Interview with Domenico Petrone President VIASAT GROUP
The increased availability of circulating smart and connected cars will be the driving factor for the creation of new markets: it is estimated that sales of new and advanced services dedicated to those consumers who already have access to connected vehicles will reach a value of 49,2 billion dollars as early as 2022. A fascinating perspective in a future to be written.
Mr Petrone, if only cars could speak…
That’s true, they don’t, but it’s like they could. Connected cars, indeed, provide a continuous flow of information regarding vehicles, engines, driving style and weather conditions. It’s not easy to manage and give meaning to such a huge and incredibly fast amount of data, but that’s what we do in Viasat: to provide added-value services – with the help of proprietary algorithm- transforming those data that are collected by our satellite devices, and simplified and processed as well, into valuable information for our final customers. The results are promising for insurance and transport companies, car dealers and rentals, drivers and consumers.
Could you make some examples?
We could support drivers, generating alerts and warnings in case of danger and providing information related to fuel consumption optimization deriving from improved driving style. Or, simply, ensuring access to 24/7 assistance for necessities of any kind. Prompt added value services could also represent a significant benefit, like post sale special offers dedicated to dealers. Insurance companies could also tailor-make their offers on the basis of these data and propose personalized, detailed, and flexible solutions to their customers.
A great satisfaction for you: your Company was the only one that believed in the potential of telematics until recently.
Telematics is, and it has always been, a revolutionary process; data availability is resulting into a different cognitive approach and will encourage a new connection among data, people, and devices. The market of on board emergency devices, also known as eCall, will have an annual growth rate of 19% in terms of value between 2018 and 2022. This fact emerges from the analysis ‘Global Automotive eCall Market 2018-2022’. It is something we have always believed in and we work hard every day to ensure high safety, protection and assistance standards to car, work vehicle, motorcycles, and bike users, as well as pedestrians, with our mobile Viasat appS. It is a great satisfaction for our Group. Certainly, this has been an incentive for other Companies who have followed the innovative trail of Viasat to create their own business. However, competing in a global market gives space to everybody.
Ecall systems have entered into force, but their use is mandatory only on new approval vehicles. What do you think about this?
Viasat has been using these technologies for years. Since last March, eCall systems have become mandatory for new approval vehicles. Viasat is there for all the others. It’s not a joke, but just reality. Alerts and automatic emergency call in case of collision are services that drivers can have at their disposal with our devices, as well as on speakerphone functions to stay in touch with our sosCall Operative Centre 24/7. Our latest versions also provide additional, early information concerning the potential risk related to specific routes, basing on factors such as traffic conditions, speed limits, dangerous (Red Point) or at high-risk of collision (BlackPoint ANIA/Viasat) roads. Prevention is better than risk, this is our philosophy.
This means that the future is about data?
The future is represented by the capability of data reading, analysis, and processing in order to generate added-value services. To reach this goal, it is necessary to make progress and innovation in the fields of technology, digitisation and creation of new, performing and integrated solutions.
Will Viasat be at the forefront?
Sure. We are now an International Group that keeps investing into its local talents. Our goal is to ‘ride the future’ and this is the reason why we want to interconnect not only Things, but also – and especially- our decision makers and people who work in all the companies of our Group. A sort of “Internet of Companies” that will harmonise our value chain, optimize our organizational and technological processes and will encourage the diffusion of our products and services all around the world.