diesel predecessor would have done. So if you looked at an electric P80, as we call them, they look exactly the same as their diesel counterpart; even inside as far as the driver is concerned, there is very little change.”

Harris admits that pure electric delivery trucks don’t work in every scenario but says the firm is also working on range extenders capable of switching between internal combustion for the motorway and battery power for zero-emission travel in cities.

UPS CONVERTS VEHICLES MID-LIFE TO RUN ON ELECTRICITY, WITH GERMAN FIRM EFA-S

“For most of our other locations, pure EV is not the perfect solution because [they] require a greater range than a pure EV can, at the moment, provide. To address that challenge, we are working on another technology, also with Innovate UK and in conjunction with a company called Tether, which is a British start-up, and we have developed a range extended EV. It’s just like the EFA-S conversion, but this vehicle also carries a range extender engine, which acts as a series hybrid. It’s not connected to the wheels, but it’s able to drive a generator to put more charge back into the battery during the day.

“Take, for example, the ones that we’re building at the moment, that we intend to deploy in Birmingham. We serve Birmingham from our base in Tamworth; with a pure EV we just can’t get from Tamworth to Birmingham, do a day’s work, and get back again. But what we will do is operate the range extender on the to/from routes, then switch it off at the boundary to the Birmingham city area, so the vehicle operates as a zero-emission EV all day, in Birmingham, just like our EFA-S ones do in London. The driver won’t control it; it will be controlled by geofencing, and the range extender will just be used for that to/from route to enable it to cover the distance.”

Source: SMMT

Ericsson Study: How Network Slicing Pays Off

ericsson

  • Network slicing has the potential to offer economic benefits in terms of higher revenues and lower operating expenditures, if operational automation and a step change in the number of operator service launches is assumed
  • Study found that network slicing is fastest, most cost-effective way to achieve service scalability
  • Payback of investment to automate networks is rapid

In a new study with operator BT, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) quantifies the benefits of network slicing for operators. When coupled with operational automation, network slicing is proven to be a smart investment to reduce operating expenditures and increase CAPEX efficiency, while enabling fast implementation and better utilization of devices related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Mobile data traffic continues to grow at a rapid pace along with adoption of connected devices. In the Ericsson Mobility Report, around 18 billion IoT devices are forecast by 2022. Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sales terminals, consumer electronics and wearables.

Network slicing allows operators to segment the network to support particular services and deploy multiple logical networks for different service types over one common infrastructure.  The joint study looked at three ways to introduce new services into a network: via one multi-service network; via individual networks with dedicated resources; or via network slicing including operational automation.

Marielle Lindgren, Head of Ericsson United Kingdom, says: “We found that over a five-year period, introducing new services by using network slicing and operational automation generated 35 percent more revenue than by using one multi-service network. The revenue increased 15 percent when compared to several networks with dedicated resources, demonstrating how the technology enables market stimulation, faster time to market, and opportunities from smaller niche services.”

Maria Cuevas, Head of Mobile Core Networks Research at BT, says: “We’re positioned to bring millions of devices onto our networks as the IoT ecosystem grows. This study gives us guidance as to where our investments will achieve the best results. The more services we deploy with network slicing, the greater economic benefit we will see, enabling us to better serve our customers. In order to achieve this vision, it is important that the industry provides cost-effective solutions to support end-to-end orchestration and adds automation to the operations and management of network slices.”

1-2-3 TO SAVE, GROW AND CONTRIBUTE

Specifically, the study’s base case was a deployment ramping up to 40 annual service launches over five years. Network slicing resulted in the equivalent of 40 percent reduction in OPEX, 35 percent increase in revenue potential and an overall impact of 150 percent increased economic benefit, under the baseline assumptions made. When scaled up, the gains also increased. All benefits were considered in terms of the core network only.

Marielle Lindgren continues: “As applications and use cases for evolving technology become more complex, so will the characteristics of connecting them. Simply put, networks will need to adapt. The findings clearly show that network slicing provides a logical setup that can be tailored to extend into the as-yet undefined services of the future.”

