Racing Towards A Fast Fleet Future

By Shrey Fadia December 11, 2017

With the Internet of Things (IoT) gaining increasing momentum, the transportation and logistics industries have taken the lead in leveraging IoT solutions, benefitting hugely by embracing digital transformation.

From trucking to agriculture to construction, fleet management plays an essential role in the daily operations of many businesses worldwide.  A complete smart fleet management solution is the key to optimization by integrating real-time data from sensors and channeling it to devices and applications, in turn providing new insights to making fleet control increasingly efficient and eco-friendly.

This may be what Thailand’s start-up, DRVR had in mind when joining forces with Tata Communications.  DRVR, who specializes in fleet management applications combined with Tata’s expertise in IoT and connectivity will drive the company’s objective of “turning Asia’s vehicle fleets into the smartest and most cost efficient in the world.”

“Our partnership with Tata Communications enables us to overcome two major challenges in our quest to create smarter fleets across our entire geographical footprint. First, rather than negotiate multiple contracts with individual service providers, our entire international IoT network is managed through Tata Communications. As a result, we get valuable visibility of data collected across borders so that we can realise the benefits of smarter fleet management. Second, it allows us a holistic view on a singular dashboard allowing us to respond with improved accuracy and eliminating downtime almost entirely.” Said David Henderson, Co-founder and CEO, DRVR.

Fleet Management software systems have been in use since the early 1980s to gather, store, process, monitor, report, and export information with the purpose being to eliminate the risks associated with vehicular assets, increasing efficiency, productivity and lowering long-term transportation and employee costs.

Prior to the emergence of IoT, telematic solutions provided limited insights due to connectivity constraints and the inability to properly analyze the data generated by the shear number of vehicles in a fleet.  Smart fleet management systems, such as DRVR which merge Tata Communications’ mobility solution - MOVE ™ into their technology, provide many benefits to fleet managers by streamlining processes and general operational efficiency, saving not only time but money as well.

“DRVR’s ambition is to revolutionise international fleet management by making it smarter, borderless and seamless. With Tata Communications MOVE, DRVR only needs to deal with one service provider that takes care of multiple deployments across international borders. Our product portfolio gives any business with a network of assets better control over their costs, reduces time spent on supplier management and enables actionable data to be derived from operational IoT data. All in all, it is an intuitive solution for improving fleet management operations thereby enhancing business performance and success.” Adds Anthony Bartolo, Chief Product Officer, Collaboration, Mobility and IoT, Tata Communications.

IoT in fleet management use three main technologies:

?RFID - which aids in controlling and tracking of vehicles. 

?GPS - which is used to calculate the exact position, speed, and time at a vehicle's location.

?OBD2 or the vehicle’s self-diagnostic system - which provides reporting capabilities of the vehicle's’ status.

In addition to these, IoT offers many new tools which makes communication easier and precise.  Other operational efficiencies include; scheduling, load management, weather APIs, traffic conditions, smart parking, and driver behaviour monitoring to name a few.

IoT grants the ability for interconnected devices to work together, permitting companies to setup automated processes for regular strategies and journey planning.  IoT also grants the capability of logistics companies to shift daily operations to the cloud, which assists remote tracking of fleets.  Other automated scenarios may include instances of broken down vehicles that can send an automatic ticket to a vehicle recovery company for towing.  Drivers can receive real-time weather warning notifications or automatic rerouting due to traffic or roadworks, etc.

Better analytics can be acquired from collective data from various sensors within a vehicle, for example enabling fleet management companies to receive helpful insights into driver behaviour - their driving style and habits.  These sensors can therefore play an important role in improving performance, developing preventative measures, and diagnosing problems related to processes and equipment.

Fleet management and their daily operations make up a large expense for a business.  Fleet management companies that take advantage of the adoption of IoT solutions into their business will see increases in their revenue and advances in their customer relationships through always operating at optimal levels, lowering their operating costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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