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June 20, 2017

IoT: Driving the Fleet of the Future, Part I

The Fleet Management industry has been an early adopter of IoT, and for good reason. Geolocation tools have been useful in helping any number of transportation-related businesses —ambulatory services, taxis, trucking and parcel delivery, to name a few – to gain greater efficiency by knowing exactly where their vehicles are at all times.

However, still technology is stagnant technology. That’s why forward-thinking fleet organizations are asking very pointed questions about expanding the use of IoT for fleet management to drive further efficiencies. As the adoption of 4G networks gains speed, richer, more complex applications are becoming increasingly common. Here are five IoT innovations that will help drive fleet management in the years to come:

  • Maintenance – Is a vehicle running hot, are brakes wearing, are tire treads thinning? Embedded sensors allow fleet companies to optimize maintenance, which will keep vehicles running safer and longer while helping to make a case when replacements may be necessary.
  • Cargo data – Trucking companies know they’re hauling, but they need more information than that. If they’re transporting perishable food items, for example, is the refrigeration working to optimum levels? If cargo is fragile, is everything secure? These are critical questions can be answered by IoT applications and will increase the chances of getting from Point A to Point B with everything inside arriving safe and sound.
  • Driver safety – Careless driving can open fleet companies to myriad risks. IoT applications that track driving habits – speed, blinker usage, braking time – can give organizations data they need to identify areas where their drivers can make safety improvements.
  • Energy efficiency – By determining how long vehicles idle, average speed, and gas mileage, fleet companies can get a complete view of its vehicles’ efficiency. More importantly, they can use that information to determine timing and levels of upgrades.
  • Data culmination – The end-game for all of the aforementioned IoT utilizations is to use the sum of the data collected and determine how all of these factors interact and affect the overall efficiency, profitability, and safety of the organization. That’s where the power of IoT can truly be felt.

There are so many ways IoT is advancing fleet management from a solely location-based solution to a 360-degree platform that offers a nuanced view of the operation. The next question is how can organizations implement these IoT applications quickly, securely, cost-effectively and to scale? We’ll take a look at that in Part II.