You may not know the term “IoT” off-hand, but you’ve likely heard of it in practice. IoT, or the Internet of Things, refers to the collection of all internet-connected devices worldwide. Right now, there are about 26 billion devices connected to the IoT. Experts expect that by 2030, there may be as many as 50 billion devices connected to the IoT, although it could be even higher. This is all well and good, but how does it affect fleet management? Many fleets are using IoT to help manage their fleets more efficiently, comply with regulations, reduce paperwork, and enjoy further benefits. You may recognize IoT in the fleet industry in the form of telematics. Let’s discuss IoT as it relates to fleets and how it can benefit your business.
What is IoT?
First, we must break down precisely what IoT is. We explained earlier that the Internet of Things comprises all internet-connected devices worldwide, but what are these devices? They could be anything from your smart TV to your coffee maker. It might include your lights or your refrigerator. If these devices connect to the internet so you can control them, they’re part of the Internet of Things. You might have an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home. When you speak a command like, “Alexa, play my cleaning playlist,” and the device turns on your speakers, that’s the IoT at work! However, convenience isn’t the only application of this technology.
IoT is also popular in the healthcare industry, particularly in the use of smart pacemakers. You might find it in use in the industrial sector for smart agriculture, digital control systems, or statistical evaluation. Even the military uses IoT for surveillance, biometrics that humans can wear, and robotics devices. And in the transportation industry, IoT is taking off in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.
IoT in Fleet Management
The most significant advantage IoT brings to fleet management is remote control of your devices and the ability to collect and transmit data. With this ability, fleet managers can enjoy many advantages, particularly in applying telematics. Right now, fleet managers may be using IoT and telematics to enjoy benefits like:
- Fuel data
- Real-time engine data
- Real-time location data
- Driver habits
- Auxillary data
Right now, environmentalism is the name of the game for businesses that wish to compete in any market. The fleet industry is a massive contributor to carbon emissions, so we are no exception. Vehicle idling emits around 30 million tons of carbon dioxide every year. With IoT, fleet managers can better monitor driver behavior and limit problems like excessive acceleration and idling. Reducing these behaviors will lead to reduced emissions and fuel consumption. With tools like route optimization to get drivers to their destinations more efficiently, fleets will significantly offset their environmental impact.
You should always be doing regular maintenance checks on your vehicles, by why not let automation lend a helping hand? IoT telematics devices can monitor your vehicles’ diagnostics like diagnostic trouble codes. There’s a threshold for what’s acceptable for every system. When your vehicle's status wanders outside this threshold, your system will alert you before you have to worry about major repairs. IoT works even more efficiently than diagnostic trouble codes, limiting vehicle downtime and keeping your vehicles on the road where they should be.
If you’re keeping up with regulatory compliance, you’re likely engaging in tedious logging and paperwork. That doesn’t have to be the case! IoT can automate many regulatory processes so you can focus on more critical tasks. Processes like DVIR forms and HOS logging can all be handled without significant administrative effort or without the risk of error or misplacement.
Other tedious tasks like route planning and maintenance scheduling can also be automated by IoT. These tasks involve a lot of thought but are systematic and, once worked out, will have your fleet working efficiently and seamlessly.
Maintenance is a critical aspect of fleet management that often falls by the wayside, mainly due to how much time it takes and how much it costs. To cut down on maintenance requirements, your fleet must prioritize preventative maintenance, which becomes easier with IoT. IoT will collect data on vehicle diagnostics like tire pressure and hydraulics and continuously monitor their status. Before a significant issue occurs, you will be alerted to take action.
We know that safety is your top priority, but we also know that it’s a great challenge. With IoT, you can access an array of new insights that help circumvent risks and lower costs. Driver monitoring is one of the most important tools here. It will alert you to behaviors like speeding, hard braking, rapid acceleration, and more. You need to be aware of these dangerous behaviors, as they increase risk and liability. The improved maintenance scheduling we discussed earlier also ensures that your drivers are in safe vehicles, so they never have to worry about a mechanical malfunction causing an accident.
Here at Azuga, we are experts in fleet technology and seek to keep you updated. Find out what you can do by following our blog. If you want to see the best of what telematics can do, try a demo of our fleet management software!