There’s been much talk of the Internet of Things (abbreviated “IoT”) lately. The concept has been around for several years and was originally referred to as pervasive computing / embedded internet. In 1999, however, Kevin Ashton - employee of the large company “Procter and Gamble” - crafted the term Internet of things, and the natty name seems to have stuck. In a nutshell IoT describes interconnected, responsive devices that are technologically advanced enough to collect and swap data. Nowadays IoT seems to be everywhere and the advance of this technology shows no sign of slowing.
Ameer Nasrallah [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]
IoT and AI (artificial intelligence) has been making an appearance in numerous industries and fleet management is no exception. Connecting vehicles to the internet is considered to be an innovative way to drive efficiency. Competition is fierce and companies need to take every opportunity to get ahead. Therefore, it’s no surprise to learn that and a number of businesses have already got involved, including fleet operators.
How Can Fleet Operators Utilize IoT?
Fleet operators can use IoT to enhance driver and vehicle productivity. They can do this by utilizing telematics to continuously track the fleet. Basically, an on-board diagnostic system is installed within each vehicle. This works alongside a GPS-unit to track the location.
The fleet operator can see exactly where a particular vehicle is at any particular time and can pinpoint the precise position on a map.
The analytic tool also lets the operator know the speed at which the vehicle is travelling. This useful data and information can be used to work out how well the vehicle is performing and also provides an overview of driving habits.
The Benefits of Utilizing IoT In Fleet Management
Connecting your fleet can bring a whole host of benefits, let’s explore the advantages in more detail:
· Monitor Your Vehicles
Connecting the fleet means you can easily identify any vehicle defects. Maintenance is a big part of fleet management – having to pay out for unforeseen breakdowns and repairs can add pounds to your budget. It’s much better to set up a regular service plan for vehicles - so a tool that offers visibility in this area is a real bonus.
· Monitor the Driving Performance
Driving habits can have an impact on company reputation, vehicle condition and fuel consumption. So, it’s helpful if the drivers and fleet operators can gain a useful overview of driving performance. Telematics can be used to provide real-time information on how the person behind the wheel is getting on. As a fleet operator you can then offer feedback to your drivers and additional training on improving driving habits if necessary. Similarly, you can offer rewards to drivers who consistently perform well – which should incentivise employees.
· Say Goodbye to Paperwork
IoT offers an online solution to recording data so you don’t have to pore over paperwork to evaluate how things are going. This will save you time and effort – you won’t have to fill in endless forms and sheets relating to mileage etc.
· Improve Customer Satisfaction
Being able to pinpoint and track your fleet offers you visibility, so you don’t have to make a good guess as to how far your driver is from their destination. This is really useful when you are trying to pass on information to a client (especially if the client has requested the vehicle arrive on or before a specific time). If there are any issues or delays and your driver is held up, you will be able to check in and find out what the problem is before communicating with your client.
The Future of IoT
It goes without saying that there are many advantages associated with AI and IoT and it looks like this innovative technology will continue to develop over the coming years. If you want to stay in the loop and remain competitive it’s important you join the digital revolution and check out IoT options for yourself. Click here to find out how you can utilize telematics in your fleet and vastly improve efficiency.