How much attention do you pay to the tire pressure for your car? Maybe you check it whenever you visit the gas station? But do you know that the pressure and temperature fluctuations can have a dramatic effect on the life span of the tire? While for individual users, it may not have such a great impact on the overall vehicle maintenance cost, but fleet operators, who have hundreds of vehicles, understand the importance of the right tire pressure and its impact on the overall tire maintenance costs – so much so that just maintaining the right tire pressure in their vehicles, depending on the vehicle size and load, can save them thousands of dollars of annual maintenance costs.
Tire pressure is one of the many aspects of optimal fleet management – fleet operators are working towards lowering the total cost of ownership through appropriate route management, fuel consumption optimization, increased safety, driver performance management, and vehicle maintenance.
Over the past many years, I had an opportunity to interact with thousands of fleet operators all over the world and helping them to solve their business problems using technology. Through the implementation of right IoT – ‘Internet of Things’ solutions, we could arm them with newer capabilities and help them increase their operational efficiency, convenience, safety and reduce the overall costs.
According to a new report by Research and Market, The IoT fleet management market is projected to reach USD 8.28 billion by 2021.
6 Ways IoT has Revolutionized Fleet Management
Fleet operators and companies who owns fleet spend a large amount of time, money, and resources in effectively managing the fleet assets to ensure that they meet the safety standards and operate at the desired performance levels.
Here are a few ways IoT is set to revolutionize fleet management –
Environment-Friendly Operations -
I recently read a research which stated that idling vehicles emit over 10 million tons of carbon dioxide into the air! In the past, I had in-depth interactions with one of the leading taxi corporations in Middle East. Considering the strict transportation laws of Dubai, the main objective of implementing the IoT solution was to monitor the driver performance and monitor the fuel utilization, along with all standard features of fleet management (and vehicle tracking), and integrated solution for Taxi – ‘service condition monitoring’.
Driving the vehicles over the speed limit or keeping them idle have a harmful effect on the environment, apart from the fact that they also cause excessive wear and tear and additional fuel costs. Using IoT technology, this company could easily track the driver behaviors and get real-time automated alerts, which tremendously helped them in minimizing the objectionable behaviors.
Preventive Maintenance -
Sensors-equipped vehicles send automated signals and early warning alerts when the monitored parts need maintenance or are close to failure. Along with this, alerts for low battery, coolant temperature or engine maintenance can help in providing preventive maintenance – all such factors help vehicles run safely for a longer duration. The said integrated fleet management along with mobile process control application case study build for large client in USA.
Engine Performance -
The vehicle performance has a very crucial impact on the overall fleet efficiency. One of the critical parts of the vehicle is the engine. A few years ago, I was working with an Engine Manufacturing company and the said engines typically used in large vehicles fleet. At that time, when IoT was just a buzzword, this forward-thinking company had implemented initially ‘Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics’, and later full-scale IoT solution which helped them remotely monitor and analyse the critical engine parameters along with diagnostics fault codes and further in-vehicle data acquisitions, and later integrated field engineer optimization and spare part management with integrated fleet management solution. This information helped them tremendously in product innovation.
Improve Fuel Efficiency -
Typically, the driving style and driver behavior greatly affect the fuel efficiency. Things like unnecessary idling, accelerating and decelerating patterns, breaking habits, average speed and so on affect the fuel efficiency. Using IoT, fleet managers can track all such data through embedded sensors and work with the drivers to improve the fuel efficiency.
Gain Insights -
Through various sensors, fleet companies have access to vast amount of data which they can analyze to gain actionable insights into the adherence to laws by drivers, vehicle speeding and idling, and driving patterns and so on. This information can help the companies make real-time quick decisions for instant improvements. In fact, these insights can also help in effectively managing the overall supply chain.
IoT in fleet management allows the fleet operators to automate various processes and trip planning. For example: if a vehicle breaks down then the system can send automatic ticket notification to tow trucks and nearest service stations. In the case of weather warnings, automatic notifications can be sent to drivers to help them in rerouting etc.
I had a wonderful experience of interacting with various state transport bodies in context to proposing solutions and in turn helping them design Intelligent transport systems. Based on the gathered data about the route, traffic, vehicle speed, number of passengers etc., these systems generate alerts and display messages that help the passengers in planning their routes and journeys. Truly a smart innovation for smart cities.
Key Benefits of Fleet Management
Using IoT, Andrew Page, which has a 900-vehicle fleet in the UK, could reduce the speeding by 97 percent and could achieve 7 percent better fuel economy!
Using IoT in Fleet Management, fleet operators can -
- Run more efficient operations with optimized maintenance and logistics
- Better comply with environmental and safety regulations
- Improve fuel efficiency through optimized routes and vehicle maintenance
- Monitor driver performance for better safety
- Maintain vehicle health and increase vehicle valuation through preventative maintenance
- Streamline operations, improve scheduling, improve invoicing accuracy, improve time management and reduce the paperwork
- Increase overall business visibility through reports and efficient vehicle tracking
- Improved customer satisfaction through on-time deliveries and higher quality of service
Fleet Management Technology – The Requirements
For achieving the maximum ROI from the IoT-enabled fleet management solutions, fleet operators need to ensure the following –
- Equip their vehicles with wireless technologies and sensors
- The OEMs and telematics service providers involved in the development of the IoT solutions need to ensure standards compatibility and scalability
- Ensure reliable connectivity to the cellular networks over various networks such as 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE
- Implement and use the right protocols and interoperability solutions
IoT is not something which is going to happen in future – it is happening right now. It has become a norm. It has already started affecting a lot of aspects of our life. Predictions are that there could be 28 billion connected objects by the year 2021. Businesses have tremendous opportunities to benefit from such hyper-connected world and IoT, undoubtedly, has set to become the backbone of the fleet management industry. How are you riding on this technology advancement? If you want to discuss how you can leverage the IoT revolution in fleet management, just connect with me on LinkedIn and I will be happy to get in touch with you.