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15 March 2017 - We have been featured in the latest edition of Raconteur, published in The Times.

The latest edition of Raconteur looks at how cities of the future will have to adopt a ‘smart’ approach in order to meet rising population demands. We are seeing a similar trend among our customers. Businesses across different verticals are striving to become more data-driven and ‘smarter’. Masternaut is featured in The Times today, asking the question “How ‘smart’ is your fleet?”

Running a ‘smart’ business isn’t about installing a telematics box in a vehicle or simply gathering data. It is about what you do with that data. Masternaut’s mission is to translate information into impact, in order to create a connected world that is safer, cleaner, and more productive. In order to have that impact, we often integrate fleet data into existing IT systems to make it accessible to customer service agents or Operations Managers, right where they need it. Instead of large data exports, we provide smart reports that deliver insights at the click of a button.

More broadly, technology has enabled people and businesses to connect in new ways, and businesses and cities alike are seeking to engage with the new Internet of Things ecosystem. We've seen the positive impact that vehicle tracking technology brings to businesses, and we’re excited to see how similar technologies will deliver value to whole city ecosystems.

Wouldn't it be great if a city could tell you where the next free parking space is? Imagine how many lives would be saved if street lights could detect and alert emergency services to collisions. All of this and more is within our reach now and increases in importance as the population grows.

As highlighted in the article “Road to a smart city”, Oxford Economics estimates that by 2030, the world's 750 largest cities will be home to 2.8 billion people, accounting for more than a third of the global population.

Authorities around the globe must therefore adopt a 'smarter' approach to meet these growing demands. New technologies such as IoT and telematics are being used to analyse and improve critical functions such as traffic flow, air quality, crowd management, security risks, waste, and transport. By embracing the technology revolution and becoming more connected and smarter, authorities can gather real-time data and make fact-based decisions.

Futurologist Dr James Bellini comments: "City leaders will need to change their mindset from simply overseeing local budgets to harnessing vast amounts of sensor-driven data. And not just to optimise traffic flows, micro-manage water usage or save precious energy. Tomorrow's urban communities will be judged by human-scale criteria: are they liveable, walkable and socially inclusive?". It is therefore important that technology isn't just imposed upon people, but that they have a say and are involved in defining the applications they need.

The article “What if data privacy wasn’t an issue” talks about an interesting innovation in China. Last year, the main railway station in Beijing started trialing facial recognition technology to verify the identity of travelers and check their tickets are valid for travel. Meanwhile, in the city of Yinchaun, a passenger's face is linked to his or her bank account, enabling bus passengers to pay automatically simply by having their faces scanned.

With the range of smart applications expanding, ensuring data privacy is increasingly important. According to a recent survey of UK citizens from Broadband Genie, almost seven in ten people said they were worried about the privacy implications of having their personal data collected and retained.

As Masternaut processes more telematics data per day than most banks, data privacy and security will always remain a top priority. We manage our fully-owned enterprise-grade servers in line with strict EU guidelines, to deliver the highest levels of security, geographic redundancy, and availability at all times.

Masternaut’s technology has been helping businesses make smarter decisions about safety, productivity, and carbon emissions for over 20 years. It’s refreshing and exciting to see how cities are beginning to adopt a similarly ‘smart’ approach.

→ Read more in the Raconteur report on Smart Cities

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