5 Features Every Tech-driven Fleet Management System Must Have
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The global fleet management market size is skyrocketing and is predicted to be more than doubled, reaching $28,66 billion in 2022 compared to 2017, amounting to $13,78 billion.
According to the latest trends, 96% of respondents claim that vehicles powered by a GPS tracking system impact optimization of fuel consumption, staff efficiency, and elimination of accidents which ultimately facilitates cost-efficiency.
Before you start reading our guide on “Key features of vehicle management system”, here is a short video to have a quick overview.
What is fleet management?
The aim of fleet management is to supervise the fleet and asset processes to facilitate the efficiency of day-to-day operations, ensuring compliance with government across the entire fleet cycle. However, there are external triggers that can hinder the productivity and efficiency of the process leading to bad user experiences and poor data analysis unless weeding out the threats and associated risks related to asset and driver management, route planning, fuel consumption, etc. Fleet managers responsible for fleet management processes have to permanently enhance their decisions toward driver satisfaction and safety, fuel optimization, and sustainability to efficiently coordinate commercial vehicles.
Challenges of fleet management
Due to the COVID pandemic, fleet managers have faced new challenges related to rising costs and process inefficiency that can be resolved by streamlining and automating fleet management lifecycles. As long as the requirement to manage and monitor vehicles remotely has arisen, new custom IoT software solutions are gaining momentum.
Besides the challenges of fleet management mentioned above connected with pandemic adverse impacts, the essential concern of the fleet management businesses must be directed toward ensuring driver retention. This is not just an assumption – fleet employee turnover rates increase, leading to spurring innovations among business owners. According to ATA (the American Trucking Association), the trucking industry has been exposed to an acute shrinking of the driver pool. The predictions are the following: there will be a $175K driver deficiency by 2026. Since the financial crisis in 2008, the demand for truck drivers has not ceased, on the contrary, it is continuously growing. However, one of the reasons why the USA encounters blue-collar shortfall is the converging of demographic and educational trends, plus a reinforced economy. Therefore, fleet managers tend to recruit inexperienced drivers who are required to be monitored in real-time, for instance, with vehicle tracking systems.
This, in turn, leads to safety concerns, especially when drivers are a thousand miles away and need real-time visibility. Taking care of drivers’ maintenance and safety can facilitate their loyalty and build stronger working relationships between the manager and the driver. This chain of interdependent factors impacts the holistic approach toward efficient and successful fleet management. With that said, the next challenge we would like to highlight is inefficient fleet tracking, which includes bad fuel management, route optimization, and vehicle acquisition. Nowadays, without appropriate applications, it will be a complicated task for managers to track and identify the optimal vehicle route, obtain data on the service history, and apply predictive maintenance in the case of a malfunction that can result in downtime.
Moreover, diesel and patrol fluctuations impact fuel consumption and imperil the business’s economic bottom line. Besides, governments successfully disseminate electric vehicle opportunities, which means both fuel economy and a sustainable future. Stunning, right?
How technology will shape the future of fleet management
Fleet managers are looking to improve fleet management decision-making through each area of the lifecycle. Big data, end-to-end fleet monitoring systems, and advanced data-driven tools allow businesses to provide fleet management with enhanced logistics and route optimization, and also driver’s safety, ensuring government compliance.
Over the five-ten years, the transportation management industry is anticipated to be enriched with a variety of new technologies, including semi-autonomous trucks, cloud logistics, connected technologies, AI/ML, augmented reality, etc. Being a pillar in the nowadays reality, the idea of a sustainable environment is embraced widely by organizations worldwide looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Therefore, the idea behind the vast emergence of EVs (electro vehicles) is backed by the government’s intent to foster a sustainability mission. Read on to uncover the top-notch solutions to advance your fleet management agenda.
Internet of Things: GPS tracking & telematics
According to Verizon’s report, 32% of organizations increased their ROI in less than a year by leveraging telematics technology. Advanced end-to-end fleet management systems are powered by GPS tracking technology based on telematics to manage and control vehicles, equipment, and people. Converging telecommunication and informatics, the telematics principle is designed to connect a hardware unit with IoT sensors via a GPS receiver. In connection with GPS technology, telematics can offer multi-faceted outcomes enabled by fleet tracking software, saving on fuel and maintenance costs and optimizing drivers’ efforts. Let us dive in to understand the difference between GPS technology and telematics and why they are both your step closer to cohesive and more organized fleet operations.
So what is the difference between GPS and telematics? No difference; they do not compete with one another. GPS is a part of telematics, augmenting it with additional data. How does telematics work? The principle is simple: via a GPS receiver built into the vehicle’s tracking device, the real-time data is collected and transmitted to the central computers. Afterward, the data is processed and transformed into actionable insights represented in the fleet management software.
