Autonomous Vehicle

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Introduction

Autonomous vehicles are exactly what the name implies: vehicles that drive themselves, also known as self-driving vehicles. They have become a hot topic for discussion, particularly in the last five years, as they begin to hit the roads in cities worldwide. There are currently 1,400 autonomous vehicles in use in the US right now. Over 80 companies are testing their merits, including Tesla, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler. These vehicles will only become more common in the future, so it’s essential to know something about them. 

How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work?

Autonomous cars utilize sensors to visualize and create maps of their surroundings. These sensors can detect blockages in the road, nearby vehicles, lane markings, pedestrians, and traffic lights. The software takes in this information and creates a path for the car, sending instructions to the actuators that control the car’s movement, such as acceleration, braking, or steering. Algorithms help the software avoid obstacles, obey traffic laws, and drive safely but efficiently. 

Will Autonomous Vehicles Replace Drivers?

One concern with autonomous vehicles, particularly in the commercial fleet industry, is whether these vehicles will replace drivers completely. Technology replacing jobs is a concern whenever a new technology enters the workforce. However, autonomous trucks replacing drivers is a long way off. 

Right now, the Department of Transportation regulations for commercial motor vehicles does not account for autonomous vehicles. Many states are waiting to see what happens with the technology before they take any action. As self-driving vehicles become more common, these states will need to create regulations, but there is still time before that happens. 

Of course, this technology cannot replace all kinds of drivers, either. While the transport of goods may be perfect for a self-driving vehicle, skilled technicians such as plumbers and pest control cannot automate their fleets. 

Historically, technology has not reduced jobs but changed them. So while the position of transporting goods from one location to another may not be around forever, a new job will come along to replace it. 

The Future of Autonomous Driving

The most exciting thing about autonomous driving is that it would change the way we design cities. Parking lots could give way to more businesses, creating more jobs and growing the economy. For example, Chandler, Arizona has already begun phasing out parking lots since they have implemented autonomous vehicles since 2016. They look forward to doing something more “aesthetically pleasing” with their parking lots. Cities can be designed for more growth over the next thirty years as autonomous vehicles become more popular. 

However, no one knows what is truly in store. There are questions as to what autonomous vehicles will cost. If everyone can own one and nobody wants to take buses or trains anymore, that can cause more congestion in the cities. People may no longer be concerned about long commutes if they can watch movies or eat on their route, meaning they won’t buy real estate in cities anymore. These are concerns that we need to address before autonomous vehicles become widespread. 

Conclusion

Autonomous driving is an exciting new technology that everyone has to look forward to. Implemented safely and cost-effectively, it can be a solution to so many problems in our major cities today. Azuga is on the front lines of automotive technology, so follow our blog for updates on autonomous vehicles and see what the future has in store.

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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Last Mile Carrier

Last mile carriers are the shipping companies that carry out last mile deliveries. Examples of last mile carriers include UPS, FedEx, USPS, and regional carriers. Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, which may be a residence or a retail store. Last mile carriers offer many benefits, which we will outline below. 

Tracking

Many last mile carriers allow customers to track their package on a map or see how many stops away it is. Other providers give customers a very specific estimated arrival time. Previously, it could only be estimated within windows of several hours, so this is an impressive and essential feat for customer service. 

Ability to Communicate with the Driver

If anything is needed when delivery drivers are on the road, it used to be impossible to get in touch with them. Now, apps allow customers to communicate directly with their drivers to update them on any changes that come up during the delivery window. 

SMS Updates

One benefit of tracking drivers is sending SMS updates if a package is ever delayed, and even update customers on when it arrives so they can plan their day accordingly. They no longer need to worry about expensive packages being lost or stolen, since they can pick them up right away. It’s ideal for keeping customers updated and satisfied. 

Delivery Ratings

Customers can rate how their deliveries went and leave feedback that delivery companies can use to improve their methods and improve customer service even further. Customers appreciate their voices being heard, and companies need to hear how their employees are doing. 

Conclusion

Last mile carriers are an integral part of the last mile delivery system. Last mile fleets must have the technology to track delivery drivers and update customers with necessary information. Azuga offers this technology and more to help streamline operations and keep everything running smoothly with the entire last mile delivery process. Find out more on our website.

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