How IoT is revolutionising Fleet Management

27 August 2020

The first phone call

March 10, 1876; the day the first phone call in history was ever made. When Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone all he wanted was for conversations to be carried across great distances.

What was an epoch in science and technology became the very medium of how families connected, businesses were built, and many deep connections formed.

Now we have telematics

It is through that discovery that our technology was built upon and how we help businesses grow.

Telematics is the marriage of two sciences; telecommunications and informatics. The former branching out to phones and cables, and the latter being computer systems.

Telematic devices collect and transmit data on vehicle use and metrics for maintenance and servicing. Many companies use telematic devices with fleet management software to coordinate the vehicles they manage and gain comprehensive visibility on the health, profitability and productivity of the entire fleet.

So how does it work?

Basically, a telematics system includes a tracking device installed in a vehicle that transmits and stores the telemetric data. It can either be connected to the vehicle’s ODBI (On Board Device) or integrated to the CAN-BUS port with a SIM card, the onboard modem then enables communication through a wireless network.

This device collects GPS data and other vehicle-specific data, which is then transmitted via GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), 4G mobile data & cellular network, or satellite communications to a centralised server.

Once in the server, the data is interpreted and displayed for users via secure websites and apps. The data comprehensively displays location, speed, idling time, harsh acceleration or braking, fuel consumption, vehicle faults and more. When the data is then analysed for particular events and patterns, the information found can provide actionable insights to help optimise performance and leverage competencies to drive productivity and revenue up. (So many buzzwords, all with one platform)

How can you use telematic systems?

Like geofencing, there are a number of use cases for telematics for various industries. Whether you’re in logistics, engineering/construction, or you’re a small business delivering food items to your customers, fleets of any size are recommended to use telematics.

Vehicle tracking: Using a combination of GPRS networks, cloud computing and GPS satellites, vehicles can be tracked. GPS receivers download information from GPS satellites and process this for use with either navigation apps or staff using a fleet management system.

Safety tracking: Speaking of vehicle and driver safety, fleet telematics can inform managers on vehicle speed & location, harsh braking/acceleration and seatbelt use. Telematics can also display patterns and behaviour that fleet managers can use to optimise operations and keep your fleet safe.

Maintenance improvements: Telematics can also inform a fleet on vehicle maintenance by tracking hours of use, scheduling preventative maintenance, as well as help keep tabs on warranty recovery, engine hour tracking, fuel consumption, vehicle idling, power take off (PTO), and service records. Fleet managers can also keep track of engine diagnostics, including battery voltage, coolant temperature, powertrain malfunctions, intake valve issues, oxygen sensor problems, and other comprehensive diagnostics to increase productivity, keep vehicles and drivers safe, and even lower costs.

Trailer and asset tracking: Fleets can attach GPS trackers to trailers and other non-motorised assets to ensure they don't go missing. In fact, alerts can be set if a trailer or asset is moved without authorisation.

Insurance risk assessment: Insurance companies can use telematics to track driver behaviour to determine risk factors and adjust insurance premiums. The safer you drive, the lower your premium.

Usage based insurance: Your monthly insurance premium will change based on your vehicle’s mileage- the less you drive, the less you pay.

How can fleet managers benefit from telematics?

A fleet management system can help improve your operation in multiple ways:

Decreased fuel costs: Telematics can help identify instances of fuel wastage through idling, poor driving behaviour, fuel slippage, and even fuel fraud and theft. This not only positively impacts fuel efficiency, but significantly reduces fuel costs and increases driver accountability.

Improved safety: Safety. Safety. Safety. Again, we cannot stress vehicular and driver safety enough. A healthy fleet is the heart of your business. Through actionable insights and data-based reports, you can find compromises in safety and risky driver behaviour.

Elevated productivity: Telematics help you leverage off what you’re doing well as a fleet and identify what you’re not. Products like MiFleet even help to streamline workflows so that financials, operation and administration are all in sync. And our other great product, Communicator, helps businesses manage tasks for drivers and dispatchers efficiently while giving you visibility on goods and even integrating an EPOD (electronic proof of delivery) function in the drivers’ app.

Better payroll management: By tracking when your drivers use their vehicles from the moment it starts to when it stops, fleet managers have an accurate, automated record of work hours.

MiFleet allows you to view how often your drivers use your vehicles for personal use and even offers automating the processes of manually matching timesheets, job tickets, and invoices.

Understand your fleet’s running costs: knowing how you much you spend on petrol per month isn’t enough, which is why we provide you with contextualised metrics per trip and per km, not just for fuel costs, but for everything from maintenance to parking, to licenses and wages.

The future of telematics

With the increased use of mobile devices, IoT, the progression towards Industry 4.0 and in light of global pandemics like the coronavirus, fleets not only recognise the need for telematics, but are demanding it. It’s a revolution that is not only set for exponential growth but very soon will be considered a basic requirement for every fleet.

Just like how when Alexander Graham Bell didn’t realise the impact of his discovery sparked a revolution that ripples through science and technology, the possibilities of implementing a fleet management system now are endless.

Cartrack is a world leader in telematic fleet management systems, our cutting-edge technology and keen understanding of fleet needs from various industries places us at the forefront in helping businesses control costs, boost productivity and improve overall performance. Fill out the form and we’ll be in touch with you ASAP.

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