Guest Column | June 6, 2023

Should Fleet Owners Put The Pedal Down On AI Adoption?

By Emily Newton, Revolutionized


Overseeing a motor-vehicle fleet is a time- and labor-intensive exercise, regardless of size. That’s why many company decision makers are turning to artificial intelligence (AI). An AI fleet management system can process data and discover trends humans might otherwise miss. What are some actionable ways to create an AI fleet? There are several things to consider when taking this step.

Promote Safer Driving

An emphasis on safe driving benefits everyone. Fleet owners could receive lower insurance rates for achieving a below-average accident percentage. Drivers with a rich understanding of safety improve operations whenever they get behind the wheel to start a new route or return to the origin point. Everyone who shares the road enjoys a reduced risk of accidents caused by fleet vehicles.

Fleet technology company Motive released recent data showing a connection between profitability and using AI fleet management tools for enhanced safety. The study revealed that companies that had invested in such resources for crash prevention saved between $91,000 and $1.72 million in 2022. Although that’s a huge range, even the lowest amount is impressive.

Motive also has an AI-powered dashcam, and its statistics provide the company with relevant insights. Fleets that used them had half the accidents of all customers actively using the Motive platform. Distracted or drowsy driving, dangerous lane changes and stop sign violations are some of the numerous things a manager can get data about when running an AI fleet.

Another tool — developed through a collaboration with Platform Science and Netradyne — uses AI and edge computing to reinforce responsible driver behaviors. The Driver-i app analyzes 100% of driving time and provides corrective, real-time notifications, providing drivers with opportunities to benefit from ongoing self-coaching. Such feedback increases the chances they’ll follow safety rules more often without developing bad habits.

Nauto’s AI technology can bring up to an 80% reduction in collisions and distracted driving events. The algorithms behind the product were trained on more than 1.3 billion AI-processed driving miles for better accuracy. In-vehicle alerts promote positive driver behavior changes during use.

Enhance Maintenance Measures

Breakdowns can be extremely costly and disruptive. However, AI fleet management could eliminate those problems if people find appropriate platforms. For example, Toyota uses an AI tool from CerebrumX that provides streaming telematics data, including vehicle health information. Representatives say it could substantially decrease the total cost of ownership while making fleets safer and more productive.

Elsewhere, Digital INNK has an AI-powered vehicle health check tool. It allows drivers to perform and give real-time submissions associated with walkarounds. Company officials can automatically book appointments with approved suppliers if the inspections identify anything that needs attention. This cloud-enabled AI tool automatically generates job sheets to help them get straight to work.

Ravin AI is used primarily by preowned vehicle dealers and insurance agencies but also can assist the fleet management sector. It generates a detailed vehicle damage report by cross-referencing a car’s current state with a stored model. The AI enables it to check individual moving parts without the image-angle limitations associated with conventional camera checks.

Such information could give fleet managers the confidence that comes from knowing exactly what happened to a vehicle and how technicians can return it to roadworthiness. That data promotes thoroughness and helps people spend money on fixing the correct things without spending excessive time on diagnostics.

Managers can take inspiration from the manufacturing industry when considering how to build an AI fleet. Many manufacturers use predictive maintenance algorithms to be warned before critical pieces of equipment fail. The AI can pick up on abnormal vibrations or minor but progressive temperature changes. It then compiles the data and alerts relevant parties with few or no false positives.

Improve On-Time Delivery Rates With An AI Fleet

A wide range of factors — from heavy traffic to inclement weather — can affect last-mile delivery efforts and mean packages arrive later than they should. That’s problematic. A 2023 Veho study showed 77% of consumers are less likely to buy from brands after negative delivery experiences. About 53% blame businesses and delivery companies for subpar shipping.

Fortunately, an AI fleet management platform can tackle that problem. Many companies now use products with artificial intelligence for routing optimization. It gives fleet managers and drivers real-time updates as conditions change. Those current details increase the chances of deliveries reaching their destinations on time or even early.

Any AI fleet possibilities must start with identifying and engaging with the main stakeholders impacted by technology integrations. That includes fleet managers, drivers, and customers as a start. People must understand that new tech often brings a learning curve, and things won’t necessarily go smoothly from start to finish. However, staying dedicated during the challenges and applying a problem-solving mindset will make it easier to get through those periods.

Walmart relies on AI to determine when team members can complete orders from one of its 4,700 stores rather than fulfillment centers. This approach results in fewer miles traveled, faster deliveries, and a reduction in shipping boxes. Walmart also combines multiple orders on single routes to further boost efficiency. Using electric trucks for these journeys keeps the retailer on track to achieve a zero-emissions goal by 2040.

Choosing delivery metrics to track during an AI rollout is also useful. They might include the number of deliveries handled daily, the average time spent per stop, or a driver’s typical parcel workload. Does AI improve those things? What team member behaviors could you also encourage to support what AI can achieve?

How Will You Use AI Fleet Management Technology?

There’s no single way to apply AI fleet management tools and guarantee success. Moreover, you may decide now is not the best time to create an AI fleet at your company. However, the possibilities here show plenty of reasons to strongly consider the strategic application of artificial intelligence for better oversight. Think about focusing on one area or goal first, then scaling once you see results or when resources allow. That way, you can ease into adoption and become comfortable with the system before progressing.

About The Author

Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She regularly explores the impact technology has on the industrial sector.