Source: Ericsson

 

Volocopter Flying Taxis to Revolutionise Urban Transport

Daimler-Volocopter-830x467

The objective of making flying possible for everyone has drawn closer:  In July 2017 the aviation start-up Volocopter agreed a finance deal over 25 million Euros with the automobile firm Daimler from Stuttgart, the technology investor Lukasz Gadowski from Berlin and further investors. Using this fresh capital  Volocopter will further expand upon the leading technology in its purely electrically driven VTOLs, (eVTOL), speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis. The safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircraft, suitable for transporting two passengers, will revolutionize mobility in metropolises. In order to realize this vision Volocopter also invests in its team and  plans to continuously develop it further.

volocopter-2x-innercity-preview

Volocopter is up for a soaring start not just because of the successful round of funding: As early as in June the young enterprise already won top place in the international run for the world’s first pilot project involving air taxis in urban spaces. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Volocopter, together with the state transport authority „Roads and Transport Authority“ (RTA) in Dubai, will conduct initial demonstrations of an autonomous air taxi. By 2030 Dubai aims to carry out 25% of its passenger transportation with the help of autonomous means of transport.

“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis“  Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, is pleased to point out. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds  and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski”.

Automobile companies specifically are intensely interested in the mobility of the future – in autonomous driving or electrical mobility for example. Daimler is therefore a very valuable strategic partner for Volocopter. “We are world leaders in the development of electrical VTOL aircraft” says Reuter, “and for it to stay that way in the future we are very pleased with the participation of the worldwide leader in automobiles”.

The investor Lukasz Gadowski on the other hand, can support the aviation start-up in very different ways: He has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. This will be of great value to Volocopter in asserting itself on the global market. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: The “flying car” has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”

Together with its partners, Volocopter will be using the new funding to further expand upon technical innovations and its pioneering role within the emerging industry. The plan is to further the development of the Volocopter up to production maturity and commercial licensing through aviation authorities worldwide. Amongst other things, extensive test flight programs are envisaged for this purpose. In order to speed up progress, the employment of additional engineers specialized in the development of flight systems, software and electric propulsion as well as the development of commercial function is envisaged.

To introduce the Volocopter serial model to the market with full impact the company will also apply the investment to developing brand awareness. The prelude to this will be the new website which is launched today. In addition a professional communications team all around marketing and PR will be installed in order to be optimally equipped for planned events and demonstrations of the Volocopter in the coming months. This will create additional interest and customers for the Volocopter – besides RTA in Dubai.


About Volocopter

Volocopter GmbH is the global leader in the development of vertically launching, fully electrical multicopters for the transport of people and of heavy lifting cargo drones. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers a huge degree of safety based on the high redundancy of all critical components. The company’s stated objective is to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues. As early as 2011 the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up entered into an agreement with RTA Dubai over the global premiere of an autonomously flying air taxi. The first licensed Volocopter should be on the market next year. In the meantime, the founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel have gathered an excellentteam of experienced managers like CEO Florian Reuter (formerly of Siemens) and CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens (formerly of Airbus Helicopters). This paved the way for the further expansion of the company.

25 Million Euros for Volocopter
⋅ Lukasz Gadowski and the Daimler AG are amongst investors
⋅ Increased investment flows into the launch of the Volocopter

Souce: Volocopter

Convoys of ‘self-driving’ lorries get green light for UK trial

Platoons of self-driving lorries will be trialled on Britain’s motorways, but some experts have raised concerns over their safety.

UK Trade Lorries
Image:Platooning vehicle tests on motorways are to start before the end of 2017

The Government has committed £8.1m to finance trials of semi-autonomous “platooning” lorries.

The system involves a “platoon leader” driving a heavy goods vehicle at the head of a small convoy, with the following trucks, or “drones”, being piloted by computers.

The trucks drive close behind one another and are linked electronically, communicating via radar, GPS and wifi.

