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Brits are world's most wired drivers, says fleet tracker CEO

Now the for the bad news: the roads are so bad you can't do logistics without fleet trackers

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The United Kingdom's roads are so bad that the nation has become the world's strongest adopter of fleet management technology, says to TJ Chung, CEO of logisitics software-as-a-service (SaaS) outfit Navman Wireless.

Navman Wireless carved itself out of parent company Navman, which specialises in hardware. The spin out is more interesed in SaaS and plumbing vehicles innards into sensors in order to capture information about fuel consumption, braking habits and many more metrics that when properly understood can be used to direct drivers into safer and cheaper driving.

Speaking to The Reg in Sydney today, Chung said one 500km motorway journey is much the same as any other in any country. That means figuring out how to cut logistics costs can be easy in places like Australia and the USA where motorways are plentiful and lesser roads were built from scratch to carry powered vehicles. The UK's often-narrow and winding roads, plus a distributed population, present a more complex challenge that local logistics outfits quickly find can only be addressed with more and more frequent analysis of driving data.

“Roads in the UK are not as consistent,” Chung said. “Minor roads are very hard to drive on.”

The pain UK motorists feel is Chung's gain: he says around 25 per cent of UK logistics companies use the kind of service Navman Wireless offers. “The UK is the most advanced adopter,” he said.

China is, inevitably, a market he feels will surge in future. Before it can do so, the cost of chipsets to power devices using the the Middle Kingdom's GPS alternative Beidou needs to come down. “GPS chips are now less than $US3,” Chung said. “Beidou chipsets are $US25.”

Chung also dismissed Europe's Galileo as irrelevant to the evolution of his industry, saying it replicates GPS but is yet to prove itself more accurate. Lack of coverage is also an issue that makes it unimportant at present, a status he expects will remain given projected Galileo satellite launch schedule. ®

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