Nav firm's new route
27 January 2010
Trafficmaster is looking to expand from its traditional congestion, navigation and vehicle tracking roots into a concierge-style offering that could see the firm book the likes of restaurants, car hire and hotels for customers.
The first move, planned for 2010, is to start working more closely with daily rental firms in order to offer mobile navigation and vehicle tracking through its GPS mobile phone application.
"It's such an exciting marketplace, and it's not only about navigation," Trafficmaster boss John Lawrence told BusinessCar. "We'll be launching a whole suite of products under the Trafficmaster Companion banner."
Lawrence said industry projections show half of new mobile phones sold this year will be GPS-enabled, compared to 20% in 2009. "We're moving away from pure car to a concierge service," said Lawrence.
The daily rental application could see Trafficmaster working with hire firms to supply navigation and traffic information through a GPS handset that would also track the vehicle's movements. But the mobile application will also have other uses. "We can add services. Some people may want navigation and some may want the full system, from finding restaurants to certain types of petrol stations if they have a certain fuel card," said Lawrence. "Exciting partnerships will be announced in the new year." Trafficmaster is looking to work in conjunction with contract hire firms. "With leasing companies, our product could either be fitted to every vehicle, which is unlikely, or sold as part of a range of fleet management solutions," he said. "Our appeal to leasing companies is that we'll work with them so a sales team doesn't have to become an overnight expert on telematics. We want to be less randomly recruited and more a part of the solution."
Trafficmaster's ambitions for its core products are also at the forefront. "The big plan is to take more telematics services into the leasing sector," said Lawrence.
The application allows company car drivers to easily split out personal from business mileage, and has been trialled with BMW over the second half of 2009.