The driver of the lead truck determines the route, speed and position, and controls acceleration, braking and steering for the entire convoy.

The distance between the trucks is optimised to reduce air drag, cutting fuel consumption and emissions – potentially by up to 20%.

Roads minister Paul Maynard announced the funding for a pilot scheme during a visit to DAF’s Leyland truck plant in Lancashire.

“We believe this system has the potential not just to save fuel and therefore emissions, but also to reduce congestion on our roads”, he said.

“It’s potentially win-win all round, and this investment is to ensure we are at the forefront of this new technology.”

Driverless lorries may be the next thing on our roads
Image:DAF’s Leyland truck plant in Lancashire has been awarded the contract for the trials

The results of trials in the US, Sweden and Germany have been positive. But some experts have concerns that Britain’s roads may not be ideal for so-called “driverless” lorries.

Edmund King, president of the AA, said: “I think the real problem in Britain is that we have some of the most congested motorways in the world.

“We have more exits and entries on our motorways than any other motorway system.

“So what that means is either the platoon would have to break up at entries or exits or indeed, pull over, and that could cause problems for drivers in other cars trying to get on the motorway or get off.”

DAF has been working on the technology for some time, and has been awarded the contract for the trials, which will be monitored and evaluated by the independent Transport Research Laboratory.

Richard Cuerden from TRL said: “The primary issue is one of safety, but these trials will hopefully allow us to collect a lot of data about not just the technology, but the behaviour of both the truck drivers and other road users.”

The drone vehicles are not unmanned, they will have drivers to take control in case of emergency, and to enter and leave the platoons.

Those drivers will have monitors to show them the platoon leader’s view of the road ahead to keep them in the “information loop”.

The first trials will be on test tracks. But the first platooning vehicle tests on major roads are scheduled to start before the end of next year.

Later in the trials, delivery firm DHL will join the scheme to test the real world practicality and potential benefits of platooning.

NTT, Ericsson, Toyota forge connected car partnership

 

Companies from the technology and automotive sectors formed a consortium focused on creating the network architecture to handle the deluge of data expected to be generated by connected cars.

The newly-formed Automotive Edge Computing Consortium (AECC) includes Ericsson, Intel, NTT, NTT Docomo and Toyota and aims to define best network practice for the new architecture.

It is also set to investigate methods of delivering technologies including intelligent driving and maps updated with real-time data.

The companies predict data transmitted between connected vehicles and cloud networks will be 10,000 times larger than recorded currently and is likely to reach 10 exabytes per month in 2025.

AECC will attempt to define suitable network architecture and industry best practice standards for how the cars interface with the network.

In a joint statement the members said the increase in data would: “Trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity. The architectures will be compliant with applicable standards, which requires collaboration on a local and global scale”.

The group expects to announce new members in the coming months.

AECC is one of a number of partnerships formed by companies throughout the world to accelerate the development of connected vehicle technology across various markets. Members include app companies, technology vendors, network operators and automotive companies.

Source: Mobile World Live

Autonomous Robots Take Over At South Korea’s Largest Airport

LG Robots to Deliver Expert Service for Visitors to Korea

Airport Guide Robot 01

As South Korea prepares for the largest winter sporting event in its history, LG Electronics (LG) is focusing on improving automated services at the main hub for the world’s travelers – Incheon International Airport (IIA). Starting on July 21, LG will put into trial service a number of Airport Guide Robots and Airport Cleaning Robots at the award-winning airport to assist travelers arriving and departing Korea. The Airport Guide Robot will roam the airport providing information and assistance to visitors while the Airport Cleaning Robot will be on hand to keep the floors impeccably clean.

By dispatching its robots to one of the largest and busiest airports in the world, LG will be able to provide its robotic services to approximately 57 million travelers who pass through the airport every year. While the robots are officially going into trial service today, they have been a familiar presence to frequent travelers since February, when they began beta testing at IIA. LG engineers have been fine tuning the robots for the past five months, improving their performance based on the data and experience collected during the beta test.

