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Intelematics: The future of automotive telematics in Australasia

Given the average age of Australian vehicles is around 10 years, aftermarket telematics devices  are an important part of the connected vehicle environment for many years to come.
Adam Game, CEO | Intelematics Australia

Telematics Wire interviewed Adam Game, CEO of Intelematics Australia,  leading telematics service provider in ANZ region since 1999 based in Victoria. Adam has been involved with the introduction of advanced infotainment services to Australian passenger vehicles since the early 1990s when, on behalf of Telstra Corporation, he kicked off the venture that would lead to the introduction of car navigation to the Australian market.


How do you view the automotive telematics market in Australasia as compared to relatively developed markets of North America and EU?

Firstly, while Australia and New Zealand have many similarities, in the automotive market they are quite different. In particular, around half of new vehicle registrations in New Zealand are actually second hand vehicles imported from Japan – this is almost unheard of in Australia. This dramatically dilutes scale in what is already a small market and elevates the ongoing significance of aftermarket services. Conversely, the New Zealand fuel tax regime has driven almost universal adoption of telematics services in commercial vehicles.

Australia’s automotive market is more comparable to other developed markets, though there are a number of ‘special’ factors relevant to adoption of new vehicle technologies. These include Australian consumers’ appetite for connected technologies and the assurance that motorists will not cross international borders (rendering Australia an excellent test market); conversely network compatibility issues (especially for US platforms) has until recently rendered localization of embedded communications modules a challenging business case for many OEMs.

We have been providing telematics & connected vehicle services in Australia since 1999 – currently we provide one or other services into approximately 25% of new vehicle sales in Australia, a little less in New Zealand.

According to sources most of the cars running on Australian roads do not have an embedded telematics system. In that scenario, do you think the ‘aftermarket’ telematics devices can serve as an interim solution?

Given the average age of Australian vehicles is around 10 years, aftermarket telematics devices are an important part of the connected vehicle environment for many years to come. Australian motoring clubs have pioneered this opportunity with the introduction of services linked to a range of embedded, and more recently, OBDII-based aftermarket devices. Over time, we see successful aftermarket services that add value to motorists’ lives migrating from aftermarket to embedded systems.

What are the specific ‘connected’ services that an Australian driver demands while buying a new car?

1) Real Time Traffic, 2) On Board Navigation, 3) ECall/BCall, 4) ADAS, 5) Entertainment  and 6)PAYD

In reality this is not an all-or-nothing choice so the ranking is not especially meaningful. We see some services, such as PAYD and ADAS are likely to rise as awareness grows.

Intelematics has worked with a no. of OEMs in Australia. Could you please share your experience with us? What does an Australian car maker expects from a service provider?

Passenger vehicle manufacturers require a sophisticated and extremely reliable capability, at a cost that is acceptable when amortized across their fleet. They look for local knowledge and content.

What do you think is an optimal way to charge customer for availing the telematics services?

This really depends on the service mix in question. We experience very high retention rates for paid safety/security telematics services. Mobility and infotainment services tend to be bundled with membership or vehicle ownership. Fleet-related services can be directly charged.

What major changes can we expects in the Australian market in coming years both in  consumer and commercial telematics?

The big change in passenger car telematics is the approach of near universal connectivity across new passenger vehicles, driven by consumer demand for connected mobility and infotainment services. Such a large market enables far more attractive business models to be adopted, further accelerating adoption rates. Fleet services have traditionally been highly bespoke and expensive. Widespread adoption of connected services in the consumer segment will disrupt the traditional model, especially in the light vehicle segment.

How do you think we can promote awareness about the benefits of automotive telematics in the ANZ region?

Australia is hosting the 2016 ITS World Congress – this will provide a major focus for generating demonstration projects, government and media attention on ITS generally.













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