Comment: Conquering the headache of deploying telematics
Telematics will continue to drive change in the fleet management industry, with the growth of IoT in fleet management industry expected to boom. Still, careful consideration is needed for deployments to gain the huge potential benefits, writes Mohsen Mohseninia, VP of market development, Europe, at Aeris.
In the coming years, and the IoT market for fleet management will quadruple to be worth $12.2bn (€10.36bn / £9.13bn) by 2023. Through big data analytics processing, fleet telematics solutions can gather information from sensors in fleet vehicles, connected devices in scheduling logistics dispatch and delivery, sensors in warehouse fulfilment and inventory tracking.
Other sources include warehouse and inventory capacity monitoring tools, and a range of metrics describing cost and scheduling performance associated with outside market factors.
Collecting and analysing this information can provide timely insights for:
- Optimising business processes
- Identifying cost centres
- Adapting operations based on evolving customer demands and external market circumstances
- Effective allocation of capital fleet and human resource
The benefits are clear, but deploying this technology, can create headaches for fleet managers.
More sophisticated solutions
Some of the earliest large-scale deployments had basic functions –involved in an accident, press a button and help is on the way. Today’s automotive sensors monitor the entire driving experience, providing data from vehicle safety, predictive maintenance and analysis of fuel consumption to info-entertainment preferences, compliance with electronic logging devices and a whole lot more. The platforms that gather and analyse this data need to be much more sophisticated than their predecessors.
As well as identifying which platform will help create the most valuable insights and business value, fleet managers must consider the issues around deployment. If operating in many countries, they may face working with multiple connectivity providers. Agreements with a number of providers, however, generally mean managing multiple platforms. This creates greater complexities like increased difficulty in synchronising all data elements, higher management costs, limited control, and scalability challenges.
IoT solutions that provide ‘always-on’ capabilities with persistent IP sessions across geographies and operators can reduce latency and improve consistency in the user experience. This is a crucial part of addressing the multi-country requirements and even intra-country procedures. For example, long-haul drivers in the UK face complicated driver-
log regulations. So, delays in transmitting driver-log information can result in drivers’ downtime and higher operational costs.
Picking the right platform
Rather than working with multiple providers, fleet managers can take a different approach. One that reduces complexity, streamlines costs and increases agility. By using a single platform based on carrier-agnostic technology with global connectivity, fleet managers can lessen the burden of deployments.
This approach ensures that fleet management companies are not locked into a single provider or technology. It also creates a number of other benefits, including less operational complexity and lower costs due to having a single interface and single set of application program interfaces for all carriers and technologies. This approach also gives the flexibility for future growth as new technologies can be incorporated into the system.
The benefits and potential of telematics for the fleet management industry are evident. However, only through carefully considering and finding solutions to the difficulties of deployment will fleet managers truly reap the rewards.