When you’re a fleet manager, risk reduction is a significant part of your job. Route planning is one place where risk reduction is critical, and there are many ways to reduce risk when creating routes for drivers. Artificial intelligence technology has made it easier than ever to plan efficient and safe routes for drivers. But how does route planning work, and what types of fleet data does it use?
How Route Planning Works
Route planning and route optimization use historical and real-time data, complex algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to create the most cost-effective route to each destination throughout the day. In some cases, that’s simply getting from Point A to Point B. In others, it involves multiple stops along the way. Route planning takes many factors into account to make the trip safer, easier, and more efficient, including:
- Types of roads: This can be the difference between surface streets versus highways, single lanes versus multi-lanes, or one-way versus two-ways.
- Traffic patterns: The AI would take into account traffic throughout the day, detours, and roadblocks.
- Number of turns, traffic lights, intersections, and roundabouts
- Left-hand turns
- Pickup times
- Depot locations
- Best access points
- Closest or best-suited driver on the route to add a stop
- Driver schedules
- Vehicle type with cargo capacity
- Delivery time
This data helps to create a safe route for drivers to get their jobs done effectively. How exactly does AI route planning make fleet drivers’ jobs safer? We’ll break that down below.
Monitoring in Real-Time
One significant benefit of AI route planning is that it monitors conditions in real-time. Even with the perfect route mapped out ahead of time, an accident on the road can cause delays and traffic concerns. Luckily, route planning software can catch these accidents as they happen and update the driver’s route accordingly to avoid any traffic hazards.
Another benefit of real-time monitoring is that fleets can provide ETAs to customers. Customers never like to be kept waiting and always prefer to be kept in the loop, so ETAs improve a fleet’s reputation and boost customer service. Businesses also boost their reputations when they meet their ETAs, and with route planning, they’re sure to do so.
Drivers should have one focus: the road. They shouldn’t be hounded with updates to their routes or trying to follow instructions on a map. This need for focus is why step-by-step navigation with route planning software is so important for drivers. Voice navigation tells them what steps to take in real-time based on the routes planned by artificial intelligence. As a result, they can focus on following easy instructions and drive safer, knowing that they will get to their destination on time and in one piece.
Avoid Dangerous Routes
Artificial intelligence is highly skilled at detecting risks on any given path to a fleet’s destination. As mentioned, it can detect roadblocks, heavy traffic, intersections and roundabouts, and amount of times the driver has to cross traffic, such as at a left-hand turn. All of these circumstances can increase danger for a fleet driver. For example, 22.2% of crashes involve making a left-hand turn, according to the US National Highway Traffic Safety Association. AI makes an effort to avoid left turns when possible, increasing safety and reducing the risk of crashes for your fleet.
Other Benefits of Route Optimization
Another benefit of route optimization is its ability to cut costs. By getting to a destination more efficiently, fleets save on fuel costs, which are a major expenditure for most fleet businesses. Route optimization can save fleet companies up to 30% in fuel costs per year.
Fair Distribution of Workload
It can be challenging to fairly distribute work among several drivers. Some areas have higher volume than others, and some vehicles have different capabilities. AI route optimization takes all of these factors into account and distributes the workload fairly so that workers are satisfied. Fair distribution improves worker retention and keeps workers happier for longer.
Easily Scale Your Business
Route planning software allows businesses to schedule and plan in advance, create schedules within minutes, and make adjustments automatically as different needs come up. It’s easy to make adjustments for growth with route planning software. Whenever changes come up, fleets can adjust with route planning software in a manner of minutes, whereas before it took hours and tons of manpower.
Route planning software will benefit fleets both large and small. It keeps fleets safe, maximizes efficiency, and improves customer satisfaction across the board. Azuga’s route planning software is top-of-the-line and easy to use. Reach out to Azuga today to find out more and get started!