Equipped with LG’s voice recognition platform, the Airport Guide Robot understands four different languages – Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese – the four most popular languages spoken at the airport, in order to provide assistance verbally. The robot can connect to the airport’s central server to provide information regarding boarding time and locations of restaurants, shops, and much more. With a quick scan of a boarding pass, the Airport Guide Robot can escort the late or lost traveler to the right departure gate on time.

The Airport Cleaning Robot takes LG HOM-BOT’s powerful cleaning performance, autonomous navigation, and object-avoidance capability and applies them to a commercial, public environment. This robot detects the areas that require the most frequent cleaning, stores those locations in its database and calculates the most efficient routes to get there.

With these airport robots, LG is demonstrating its initiative to develop and expand its commercial robot business as a future growth engine. Currently, LG’s robot business is divided into two sectors: home and commercial. LG’s home robots include the HOM-BOT vacuum cleaner and the new Hub Robot while LG’s commercial business consists of robots specially designed to provide services in public areas such as airports, hotels and banks.

“LG is dedicated to the advancement and development of its robot technologies which includes navigation, voice recognition, natural language processing, and of course, DeepThinQ,” said Song Dae-hyun, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “It is this kind of effort and innovation that will drive LG forward in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

Airport Guide Robot 01

Source: LG

Sierra Wireless 2017 Wireless Summit Focuses on Ready-to-Connect IoT Solutions

Internet-of-Things-1920xx

2017 Innovation Summit Highlight: Reducing IoT Complexity with Ready-to-Connect Solutions

As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes essential for running most businesses, the need for reliable, high-quality IoT connectivity solutions grows. That’s why Sierra Wireless hosts the annual Innovation Summit, a conference designed to keep you up to date on the latest IoT technology and the influencers who are making the biggest impact in the industry today. This year, the 2017 Innovation Summit took IoT technology advances to the next level, showcasing the new Sierra Wireless Ready-to-Connect solution that revolutionizes the devices that IoT solutions are built on and how they communicate, on an international scale.

If you couldn’t attend the 2017 Innovation Summit, fear not; we’ve compiled a list of the essential IoT updates that you’ll need to know this year to ensure your IoT device management is simple and streamlined.

2017 Innovation Summit Highlights 
This year’s 2017 Innovation Summit attracted more than 400 members of the IoT community. The panels included in-depth information on:

  • LPWA;
  • The future of 5G;
  • IoT security;
  • Open source connectivity;
  • Smart SIM cards; and
  • Device-to-Cloud Global connectivity.

But one of the most innovative highlights at this year’s summit was the Ready-to-Connect IoT Solution panel discussion, where three of Sierra Wireless’ expert staff explained how the Ready-to-Connect solution (modules and routers with pre-integrated global connectivity, IoT management and security) is specifically designed for companies who want to expand their businesses globally, reduce time to market, streamline operations and enable business model flexibility. The 2017 Innovation Summit audience members were some of the first to test the Ready-to-Connect demo, and so far we’re hearing promising feedback about this groundbreaking technology.

One of the greatest concerns that we’ve heard from business owners over the years is that it’s too complicated and time-consuming to expand the scope of their IoT connectivity internationally. Businesses have to negotiate foreign contracts, pay expensive shipping costs to mail SIM cards to far corners of the globe and they’re tasked with managing their devices across dozens of different platforms. Ready-to-Connect solves all of these issues and more, allowing businesses to focus on making great products — instead of struggling with international connectivity challenges.

What is Ready-to-Connect? 
The Ready-to-Connect solution combines modules, global mobile networks, SIM cards and an IoT platform in a single package. While this bundle can and should be used for local connectivity, it’s also a lifesaver for businesses that are looking to expand into overseas markets. The more complex your supply chain is, the more you will need the Ready-to-Connect system to manage it all.

