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Geotab Connect 2024: Focus on the Future

Autosphere » Fleet » Geotab Connect 2024: Focus on the Future
Mike Branch, VP, Data and Analytics, Geotab. Photo Geotab

Geotab’s recent conference offered a compelling view of how technology will shape the years to come.

More than 3,000 guests attended Geotab Connect 2024, which took place in Las Vegas from February 14-16. During his opening remarks, Colin Sutherland, Chief Customer Officer at Geotab said that more than 1,000 Geotab customers were in attendance at this year’s event, along with Geotab’s reseller partners, marketplace partners and sponsors.

During his keynote presentation, Neil Cawse, Geotab founder and CEO spoke about the power of data and connected operations, and how they’re disrupting the fleet industry and beyond.

“The pace of disruption is speeding up,” Cawse explained. “Don’t be scared of change. Embrace it and take advantage of it. Partner with companies that are disrupting.”

He encouraged everyone in attendance to think about their own industry and their own job function. “Do you have ideas that can disrupt your own industry?” he asked the audience. “Every single one of us has the power to disrupt in some meaningful way. So, let’s do it.”

Software-defined vehicles

One of the highlights of the two-day event was a panel discussion moderated by Sherry Calkins (SVP of Global Strategic Accounts, Geotab) with guest panellists Dave Prusinski (Chief Revenue Officer, Ford Pro), Michelle Calloway (Director of Onstar Business Solutions, General Motors), Chris Nguyen (Director of Global Digital Fleet Product Management, Stellantis), and Brandon Blumber (Director of Business Development, Rivian).

The panel spoke about software-defined vehicles, which Rivian’s Brandon Blumber called, “the new buzz.” It used to be called “connected vehicle, and now it’s software-defined vehicle,” he added.

Blumber defined the term as the ability to “fine-tune and operate every interaction on the vehicle, from unlocking the vehicle to charging and acceleration—when you have the ability to fine-tune that, that’s what we call a software-defined vehicle. When you own and control the entire stack, all the way down to the ECM level, not only does it give you the ability to make minor adjustments as you go, but the vehicle gets better over time. And I think that’s the relevant part of a commercial application of a software-defined vehicle: You’re investing in something today that’s going to be different tomorrow, and it’s likely going to be better and grow.”

Blumber then contrasted the software-defined vehicle with what we have today: “A static vehicle that’s loaded with fixed software at the manufacturing level.”

Future of AI

Mike Branch, VP of Data and Analytics for Geotab spoke about the power of AI (artificial intelligence), and how it’s changing our world. “AI is not coming for your jobs,” he assured everyone in the audience. “But people who use AI are coming for your jobs.”

He painted a picture of how AI might work in the future when “large language models” will communicate with one another, as well as with humans. In a connected vehicle, for example, we could have an AI that specializes in driver safety. If a driver gets into an accident, this AI would understand what just occurred and would call the driver to see if they’re okay. Simultaneously, it would contact the insurance company, as well as emergency services, assuring the driver that help is on the way.

Branch explained how Geotab has been investing in AI for years and will continue to do so. “AI isn’t perfect,” he admitted, “but it can help us achieve our goals. Geotab will continue to innovate and we want to accelerate the pace of change.”

 

Categories : Editorial, Fleet
Tags : Event, Geotab, Technology

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