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at the earliest possible time. The technology has been installed in most major car manufacturers, including Toyota, GM, Ford, Honda, Fiat Chrysler, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai and Kia. “Vehicle diagnostics lag behind modern information technologies that


allow data to be collected, analyzed remotely and distributed through a seamless interface,” said Peter Yorke, CEO of Voyomotive. Also emerging are “digital twins,” or virtual models of a machine, ship,


railcar, truck, or even a school bus, that operates with real-time data and parameters. It may be monitored in real-time, visually, with all of the criti- cal parameters available in a visual, but virtual, snapshot. The momentum of remote monitoring and diagnostics technology is


spreading worldwide and will continue to expand. According to market research firm Technavio, remote diagnostics is a $2 billion market that is growing at about 22 percent per year. The market for remote monitoring technology, which includes mechanical performance monitoring, is gain- ing momentum and should continue to expand.


The Fifth Generation of Communication While the future looks bright, a limiting factor in the success and full


adoption of remote diagnostics and monitoring via the Internet of Things (IoT), will be the timing of the full arrival of the fifth generation, or 5G wire- less networks. At present, IoT technology works via locally-planted hardware that trans-


mits over a network to a platform that is located at a basecamp at another remote location. Existing networks (mostly 4G) are subject to the tribula- tions of data volume that cause bottlenecks and slow response. The connectivity can operate on available mobile signals, as available,


but the advancement of remote monitoring will rely heavily on clear reception, which depends on connectivity, plus a capacity to transmit and receive huge amounts of data quickly. Latency, or the delay between a request and a response, is at stake with the dawn of 5G. Low latency is a hallmark of 5G and will greatly benefit remote monitoring. This is where 5G networks will be a huge boon, although the age is just


dawning. Until 5G is here to stay (2019 should be a very good year for 5G implementation), there are likely to be challenges in the full utilizations of remote diagnostics and monitoring in real time. Consultant group McKinsey & Company in a paper published last year,


described 5G as communications that “promises lightning-fast speed, incredibly low latency, and the capacity to carry massive numbers of con- nections simultaneously. Not surprisingly, the imminent arrival of 5G is creating a buzz in both the industry and the wider world.”


Obstacles to Overcome But such buzz and its success for fleet asset managers will depend on


the availability and cost of installing 5G moving forward. Perhaps more significantly, 5G providers will be faced with the growing health concerns and opposition by local city councils, planning commissions and angry citizens that object to the sudden proliferation of ugly cell towers in the neighborhoods where they live. Some city councils have already complete- ly banned installation of the new 5G cell towers. In many cities, everywhere they look, people will see 5G cell towers suddenly appearing wherever there are heavy users. That includes all cate-


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