When fleet managers talk about the way changing technology will manage their vehicles, the discussion turns to familiar topics. They include improving fuel efficiency, preventive maintenance, helping maximizing route efficiencies, and a variety of driver monitoring issues that relate to safer and more cost-efficient driving.
It all revolves around technology, the type that has GPS installed on vehicles, computers that monitor engine performance and alert service personnel to maintenance issues, real-time data for drivers, and more. But if you want to take a look at what fleet management will be like in the future, it comes down to three initials: IoT – which stands for “Internet of Things.”
A Closer Look at IoT
Looking at IoT is a glimpse into the future of how utilizing the Internet can maximize fleet productivity and enhance profitability. When you think of IoT, think about a network and every device in the system that can share data with other devices connected to the Internet.
Your commercial fleet vans will be sending and receiving data from the network in real-time, using software that collects essential data from vehicle sensors. Next, the software will store, manage, and analyze the data to provide real-time information about your vehicles, drivers, and other vital areas that fleet managers need to do their job effectively.
Fleet managers are interested in similar key metrics that drive optimal performance from their vehicles, whether they’re utility vans or any other vehicle in the fleet. So, what are the metrics? To lower the cost of ownership, they include optimal route management, fuel utilization, as well as enhanced driver safety and performance and vehicle maintenance.
These metrics have already been addressed with existing technology, but by using IoT, managers can go one step further – interact with thousands of other fleet operators. It will enable fleet managers to do significant business problem solving using the Internet of Things solutions.
The data enables managers multiple benefits, including optimized logistics, compliance with safety and environmental regulations, enhanced driver performance and increased safety, preventive vehicle maintenance, and so much more.
Benefits of Implementing IoT
Fleet managers who are interested in implementing IoT must meet specific requirements. First, they must have their vehicles equipped with wireless technology and sensors. Connectivity is a key to successful implementation, so there must be reliable connections to cellular networks through 4G/LET and, ultimately, 5G when it is finally up and running extensively.
Once the fleet is connected to the cloud, various vehicle assessment tools will be available to help prevent unplanned maintenance, which leads to vehicle and driver downtime and eats into profitability. It can also offer drivers in-vehicle dialogue and feedback to help improve overall driving performance while meeting company health and safety standards. This two-way seamless communication will make it extremely easy for managers to maintain contact with drivers while alerting them to vehicle problems or route issues like accidents or weather. It’s not only the vehicles that will benefit from IoT – the warehouses and entire supply chain will help as well. Inventories can be analyzed in real-time, providing maximum efficiencies, reduced costs, and an optimized warehouse system. The newer technologies also provide more accurate asset tracking throughout the delivery process.