Ready-to-Connect Gets Your Product to Market Faster
It can take anywhere from 18 to 24 months — or sometimes longer — to bring an IoT product to market. This time frame grows as you expand into new international markets, since you need to negotiate new carrier contracts and shipping methods. A far-off launch date means a slow ROI, which, in turn, affects your future expansion projects. Many businesses have to wait until they get an investment return in one new country before they can begin expansion to another. Here are just a few ways that expanding into an international market can negatively impact your ROI time.

You’re tasked with:

  • Negotiating contracts with multiple service providers;
  • Managing multiple SKUs;
  • Assembling SIMs and modules manually;
  • Using truck roll support for your products;
  • Managing your subscriptions with different platforms; and
  • Locking yourself into contracts with service providers.

With Ready-to-Connect, you can cut your time to market by as much as 12 months. That includes the time it takes to install hardware, software, SIM cards and the IoT cloud platform. Since you’re getting the wireless modules, global SIM cards and IoT management software from the same company, it’s much faster (and simpler) to ensure that all of these moving pieces are well-integrated with each other from the very start. You don’t have to work on front-end integration or security, since these are already included in the bundle. This will result in a prompter ROI, making the IoT space less risky for you and your shareholders.

Streamlining Global Operations
The goal of Ready-to-Connect is to have a ready-to-deploy product for customers, and to manage all connected products on a single platform. The AirVantage platform can be customized to meet the specific needs of your business. You can even integrate subscriptions from other mobile operators and manage them all from one place. Rather than jumping back and forth between two different platforms to handle mobile subscriptions and devices, you can tackle both via the AirVantage platform, streamlining the entire process. This results in better customer relationships and a far easier accounting process for your company’s SIM subscriptions. In addition, eUICC and eSIM remote provisioning allows you to change network providers quickly without swapping any SIM cards deployed in the field.

Enable New Business Models
The integrated connectivity service inside the Ready-to-Connect solution provides direct access to the connected product, no matter which local service provider the end users would have selected to connect their data. This enables equipment makers to offer updates, maintenance, or any value-added services over-the-air to the end users, to improve their experience and create new revenue. Moreover, the Ready-to-Connect solution is offered as a bundle with flexible pricing and terms. It will enable enterprises to align their revenue with cost, and maximize their business potential. For instance, a startup company may prefer the pay-as-you-go model; whereas a utility company may prefer to pay for 10 years of connectivity service with a single contract to capture the maximum government funding.

Now that the 2017 Innovation Summit is over, it’s time to reflect on whether your current IoT connectivity solutions are working at peak efficiency. With Sierra Wireless’ latest Ready-to-Connect solution, you can bring your business into the modern world of IoT quickly and easily. Start with Sierra to find out how, and read the white paper Simplifying IoT: How to Make the Journey from Idea to Revenue Smoother and Faster.

Source: Sierra Wireless

Co-Star supply the full range of Sierra Wireless ready-to-connect IoT solutions. Click here for more information>

Octo Telematics Launches New Internet of Things Insurance Platform

 

Image result for octo telematics logo

Octo Telematics Launches New Internet of Things Insurance Platform

The Next Generation Platform allows for complete flexibility in the selection of sensors, analysis and output of data for all insurance and automotive services

It will enable accelerated growth in the global auto insurance market and facilitate expansion into future adjacent insurance and automotive markets

Octo Telematics, a leading global provider of telematics and data analytics solutions for the auto insurance industry, today announced that it has launched its Next Generation Platform (NGP), a business and technology investment of more than $40 million. The platform provides open access and seamless integration of any Application Platform Interface (API), as well as a fully-modular insurance telematics structure, affording flexibility through mix-and-match service selection. The development of the platform as an IOT ecosystem, provides innovators with the scope and ability to meet the rapidly growing global demand for User-Based Insurance (UBI), that is predicted to reach 93m global policies by 2020.

