The future of Fleet Management

The field of fleet management systems and associated vehicles is a dynamic microcosm of the present and current vehicle tracking industry.

Using the potential of intelligent devices and IoT connectivity, a fleet management system connected to the vehicle not only can determine speed, position, and temperature but can also interact with roads, buildings and other surrounding vehicles to provide real-time information, improve safety and avoid traffic.

In recent years, consumer expectations have changed dramatically from the spread of smartphones and tablets. People now demand continuous connectivity and uninterrupted customisations, and the car is the natural habitat for this kind of requests and the user experience that it can allow.

Current applications

Affiliated cars and fleets are benefiting greatly from the recent spread of smartphones and apps.

Fleet Managers can use Fleet Tracking software to monitor driver performance (stiff braking, downtime, delays, speed limits, deviations, etc.), reduce fuel consumption, plan routes, and manage vehicle life cycles from acquisition to disposal.

Also, most systems also feature integrated reporting capabilities that provide high-level status information and asset usage.

The fleet solution collects and analyzes all data from dozens (often hundreds) of sensors, and also improves passenger safety (e.g., by activating braking systems in case of malfunction when driving or sending an SOS in case of road accident).

The features commonly present are:

  • Vehicle Tracking software
  • Regulatory compliance management
  • Fuel Management
  • Dispatching
  • Scorecard (to measure driver performance)
  • Managing job orders
  • Maintenance
  • Parts Inventory
  • Accident Management
  • Reporting/analytics

Major challenges

Many different industries rely on some transport infrastructure, such as production, supply chain management, and public transport, to name a few.

A large number of companies, these days, are adopting fleet management software as a way to improve operational performance, increase revenue, and earn a competitive edge. More stringent rules on emissions and increased fuel costs also contribute to the need for centralized fleet management systems.

The dynamism of this industry brings many challenges for business and suppliers to be solved. The organization that wants to adopt fleet management solutions in their organization needs to analyze the situation as well as plan their actions thoroughly.

 

The main challenges can be summarized as follows:

 

Training for staff (i.e., staffed or even IT professionals specializing in different fields): they will need advanced training on all the technological features of modern cars to offer a satisfying customer experience;

Privacy and Security Policies that will need to be further improved to safeguard your auto-related data, primarily because users will continue to use their devices in braided fashion with commercial vehicles;

Misalignment between software update times and car hardware: automotive products continue to have a longer production and development cycle (5 years on average) than software and mobile devices (monthly or yearly). Vehicle components require more work involved and cannot reasonably be upgraded at no additional cost, unlike smartphone upgrade. The desire of the customers of the latest features will have to be run by the realities of automotive production;

Connectivity costs: Who will bear the cost of connectivity regarding data usage? Will the employees add the car as a “device” to their existing mobile plan, or will costs be borne by the organization?