The biggest takeaways from Geotab Connect 2024

The biggest takeaways from Geotab Connect 2024

Here are some of the highlights from the event's keynote address from CEO Neil Cawse and other company executives.

Last week, Geotab held its annual Connect conference, and with it came a bevy of announcements: a partnership with Daimler; a new AI co-pilot; a routing and dispatch solution; a new asset tracker; and more.

On Thursday at the event, CEO Neil Cawse took the stage to talk about the new products and where he sees the fleet technology industry heading, joined by other Geotab execs. Here are some of the highlights from the event’s keynote address.

On Geotab’s biggest focus in 2024

“If you ask, what is the single most important thing that Geotab needs as a food to create disruption? I’ll tell you what it is: It’s data and data quality,” Cawse said. “Good, accurate, trusted data is the food for AI. And AI is what is going to be disrupting our industry.

“So let’s talk about data quality for a second. Details matter here. If I have a battery voltage recorded at a hundred times a second, I can get an accurate AI model to predict the health of my electrical system. But if I’m only recording it once every five minutes, there’s no AI in the world that’s going to be able to get that data out. Do I have accurate positions and accelerations so that I can do proper cloud safety analysis? Geotab leverages our curve algorithm so that we can move as much of your vehicle data into the cloud so that you can have a digital twin of your vehicle in the cloud.”

On telematics’ role in safety

“In order to help guide customer safety programs, we did one of the largest studies that we’ve ever done on safety at Geotab,” Cawse said. “We wanted to study the impact of the use of safety tools in MyGeotab. So this is based on research of one and a half million vehicles in our pool.

“Each of those vehicles had to drive at least 6,000 miles in 2023 and had to have at least 50 vehicles in their fleet. So in total, those vehicles drove more than 20 billion miles. In that pool of vehicles over the period of 2023, 22,000 crashes happened, both minor and major. Now what’s interesting is when we profile the customers that were using the safety reports, they had 15% fewer collisions, which amounts to half a collision per million miles.

“Now before you make inferences about that point, as an engineer, I just want to show some caution. Just because you run the report is not going to guarantee you you magically have fewer collisions, right? We need to have a safety program that runs behind that. But I think it’s clear. The point is valid. If you have a safety program in your company and you can measure safety, these are the kind of benefits you can get. Now, we did a little bit of calculation, said if all customers were using the same safety programs and running the same reports, that would’ve resulted in 33% fewer collisions overall throughout the fleets.”

On how data can help avoid downtime

“As we always say at Geotab, you can’t manage what you don’t measure,” said Sabrina Martin, vice president of product management at Geotab. “Is maintenance a big cost driver? Absolutely. But so is the cost of an unexpected breakdown. It impacts productivity and that’s different for every business.”

“We have a ton of data and that allows us to focus on building blocks that can help us calculate unplanned downtime by understanding which vehicles are being towed or where scan tools are being plugged in. We can identify service locations and this can help us do this calculation. We want to help you, our customers, obsess over this data and be able to get visibility to this in dollars and cents.

On AI in 2024

Mike Branch, vice president of data and analytics at Geotab, took the stage to dig into the data and spoke about what’s next for AI.

“AI isn’t perfect,” he said. “It’s not going to be perfect for a while. Last year, 2023, was the year of breakout for generative AI. Undoubtedly, I think 2024 is the year of trust.”

“We’ve been doing AI for 10 years,” added Cawse. “We have a vision of where data and AI is going to take all of us collectively. Now there’s one more key ingredient that we need in order to realize the vision of data and AI in transforming connected vehicle. We need scale, here we go year by year watching the numbers grow only. Last year we were talking about 3 million connected vehicles, and today we have more than 4 million connected vehicles.”

“So scale is really, really important because it gives us all the data to power AI insights. It gives us the weight when partnering with OEMs. It gives us the revenue to keep building better products for you as an engineer.”

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