The fleet management industry has taken major strides towards the adoption and integration of innovative new technologies in recent years, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Forward-thinking fleet managers are always on the lookout for new technologies that can help them carry out operations more efficiently, putting themselves a step above competitors.
Autonomy is a major buzzword in this sector, but it’s unlikely that its widespread adoption will happen any time soon. Most industry experts predict that truly autonomous vehicles will probably only materialise sometime in the next decade and even then, integrating autonomous vehicles into a fleet’s operations will come with many complex challenges.
Instead of focusing on the concept of replacing the human driver, fleet managers should look towards emergent technologies that are already being adopted by the industry. Let’s take a look at the most important ones and how they’ll change the way fleet managers operate their companies.
It’s no secret that computers are becoming incredibly powerful. Evolving algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud-based storage advances are spawning possibilities that were unimaginable less than a decade ago. This is most evident in the way we can now collect, process and analyse data.
These advances can be seen in just about every industry, from highly accurate recommendations in music streaming services to targeted advertising to weather pattern prediction systems to stock market analytics.
Fleet managers can leverage this exponential growth in data processing and storage power to obtain more detailed information.
The data that can be obtained today is becoming easier to understand and can even be used to automate a growing number of tasks. Through a combination of internet-enabled sensors and mobile devices on fleet vehicles, managers can collect more contextually relevant data that can be used to improve operations.
This includes travel data such as routes and stops taken, as well as vehicle diagnostics such as oil, fuel, and temperature levels. This greater ability to obtain crucial vehicle data can also be used to improve driver safety by using sensors to determine passenger behaviour such as seatbelt use and alertness.
The faster you can complete daily tasks without compromising on quality, the more you can achieve in a shorter period of time. This is relevant to any kind of business and is something that the above improvements are making a more tangible reality for fleet managers.
For example, if you can determine mechanical issues with your vehicle before they occur, you can schedule a service in a suitable time slot that doesn’t impact the productivity of that vehicle. This also extends to driver safety. If a manager notices that the heater is always on, they can provide warmer uniforms while also reducing fuel consumption.
This also extends to insuring your fleet, which used to involve a highly inefficient and time consuming process of contacting dozens of fleet insurance companies and running through the quote process one at a time. Now fleet insurance comparison platforms like Quotezone leverage digital technologies to make the process much more efficient, helping fleet managers to compare fleet insurance quotes in minutes rather than hours.
Voice recognition software is becoming increasingly popular for consumer use. Once an unreliable technology, it now makes up a much larger portion of online internet search queries. Smart assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are also incredibly accurate, topping 95 percent.
But it’s not only consumers who are benefiting from voice recognition. The same technology has a growing number of useful applications in the business environment. For instance, remote workers can use it for hands-free input and activation of tasks, as well as being able to communicate more effectively with co-workers and managers.
This is especially useful in the fleet industry, as drivers will be able to focus on the road while simultaneously performing other duties. Voice recognition technology is subsequently making the road a safer place for everyone and offsetting the risk of costly accidents for fleet managers at the same time.
A similar benefit can be seen with video calling technology. It wasn’t long ago when it seemed impossible that we’d be able to communicate via voice and video in high definition on tiny handheld devices. This prominent tech can be used by workers in the fleet environment to remotely consult with managers on issues with vehicles.
With current advances in technology being something that could not be foreseen a few years ago, there’s no telling just how far we’ll go in the next decade. Rest assured, fleet managers will be able to adopt many new technologies that will help them carry out operations more safely and efficiently.