IoT, or the Internet of Things, is the latest step in our technological evolution. Right now, there are around 26 billion IoT connected devices. A jump from 2017, when there were only 7 billion connected devices. By 2030, experts expect the number of IoT connected devices to reach 50 billion, though the numbers could reach much higher. When fleet companies use IoT to help with fleet management, they reap a number of benefits. They’ll be able to run operations more efficiently, comply with regulations easily, reduce paperwork, and more.
With all the benefits of IoT, why is it not sweeping the transportation industry? It is, but most companies call this telematics. Below, you’ll discover what IoT is and how it can help your company with fleet management.
What is IoT?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the collection of all internet-connected devices around the world. These devices could be anything: your refrigerator, coffee maker, tv, lights. The connection to the internet, and to each other, allows the user to control these devices from a central location. Most consumers recognize this in the form of Amazon’s Alexa or Google Homes, in which owners speak a command and the device complies. For example, saying “Alexa, play my workout playlist”, would spark the device to turn on your speakers and start your specified playlist. While this makes everyday tasks like flipping the lights more convenient, it isn’t the only application.
The healthcare industry uses IoT for monitoring systems and for devices like smart pacemakers. The industrial sector uses it for smart agriculture, digital control systems, and statistical evaluation. The military uses IoT for surveillance, human-wearable biometrics, and some of their latest robotics devices. The transportation industry sees huge opportunities in IoT for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication.
Benefits of IoT in Fleet Management
One of the greatest benefits of the IoT, is that devices are remotely controlled. Not only can you control the devices, but you can also collect and transmit data. This provides many benefits for fleet managers. Right now, the most common application is with GPS devices, but telematics with improved features are quickly spreading across the industry. Some of the key benefits of IoT integration include:
- Real-time engine data
- Fuel data
- Real-time location and driver habits
- Auxillary data
Ways IoT Revolutionizes Fleet Management
While the key benefits are often enough to convince many that IoT is helpful to their fleet, there are other benefits. For instance, IoT can help you run a more efficient fleet by streamlining and optimizing every function in fleet management. It can also decrease your emissions for a more environmentally conscious operation. And, it can improve your compliance and your customer satisfaction. Let’s take a closer look at these benefits.
Environmentally Conscious Operations
Personal vehicle idling emits around 30 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. IoT helps fleet managers monitor driver behavior to limit excessive acceleration and idling to help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. It also utilizes route optimization to put drivers on the shortest path, taking into account traffic and other conditions. This also helps to eliminate excessive fuel consumption.
IoT telematics devices monitor vehicle diagnostics similar to how diagnostic trouble codes do. Essentially, your vehicle has limits for what’s acceptable for every system. This alerts drivers to vehicle issues before they become major repairs. Telematics devices alert you before diagnostic trouble codes can. This means you’ll know when your battery is low, when spark plugs need replacement, when tires need air, and more. You may have a maintenance checklist as part of your fleet risk management planning, but IoT telematics takes preventative maintenance a step further with real-time diagnostics.
IoT for fleet management helps you automate processes such as DVIR forms, HOS logging, and route planning. This alleviates administrative tension and labor, decreases hours spent on tedious paperwork, and reduces the likelihood of paperwork misplacement. IoT also automates maintenance scheduling and various processes throughout a vehicle’s trip. For instance, if a truck breaks down along its route, telematics automatically sends a notification for towing or service. Drivers also receive automatic notifications for poor weather or emergency situations.
Reduction of Maintenance Costs
Every fleet vehicle and asset needs regular maintenance and inspections. Reducing maintenance costs is a matter of preventative maintenance, proper inspections, and better driving habits. IoT telematics collect data on vehicle diagnostics such as tire pressure and hydraulics. With continuous monitoring, these systems use predictive maintenance to keep your fleet in shape.
Safety is always a concern on the road, but it’s hard to monitor drivers while en route. IoT telematics gives fleet managers insights they’ve never had before, helping them mitigate risks and significantly lower costs while saving lives. The first way it does this is with driver monitoring, which alerts managers to things like speeding, hard braking, and more. These behaviors can increase a driver’s risk, as well as the liability of your company. With these insights, fleet managers can alter training to fit the specific needs of the driver. Safety is also improved with diagnostic monitoring and maintenance scheduling to ensure vehicles remain safe, compliant, and reliable.
Streamline Delivery Management
Many telematics systems come with more than just GPS tracking and optimization features. They also allow you to manage assets with tracker integration and geofencing. Geofencing utilizes a virtual perimeter around a physical location, allowing you to monitor the area. This is great for assets in storage, as it allows you to see when assets enter or leave your set boundaries. Plus, you’ll be able know when deliveries arrive to help you streamline services.
The Internet of Things changes functions across multiple industries, but the fleet industry pairs IoT with fleet telematics to reap the most benefit. Learn more about what IoT fleet tracking can do for you, at Azuga.