By Emily Newton, Revolutionized
Though internet-connected vehicles may seem like a novelty now, they’ll be mainstream in the near future. Connected vehicles are estimated to make up over 95% of new vehicles sold globally by 2030.
Connecting your fleet vehicles to the internet can improve efficiency, safety, and productivity – three of the most high-priority aspects of your operation. Learn how these connected vehicles can enhance your fleet here.
Connected Vehicles And Telematics
While telematics and the IoT will increasingly play a role in fleet management in the coming years, chances are good you’re already experiencing telematics in your personal vehicle. Some of the most common examples of telematics include:
- Sending texts via Bluetooth
- Using a key fob to lock and unlock your doors
- Plugging addresses into a GPS
The future of telematics is vast, encompassing everything from tracking stolen vehicles to providing Wi-Fi hotspots and in-car infotainment.
These aspects of telematics and its other possibilities can help your fleet overcome issues and become more productive and efficient.
Challenges Faced By Fleet Managers
You face daily challenges as a manager of tens, hundreds, or even thousands of fleet vehicles. IoT and telematics can help you overcome the following obstacles:
Car Accidents And Driver Safety
Keeping employees safe and decreasing human error is a top priority at any workplace. As a fleet manager, you always aim to keep your drivers safe and your vehicles undamaged. Fender benders, tickets, and other accidents happen, and it can be very expensive to invest in high-quality safety training or the latest tech for drivers and their vehicles.
An alternative solution involves using fleet tracking software. This technology is all-encompassing and doesn’t require you to purchase different systems for every safety concern, making it a more cost-effective solution in the long run.
Safety concerns you can target using IoT technology in your fleet include:
- Tough braking
- Sharp turns
- Intense acceleration
With IoT and telematics, fleet managers can oversee safety concerns and drivers can start correcting their potentially dangerous driving habits to help keep themselves protected. You’ll also enjoy benefits like saving on the associated costs of speeding tickets and fixing minor vehicle damage.
You can’t control the other vehicles on the road, but you can invest in IoT technology that keeps your fleet as safe as possible while in transit.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) outlines regulations that all fleets must follow. These rules, enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), are primarily concerned with keeping commercial drivers safe and encompass things like:
- Hours of service (HOS): HOS encompasses how long drivers are permitted to work and when they need to take breaks.
- Vehicle inspections: Drivers must complete vehicle inspections and appropriate paperwork before getting onto the road every day. They’ll check things like brakes, lights, tires, horns, and more.
- Registrations and permits: Drivers and fleet managers must have various licenses and registrations to operate commercial vehicles.
- Random drug testing: Potential employees must undergo a drug test before getting hired as fleet drivers, and these tests don’t stop once they start the job.
These are just a few of the ways fleets must stay in compliance with the DOT to operate. Clearly, there is a lot of important paperwork and documentation to keep track of. If you fall behind, you run the risk of falling out of compliance, which could result in penalties, fines, or vehicles being taken out of service.
Here’s where the IoT comes in: Telematics software can keep track of high volumes of data so you don’t have to scramble to gather the information you need should your fleet get audited.
Unforeseen Maintenance Costs
Unexpected maintenance costs can include mechanical failures, brake errors, dead batteries, expired engines, and broken transmissions – none of which you ever want to experience, especially while your drivers are on the road.
If you experience these issues, your drivers could be at risk, your deliveries might get delayed, you could lose productivity, and you may deal with high costs to fix damaged parts.
Staying on top of your maintenance schedule – while incredibly important – might fall by the wayside when dealing with a large fleet or a busy season. IoT software can assist you by sending alerts when vehicles are due for service. You also can harness the benefits of AI sensors to get real-time data from your vehicles regarding mechanical failures and predictive maintenance.
How IoT Connectivity Can Help Overcome Fleet Management Challenges
Here are some of the ways IoT and telematics can help fleet managers overcome everyday obstacles:
- Two-way communication: IoT enables the communication between drivers and fleet managers so both can relay information about emergencies, vehicle conditions, and more to one another.
- Supplier negotiations: Fleet managers can provide concrete evidence about driver mileage and speed to negotiate with their suppliers with IoT software.
- More efficiency and productivity: The primary benefit of IoT implementation in a fleet is how it can save your organization time and money on administrative tasks, leaving more room for focus on critical tasks like making deliveries on time.
- Item sensors: You also can better ensure the safety of high-value items using IoT tech. These sensors disable an item’s functionality until it arrives at a safe location, which would be especially useful when transporting hazardous materials.
- Capacity insights: With IoT, trucks, and vehicles also will be able to “communicate” their load capacity levels, ensuring you can pack your vehicles efficiently but without overstuffing them.
IoT Can Help Your Fleet Overcome Difficulties and Reach Its Full Potential
Managing a fleet of vehicles involves more than putting wheels on pavement. You deal with fleet management challenges every day while ensuring your drivers stay safe and your fleet adheres to DOT regulations. If you want to increase your fleet’s productivity and efficiency while improving driver safety and lessening expensive, unexpected maintenance costs, look into IoT implementation.
By connecting your fleet to the internet and equipping it with AI technology, you can enjoy higher efficiency and focus less on administrative tasks and more on meeting company objectives.
About The Author
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She regularly explores the impact technology has on the industrial sector.