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IoT Technology Adding Visibility into Fleet Management

By Logistics Tech Outlook | Friday, September 06, 2019

With IoT and the ease of using a sensor node that can be attached to almost anything in a vehicle, high level of transparency is streamlining the fleet management.

FREMONT, CA: Internet of things (IoT) technology is already impacting industries across the verticals. Fleet is one of the many industries gaining from IoT technology. Several reasons can be cited for the increasing effects of IoT in fleet management. Strong wireless connectivity is one of the primary enablers of new opportunities for fleet tracking and management. Moreover, there has been a rise in the interest of the fleet owners in IoT and related technologies.

Other connected technologies, such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology, have also been increasingly used in the past decades. RFID technology comes in the form of wireless microchips which attaches to an object and emits radio waves. The waves are caught by a reading instrument such as a reader which enables in controlling and tracking products. Apart from such conventional technologies like OBD-II, RFID, and GPS, there is also an ever-increasing use of new connectivity technologies and sensors for fleet managers. The ease of using a sensor node that can be attached to almost anything in a vehicle that a manager wishes to keep track of, nearly all sorts of data can be collected.

Here are some of the areas where the fleet-based IoT deployments tend to concentrate on:

Improved Fuel Efficiency

The transportation industry is undoubtedly affected by market fluctuations. Fleet managers are always searching for new means to optimize fuel consumption. A possible strategy to decrease fuel consumption involves the use of sensors to keep track of a vehicle’s braking, acceleration, idling, and other factors that influence fuel efficiency. Data from such applications can be used to enable more optimal driver behavior.

Another solution involves attaching RFID-enabled tags to a vehicle. After a vehicle is identified by a reader which is installed into a fuel filling nozzle, the reader collects the required fuel information and the data on the vehicle’s unique ID and transmits it to the wireless controller. Such elements acting as the front-end of the system connects with the fuel management system (FMS) via the wireless controller, and the appropriate decision is made on how much fuel is to dispense.

Optimize Maintenance Cost

Top Fleet Management Solution Companies

Regular checks are required to keep vehicles up and running. However, maintenance and fleet control which often involves hundreds of vehicles is a daunting task which is difficult to be handled manually. IoT solutions can be highly effective in this regard as they can assist in the establishment of predictive maintenance practices. 

Another successful example of predictive analysis systems built for the fleet is Predixion Insight from Intel. The platform gets data from sensors, including hydraulics, tire pressure, and other elements. After receiving such data, the on-vehicle gateway can either pass it to the cloud for longer-term analysis or analyze it at the edge for immediate results or alerts.

Streamlining Delivery Management

Transformations in the transportation industry can also be attributed to online shopping. IoT can contribute to this change too. Use of the cloud-based RFID and GPS technologies, fleet managers can automate shipping times to ensure that the products are delivered more effectively and they maintain the right number of vehicles on the road for the above purpose. Even the interior of the vehicles can be controlled to make sure that the products arrive safely.

New devices can contribute much more than just tracking a parcel. For instance, Parcelive offers a customer with a tracker screened and placed inside the parcel. Apart from reporting the location to the customer, the tracker will also report the information related to the safety and delivery of the product.

Improving Road Safety Measures

Road safety is also a major point of concern for fleet managers. Based on a report, the fatalities in motor vehicle accidents reached 40, 100 in 2017, with costs like wage, medical expenses, and productivity losses and property damage stated at $413.8 billion. IoT technologies can be used to counter risks and foster safety on the roads in several ways.

For instance, OBD II port of a vehicle can be used to collect information about driver’s behavior and later the same can be used to coach them on how to limit over-acceleration, sharp cornering, seat belt usage, and other high-risk maneuvers. There are also more specialized IoT devices that can add more visibility into tracking systems such as the ones equipped with sensors that detect whether a driver is drowsy or not. With the perpetual reduction in the price of the technology, further advancements are expected that will significantly enhance the fleet management systems.

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