If you read Connected World magazine, you know all about the connected car powered by in-vehicle M2M (machine-to-machine) technology; but what about the connected fleet? A wide range of industries have found tremendous value in connecting their fleets—from utilities to pest-control companies, and just about everything in between.
Connected fleets give business owners the peace of mind associated with 24/7, on-demand visibility into their assets, including vehicles, cargo and equipment stored onboard, and in many cases, employees themselves. With access to realtime fleet data, fleet owners and operators can make better business decisions when it matters most.
A new study suggests connected fleet-management technology is becoming more widely adopted than ever before. In fact, the recently completed Fleet Leaders Survey by GreenRoad, www.greenroad.com, says 57% of fleet leaders have deployed Web-based fleet-management solutions.
However, the study also suggests traditional telematics is changing, in large part due to mobile technologies. GreenRoad found 28% of fleet leaders are currently using smartphones to manage their fleets. The data also suggests 8% currently use tablets.
As mobile-enabled solutions continue to grow, the data suggests these types of solutions are growing at the expense of more traditional standalone telematics solutions and PC-based software without Web access.
Companies such as Zonar Systems, www.zonarsystems.com, offer connected solutions with mobile components that can help companies save on expenses such as fuel costs. Zonar provides vehicle-telematics platforms that offer four-dimensional GPS reporting, including data on a vehicle’s latitude, longitude, time, and odometer.
The company recently added a fifth dimension to its solution—fuel consumption—which will provide owners and operators with an additional way to monitor fleets. Going beyond geographical data, the new component will help fleets determine accurate vehicle fuel efficiency.
The solution will allow decisionmakers to see in great detail which routes (and which drivers) are most cost efficient. The realtime data is sent to Zonar’s Web portal, where it can be viewed and stored for reporting purposes. The solution also allows for push alerts to mobile devices for realtime management.
Thanks to M2M data, fleet managers can remotely diagnose vehicles, track driver metrics, follow vehicle routes, calculate fuel consumption, and much more, all without being in the office. The trend is likely to grow as smartphone and mobile-device adoption continues to hit mainstream. Already, GreenRoad says one in every five fleet managers use smartphones or mobile apps to manage fleets.
In the future, GreenRoad’s survey says 31% of fleet leaders will choose connected, Web-based solutions, while 22% will purchase additional smartphones and 25% will deploy tablets.