Vehicles become smartphones on wheels

About 1,7 million vehicles are being connected by Volvo IT at Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, and that number is ticking fast with 80 000 additional vehicles per month. Through telematics, cars and commercial vehicles are now able to do everything from calling for help, connecting fleets, saving fuel, tracking stolen vehicles, to preheating your car. It seems that with the right connectivity you can do almost anything.


The development of services is based on existing wireless technology such as 3G, 4G and satellite communication and the development of services on the back office side is mostly done by leading edge Java Technology. Per Adamsson, director for Strategy and Portfolio Management at Volvo Group Telematics at Volvo IT, calls it a service explosion.
“The penetration of these services was very slow and then something happened, the smartphone came and with that apps. The smartphone created a new ecosystem around the vehicle – the connected vehicle ecosystem. Telematics became something tangible that you could touch and understand, all of a sudden I can say what I do for a living when I for example go to weddings” says Per Adamsson. Our solutions now exist both in Volvo Group products and other products in the automotive industry in Europe, Asia and US and South America.

He explains that part of the rapid evolution of telematics is that they now work closer to the different players in their ecosystem and that key is to really understand the value of these new services for everyone around the vehicle, such as drivers, fleets, service shops and leasing companies for instance. 

“Going forward we think that the most important thing is not to grow only on a technical level but emphasizing the importance of understanding and connecting the different ecosystems, in the end enabling the connected society,” says Per Adamsson. “Maybe in the future vehicles will talk to each other, which will improve and enable safe mobility and green transportation, and maybe we as drivers can relax in the back seat”

“It took 13 years to connect one million vehicles, but as we are closing in on two million, we can predict that it will only take 13 months to connect the next million. That says a lot about the pace in telematics right now, says Peter Grönberg, head of Volvo Group Telematics at Volvo IT.

Volvo IT is a global Volvo Group function with over 5 000 employees, delivering industrial IT solutions, telematics and consulting services. The unit Volvo Group Telematics supports the Volvo Group and external customers in the Automotive Car OEM segment with telematics services.


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