Geospatial Trends To Watch Out In 2021

Amongst all the changes, the most critical is the rise of location-intelligent services and solutions that are likely to drive market growth and innovation

2020 was a whirlwind of a year, to say the least. COVID-19 has brought about several changes that are likely to have a permanent effect on the way we live and conduct business. Amongst all the changes, the most critical is the rise of location-intelligent services and solutions that are likely to drive market growth and innovation across many industries: healthcare, public sector & governance, automotive & connected driving, transport & logistics, and insurance. 

Outlined below are some key trends that HERE envisions for the 2021, (assuming the meteors and “murder hornets” are not entering stage left anytime soon:

Diversification for vaccine distribution will drive growth opportunities for the India’s transport & logistics industry: We will be faced with a mammoth task of transporting COVID-19 vaccines across a country of billion people. Transport & logistics companies, therefore, will be focused on developing a logistics and transportation plan including sourcing, partnering with global freight players, warehousing & developing cold storage facilities. The entire value chain for transport & logistics company will be dependent on core metric- ‘location’ which can influence last-mile delivery of vaccinations to clinics and hospitals, thus determining the time needed to control and eradicate the pandemic. Trackers and indoor positioning infrastructure will help managers, chart out floor-by-floor immersive 3D maps of the factories where vaccines are located, as well as ensure that capacities are judiciously allocated between departments. IoT based sensor technologies, will enable tracing of product inventory, within the warehouse, thus saving precious energy and resources to trace a ‘lost’ inventory or order a new one. Integrating external data such as weather, mobility, traffic, and satellite data on top of the company’s existing internal data, will help map demand, and make strategic business decisions such as supplying vaccines to the remote and under serviced towns and villages. 

Location will take centre stage and will inform business strategies of healthcare sector: We will see an aggressive reliance on the ‘power of where’, where healthcare related businesses and companies will depend on spatial insights to inform their operations and consumer outreach. We will see increased use of satellites, GPS trackers, mapping software and GIS tools, healthcare, and government agencies will create a data-led insights network for surveillance, eradication and providing information on quarantine zones, availably of health supplies such as PPEs, ventilators, number of care givers deployed in an area, etc. Drones with mounted thermal cameras could help professionals to remotely screen communities.  Using interactive maps, health workers can facilitate real-time input on the most vulnerable populations, demand-supply gap of vaccination etc., enabling health workers to ensure optimum vaccination drives. 

Location powered mobility will gather momentum: 2021 will bring forth many opportunities to accelerate our use of more sustainable, resilient, greener, and human-centric mobility systems. As people and organizations adopt remote working and adhere to social distancing norms, we will see a reshaping of our cities. Urban space reallocation, retiming of trips, increased on-demand mobility services will lead to consolidation of private mobility players and emergence of intelligent transport systems. Demand for ‘mobility-as-a-service’ is likely accelerate the connected vehicle and smart mobility revolution. Vehicles laden with sensors for advanced ADAS functionality that can provide details of the car’s environment, like speed limits and lane details, objects in proximity, weather conditions, and images of the roadway, anti-lock brakes, traction control, fuel efficiency, etc. will see an increased demand. On the other hand, business and organizations looking to rebuild their battered supply chain and fleet management strategies, will look for embedded navigation systems enabling them to exercise optimum control over business processes including first, middle and last mile operations. As mobility grows more advanced, vehicle dashboards will be ready to integrate with the next generation of autonomous services, combining vehicle sensor data with high-definition maps. Automakers thus will be able to empower drivers with advanced traffic data, lane detail information, providing turn directions in the instrument panel in front of the driver, or rendering location maps to the back seats of the car.

The insurance business will go hyper-local: For insurers, aligning business strategy with a strong digital transformation framework will be vital. Business will look to integrate operations with location data to assess business priorities, identify the demand-supply chasm and address the most pressing concerns: safety of their employees, agents, distribution partners in the worst affected areas, set up risk mitigation programs for staff who may still need to work on-site. Real-time usage-based vehicle movements will help triage emergency response plans and enable premium rebates, policy extensions, cash refunds, renewal credit and discounts to individuals and companies impacted. Insurers will leverage spatial analytics to determine loss projections and manage material impacts on reserves, thus strengthening their own ability to pay future claims and demonstrate the capacity to underwrite responsibly. 

Automotive telematics coupled with other innovations in smartphone innovations such as GPS tracers, routing algorithms, data rich maps embedded in consumer mobile apps, can help cleanse data for precise and accurate location intelligence, drive ‘usage-based insurance’ (UBI) policies and help insurers move business further towards predictive analysis rather than reactionary. Demand for in-vehicle sensors, AI powered onboard vehicle diagnostics and connected technologies, will surge as insurers will seek to gain insights into road conditions and preempt accidents and hazard warnings, that could help lower claims cost, reduce fraud claims, inform individual driving behavior, and deliver user-based insurance policies to clients, thus enhancing road safety. 

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Geospatial Trends 2021


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