Interview with Marco Petrone, Vice Presidente Viasat Group
Their name is Fleet Management Systems, FMS if acronyms are preferred; these computer facilities allow an intelligent, automatic goods transport vehicles management. Their use provides logistic responsibles with several useful information to optimize fleet related activities. What information are we talking about?
These are indispensable information for every Fleet Manager, such as, just to mention, truck positioning –in any area of operation-, fuel control, environmental impact, time left before delivery, availability of vehicles as and when required, preferable routes to avoid traffic congestion, adverse weather conditions, stolen goods notifications and eventual notes on places where goods are found, respect of hours of work or rest, speed limits and plenty more. Just one click away.
How was this explosive innovation possible?
As it often happens in history, everything started with military technology, in this case American. This system has been developed since the early Seventies and consists of a network of 31 artificial satellites able to provide a specific receptacle with its geographical coordinates and it has been made available for civilian use by Clinton administration. The GPS modules, integrated into special, on-board computers installed into goods transport vehicles, identify their position in every area and they can transmit the data with the help of mobile phone networks. Once they receive the information, operative centres extrapolate relevant data in order to create different bundled services for each final customer.
Can you provide specific numbers?
Industry analysts believe that 5,3 million devices were operating in the Old Continent by the end of 2015, with a 12,6% penetration rate. These numbers should grow to 7,9 million by the end of this year, with a 18,4% penetration rate. Analysts also state that one out of three vehicle will be equipped with satellite telematic devices by the end of 2021. This is exactly what Viasat does. Of course. Viasat, an Italian company that was founded in Rome in 1987, will have a key role in this innovation process. The group was already well known for its original business model, thanks to its updated technologies in help of stolen cars recovery and its 24/7, 365 days a year vehicle maintenance and medical assistance through the Operations Centre.
Apart from the economic advantages for operators, will this entail long-term benefits to the community?
In this sense, we think that numbers can provide a complete explanation: the European average of road accidents deaths has exceeded 25.000 people. These numbers should give an idea of how dangerous our roads are and how necessary it is to adopt safety satellite devices. In addition to this, we must take environmental sustainability issues and the reduction of carbon dioxide production, by avoiding wasted journeys, in consideration. Last but not least, we could reduce the queues at toll barriers, ports and transport centres. This might not save the world, but some sea vacation at least.
The Group is significantly growing abroad.
The acquisition of two companies, the Spanish Grupo Detector and the Portuguese TRACKit Consulting, has completed our internationalisation process started in 2012, with 15 acquired groups. The Group has become stronger in the market of the design, production and distribution of IoT, Insurtech, Fleet and Big Data products and services thanks to its presence in over 50 Countries in Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. Our growth plan for external lines in Europe still goes forward; in addition to the organic growth of our traditional services clients, the new development of IoT and Big Data field let us reach Top Player numbers.