Technology has revolutionized the way we all live and work, and nearly every industry can point to significant changes that have occurred as a result of innovation and modernization. Fleet management is no exception. From improved communication tools that help manage routing and driver behavior to more advanced telematics systems that deliver better, more precise data, technology has helped to improve productivity, uncover hidden efficiencies and deliver savings to a company’s bottom line.
GPS and other onboard telematics systems have significantly increased the efficiency of many fleets through improved route optimization, which in turn has lowered fuel costs and improved driver productivity. It also has given fleet managers the ability to identify drivers that may not be driving safely or may be improperly using a company vehicle for personal use; the capacity for more responsible and accountable dispatching; and, the power to track lost or stolen vehicles or locate vehicles that have been in accidents. Onboard telematics have also helped fleet managers “green” their fleets. From reducing idling time to making sure a vehicle receives the required preventive maintenance on time, technology and telematics have given fleet managers the ability to lessen their overall carbon footprint.
With more technology, however, comes more data – making the need for advanced data integration absolutely critical. Your fleet can return all of the data in the world – from fuel consumption and idling time to current vehicle speed – but if you don’t have a way to make sense of it all, the data becomes meaningless. Often, the key is having the right partner to help you decipher what your fleet is trying to tell you. And, as technology becomes even more sophisticated, this will become even more critical.
Experts predict that networks will become faster, more and more devices – such as tablets and smartphones – are likely to be integrated into the overall experience, requiring fleets to pull information from multiple applications in order to get a full picture of their fleet’s performance. Taking steps now to understand how you can use technology and data to maximize the power of your fleet is a worthwhile investment, especially since it looks like autonomous vehicles and all of the information such vehicles will be able to tell us no longer seem to be a thing of the far-off future.