Based on the Verizon survey in 2021 conducted among 7K U.S fleet managers and executives, we outline the key benefits of GPS fleet management software:
- Fuel costs were decreased by 8%.
- 62% of respondents announced improved customer service.
- 32% noted positive ROI in six months.
- 83% of respondents reported improved driver safety achieved through video telematics.
All these numbers showcase engine idle time decrease, accidents decline, and route optimization. With telematics technology, fleet managers can completely understand what is happening and how to bolster resilience and streamline cost expenses. Granular data displayed on the dashboard shows the vehicle’s current location and its status.
Applying IoT sensors to fleet monitoring and tracking allows the fleet owners to:
- Monitor fuel efficiency and optimize routes. With data obtained through sensors, fleet managers can view and analyze such parameters as idling time, breaking habits, average speed, etc., affecting fuel consumption. This data can be beneficial for creating optimal routes for drivers to balance their fuel expenses.
- Monitor driver performance. IoT sensors embedded in trucks can transmit critical data on drivers’ behavior, such as impaired driving, unplanned stops, delays, and speeding. Once analyzed, these indicators can be leveraged for future trip planning ensuring drivers’ safety by utilizing changes to their driving patterns.
- Leverage advanced data analytics and reporting. IoT-powered dashboards help fleet managers analyze data obtained and transform it into actionable insights that can be used for enhanced business decisions and effective supply-chain management.
Moreover, investing in this technology justifies expectations and impacts ROI, as the reports showed. With GPS tracking, drivers are encouraged to drive more safely, for example, because their driving behavior is monitored and analyzed for the probability of an accident. Real-time monitoring makes use of each vehicle’s data (idle time, miles driven, status, etc.) to improve asset utilization and operational efficiency.
Electric vehicle fleet management systems
Combining cost efficiency and the potential to combat climate change, EVs have definitely become a trend disrupting the fleet management industry. In the near future, electric vehicles will become mainstream not only for personal use but also for commercial businesses taking care of environmental challenges and complying with government regulations. With the increasing demand for sustainable fleet management, the expansion of electric vehicles is gaining momentum. By replacing gas-powered vehicles with EVs, the impact on the environment would be enormous. In the UK, in 2021, carbon emissions dropped by 11,2%, with the consideration that only 12% of new sales belonged to zero-emission electric vehicles.
Governments worldwide spur the EV industry to close the technology gaps, establish comprehensive EV policies, and accelerate technological transformation. The expansion of electric vehicle models has been shaped by key markets worldwide that apply promotion policies to foster the transition to EVs.
The leader in the market is China representing more than half of the world’s electric cars market (approximately $1,2 million vehicles are sold). The USA is planning to advance the EV market and invest $15 billion in creating a network of 500,000 charging stations by 2030. The European Union is on this path as well, exploring new policies and measures to deploy electric vehicles.
One of the most critical challenges that needs to be considered is the refueling of the ICE (internal combustion engine), which is more time-consuming than traditional charging stations.
Therefore, there is a need for a solution capable of resolving the workload of EVs and optimizing the charging schedule to stave off the entire expiration of fleet vehicles. That’s why any company containing a fleet of vehicles purporting to ensure an optimal charging schedule has to deploy IoT platforms that can remotely monitor the status of vehicles charging parameters in real time.
To monitor the fleet’s performance, companies owning electric vehicles can use EV fleet management systems. It is not enough to switch to electric vehicles; logistics and transport businesses have to consider the infrastructure needed to smoothly carry out operations and plan the complete vehicle conversion to get the most out of this solution. With electric vehicle fleet management software, businesses are able to:
- Get real-time insights into vehicles’ charging status. Having a complete history of when and how long the vehicle was charging allows you to properly plan the charging in advance without hassle.
- Ensure reliable on-time departures by using vehicle schedules.
- Reduce downtime.
- Predict battery life by connecting to IoT sensors transmitting data on pressure and temperature that can be combined with telematics to estimate battery performance under different conditions.
- Monitor drivers’ style of driving to effectively plan future trips.
- Estimate arrival and delivery time of vehicles.
- Ensure customer satisfaction. Via GPS fleet tracking, fleet managers can identify on-road issues that hinder timely delivery.
By 2040, every automaker, including BMW, Bentley, Ford, General Motors, Honda, etc., is planning to produce hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or battery-electric vehicles for weeding out internal combustion engines. Moreover, electric vehicles are anticipated to outsell gasoline and diesel.