Building on its best-in-industry telematics software, Octo’s NGP can take data from any sensor through its IoT hub, analyse it to deliver multidimensional analytics, and provide real-time data services to support a full digital transformation of the policyholder experience. In addition to core telematics services such as driver behaviour scoring, and crash and claims analysis, these new capabilities provide better risk analytics for insurance, OEM, and long term rental and fleet partners.

Developed with support from Salesforce, Software AG, SAS and SAP, as well as consulting firms Deloitte and Capgemini, the NGP represents a transformation of the industry’s current software platforms. The NGP was built to boost the potential of IoT and digital insurance disruption; giving companies of all scale the solution to build a complete new customer experience for policyholders and transform other insurance verticals besides auto – like home, pet, health and on-demand insurance.

“This is an important business investment, continuing the company’s 15-year history as one of the pioneers in the global telematics industry,” said Octo Telematics’ CEO, Fabio Sbianchi. “The Next Generation Platform will help us meet the growing demand from our current insurance partners, as well as making new customer acquisition faster, more efficient and open up opportunities for any system integration partners, from budding start-ups to the largest multi-national insurers.”

The development of the platform was led by Gianfranco Giannella, Chief Operating Officer at Octo, who commented, “The Next Generation Platform is a truly unique offering, merging the flexibility and openness of a horizontal IoT framework with the go-to-market readiness of vertical-Business Applications . Therefore, providing current and prospective partners the best of both worlds and democratizing access to valuable data analytics to drive further innovation of services for the insurance industry.”

Commenting on the new platform, Software AG CTO Dr. Wolfram Jost noted that, “The magnitude of Octo’s IoT vision is breath taking and working with Octo’s team in utilizing, extending and further developing our IoT software portfolio has been co-innovation at its best. This is the perfect way to partner in developing new digital IoT services: deep industry expertise from Octo combined with Software AG’s leading edge technology – together delivering a huge competitive advantage to customers and revolutionizing their businesses.”

The impacts of the platform are being felt now and will be even more so as autonomous cars move onto our roads. Insurers have previously utilized telematics to provide services such as UBI policies, moving forward through the NGP, it will also allow for greater integration of data coming directly from connected cars and enable a growing number of other third-party services such as tolling and traffic information. The technology is and will continue to be instrumental in providing the crash analysis needed to determine liability and better assess driver premiums, and also help reduce insurance fraud and streamline the claims process substantially.

The Next Generation Platform is currently live and fully operational, and will serve both current and prospective Octo customers for the foreseeable future. A webinar with additional details on the Next Generation platform will be held by GigaOM at 11:00 AM CDT/5pm BST on 12 July 2017. Additional details on the webinar are available here: https://gigaom.com/event/the-importance-of-telematics-in-an-iot-world/.

Source: Octo Telematics

 

Carmakers call for transitional EU deal

car-manufacturing

 

The government must secure a transitional Brexit deal to protect the future of the UK car industry, a trade group has said.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Britain was highly unlikely to reach a final agreement with the EU by the March 2019 deadline.

That meant carmakers could face a “cliff edge”, whereby tariff-free trade was sharply pulled away.

It warned the industry would suffer without a back-up plan in place.

The EU is by far the UK’s biggest automotive export market, buying more than half of its finished vehicles – four times as many as the next biggest market.

UK car plants also depend heavily on the free movement of components to and from the continent.

The SMMT said any new relationship with the EU would need to address tariff and non-tariff barriers, regulatory and labour issues, “all of which will take time to negotiate”.

“We accept that we are leaving the European Union,” said chief executive Mike Hawes.

“But our biggest fear is that, in two years’ time, we fall off a cliff edge – no deal, outside the single market and customs union and trading on inferior World Trade Organization terms.

“This would undermine our competitiveness and our ability to attract the investment that is critical to future growth.”

He called on the government to seek an interim arrangement, whereby the UK stayed in the single market and customs union until a new relationship was brokered.

UK car manufacturing generated £77.5bn of turnover last year and accounted for 12% of all goods exports, according to the trade group.

It added that almost a million people were employed across the wider automotive industry.

Source: BBC News