Fleet Management Systems to Become Standard Fare in Coming Decade

By Jack Grauer March 06, 2012

By the year 2017, Frost & Sullivan predicts that almost one half of all manufactured vehicles will come standard with fleet management systems (FMS). FMS refers to any communications technology built into a vehicle that serves the purpose of coordinating and sharing relevant data with other vehicles as well as a "fleet manager" in real time.

Imagine that you are a trucker. You love your truck, and depend on its performance for your livelihood. You know something about the nuances of the machinery involved in it, but you know more about what works, and what does not. You would find nothing more satisfying than sitting down over a cup of coffee with the person who built the thing and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the trucks they make.

Now, imagine you are a truck manufacturer. You love making trucks, and you know a lot about the nuances of how they work. You know virtually nothing, on the other hand, about how the trucks perform after they ship. It is likely that you would enjoy that cup of coffee with the trucker as well.

Though it might get nasty for a moment or two, this type of communication would benefit both parties in the long term. The manufacturer would learn how to make a better and more efficient product. The user of the product would receive one of better quality in the future in the sense that it is more adapted to the idiosyncrasies of real-life operation.

At the moment, companies involved with telematics and other related communications technologies like Verizon and Telit Wireless enjoy the most direct access to this type of information. This will change in the near future as vehicle manufacturers provide the technology required for these systems as part of their standard models. Not only would standardized FMS on factory model trucks improve the efficiency with which transportation businesses work, but it would also allow manufacturers greater access to information about how well their vehicles perform on the road.

Some argue that it is not as simple as providing more robust communications hardware in standard vehicle models. If the technology exists, this does not necessarily mean that all transportation companies will use FMS to its full potential.

The solution is to offer free introductory subscriptions to FMS services along with the hardware. Once the companies see how much the technology can benefit them, they will become more amenable to it.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin
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IoTevolutionworld Contributing Writer

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