The continued evolution of connected vehicles looks to bring fleets of all types into the connected age. Touting the value of location-based services, telematics, remote diagnostics, as well as apps and other connected features, these vehicles could eventually make their way onto your next construction jobsite.

Evidence suggests this trend is already occurring. As detailed in the Jan/Feb issue of Constructech, trucks have become a quintessential office on wheels for more and more builders and contractors. Trucks like the RAM 1500, featuring Uconnect Access, powered by Sprint, www.sprint.com, Overland Park, Kan., continue to bring the idea of being connected to construction with features like mobile Wi-Fi hotspots and apps designed to help enhance productivity on the job.

Last week with the announcement that Volvo Trucks, www.volvotrucks.com, Greensboro, N.C., is leveraging geofence technology and QR codes in order to enhance the effectiveness of its remote diagnostic service, many question whether such upgrades might soon be coming to the construction equipment division of Volvo as well.

“Geo-fencing and QR code technologies present an exciting opportunity to build on the capabilities of the connected vehicle platform we introduced last year with Remote Diagnostics,” says David Pardue, vice president of aftermarket solutions, Volvo Trucks. “New and innovative technologies are opening the door for us to be even more proactive and offer services to expedite the repair process.”

According to the OEM (original-equipment manufacturer), the geofence technology will help Volvo dealers and staff at Volvo’s Uptime Center better understand the processes associated with repair in order to best determine the most efficient way to address a repair situation. The company says all Volvo trucks equipped with remote diagnostics, which is standard on all Volvo-powered trucks, communicate with the geo-fence to identify each time the vehicle enters or leaves a Volvo dealer location.

Coming in April, all new Volvo trucks will come factory-equipped with a unique QR code that is directly linked to the vehicle’s VIN number. By scanning the code with a QR reader users will acquire detailed service records in Volvo’s Web-based service management tool, named ASIST.

While this looks to be available on standard fleets for the near term, it stands to wonder how soon such capabilities will come to the construction market via Volvo Group, which is one of the largest manufacturers of construction equipment worldwide.

Another interesting point of news to consider in this area comes from ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, Oyster Bay, N.Y., which expects OEM and aftermarket safety and security telematics providers to see solid growth in the coming years. The analyst firm expects the number of users to rise from 72 million at the end of 2013 to more than 300 million in 2018.

While safety and security telematics is a broad category, encompassing everything from on-board safety systems to even UBI (usage-based insurance) programs, it does touch on certain areas that could eventually have a profound effect on the construction market.

In all, the trend of the connected vehicle continues to expand. While some links are tied directly to construction, others could lead to residual impacts on this market. The only thing for certain is IT has extended to the vehicle and this can only mean good things for the average builder and contractor in the long run.