Fleet management powered by AI and Machine Learning
While artificial intelligence and machine learning are gaining traction in fleet management, it does not mean that they will totally replace fleet managers but rather bolster their actions and make their business decisions more comprehensive with predictive maintenance.
Applying IoT-powered sensors and devices, engine electronics, and real-time telematics technology brings enormous outcomes to the effective and up-to-date fleet management strategy. However, to keep pace with reality, businesses can opt for integrating AI-powered management systems. They can retrieve much more sophisticated data. Machine learning algorithms can decipher this data and be learned from past experience, continually updating and upgrading the interpretation of these data sets. But is telematics not sufficient for effective IoT asset tracking in real-time? Here you need to estimate the benefits of AI that you can leverage to streamline your operations and ensure the safety of drivers. Let us outline the main reasons why you might enjoy AI solutions and what fleet management features they can enhance:
- Automatic detection of anomalies. With AI, fleet managers are empowered to predict engine issues before they occur and filter outliers within driver or vehicle behavior based on previous experience. Displayed on the advanced dashboards, fleet managers can view collected data and detect anomalies. Based on this data, you can see what is happening with your vehicle and get recommendations for repairs.
- Optimization of equipment usage and predictive maintenance. Based on collected telematics data, ML algorithms can spot operational issues with equipment and provide subsequent suggestions on preventing damages and downtime. Via connected IoT sensors, data from separate vehicle parts are collected in the vehicle fleet management software built on the cloud platform.
Telematics data is essential to monitor and measure in real-time such parameters as oil pressure, engine temperature, battery status, vehicle performance, etc. Incorporated with AI, telematics data becomes a powerful weapon to ensure smart, advanced analytics to build predictions and fast alerts of potential equipment malfunctions. The machine learning model is trained on historical data to deliver high-level abnormal recognition. Moreover, with ML models and video-based safety monitoring systems, drivers can get alternative routes to prevent downtimes and mileages and make more solid maintenance decisions.
- Efficient resource planning. Predictive analytics powered by ML algorithms facilitates resource planning, thus reducing costs. Predictive maintenance systems fueled by 360 complete telematics visibility data can track and monitor vehicles’ speed, direction, status, and much more. Having such information allows fleet managers to adjust their vehicles according to customer demand, required quantity of vehicles, best time, and location.
Leveraging advanced safety technologies such as IoT-based and AI-powered warning systems can prevent 63,000 crashes and 293 deaths annually. Driver safety is one of the most critical aspects that need to be considered at a high level; therefore, businesses have begun to apply sensors and AI to identify distracted behaviors. For example, Lytyx uses machine vision and AI-powered dash cams to deliver a 360-degree view and alerts in case of distractions to protect drivers, increase efficiency, and save time.
5 features every fleet management system must have
Let’s summarize the information mentioned above and outline the main pros of tech-powered fleet management systems that can significantly help you take your heavy lifting off your plate.
- Real-time updates. Telematics technology, IoT sensors, GPS tracking, cloud computing, and flexible microservices architecture – all this is a perfect assemble to be integrated to deliver real-time insights represented in up-to-date reports on advanced dashboards.
- Vehicle maintenance. Based on the historical data on energy consumption, traveled miles, engine hours, breaking, etc., fleet management software can predict possible damages and optimize maintenance schedules.
- Drivers’ safety. In-cab video systems can help monitor drivers’ behaviors and identify poor on-road habits and violations to make better decisions and provide appropriate data-driven coaching to the workforce as well.
- Fuel efficiency. To make vehicles more efficient, such measures should be taken to prevent aggressive drivers’ speeding, reduce downtimes and idle times, optimize routes, etc. Capturing all these data-critical violations via sensors and comprehensive IoT asset tracking solutions will be a valuable resource to save on fuel.
- Improved service delivery. By optimizing routes via IoT sensors and improving decision-making with ML algorithms, customers get more solid outcomes since time delivery is accelerated, positively impacting the company’s bottom line.
Why select Euristiq for your fleet management software development?
Our team consists of top-notch experts and engineers with extensive experience and success storiesю Our custom software solutions aim to develop smart products of any scale and complexity. To monitor fleet performance in real-time, we apply advanced IoT solutions and data analytics to retrieve all the critical data from in-vehicle sensors to transform it into meaningful insights and accurate predictions. Moreover, with our full-fledged approach toward product creation, we can integrate your legacy systems or migrate your workloads to cloud space, ensuring more power and scalability. Therefore, you do not need to look for another provider to help you holistically develop your product. If you need to dive deeper into the solutions and facilitate your decision-making, just let us know – our discovery service is at your disposal.