Modern vehicles are achieving technological advances at record rates. Today’s cars are often equipped with telematics devices that enable geolocation and speed tracking, and with internal diagnostic sensors that can alert drivers and manufacturers to automotive problems.
As the “Internet of Things” gains traction, cars are one of the prime beneficiaries of the movement: The car of the future will be capable of collecting and interpreting information from many different sources (GPS, weather conditions, internal sensors, and many more), and using this data to instantly react—in some cases, even by driving autonomously.
While IoT-enabled vehicles provide many benefits to individual drivers, businesses managing fleets of vehicles stand to gain the most from the benefits of sensor-connected, Internet of Things-enabled cars. Here’s a look at how high-tech cars can improve a company’s fleet management operations:
Track and schedule drivers and other employees in real-time
Using IoT-enabled vehicles can help larger organizations keep track of the location of their drivers on a real-time basis. Rather than waiting for a check-in at a set destination, businesses can now use telematics to track a vehicle’s location in real-time, so that they can identify whether or not the vehicle is on schedule. This can also help the company quickly identify whether changes must be made to employees’ schedules to accommodate a delayed or early arrival.
Ensure your drivers’ safety on the road
Driving is a risky profession: The number of fatal large-truck accidents is on the rise, resulting in nearly 4,000 deaths in 2012 according to data from National Transportation Safety Board (the most recent year available). IoT technology can protect your drivers—and protect your company from liability.
For instance, IoT-enabled cars can track your drivers’ speed in real-time, alerting you if they are going over the speed limit. Newer models are even being built to incorporate automatic speed-reduction techniques: The Hyundai Genesis, for example, is equipped to automatically slow down while within range of a red-light camera. Many cars now also come equipped with collision-avoidance systems, which use sensors to track the speed and proximity of other vehicles and take autonomous action (such as braking and swerving) to avoid an accident.
Reduce the amount of pain associated with managing drivers in the field
Most fleet management operations involve numerous manual processes, such as phone communication to check on deliveries or discuss problems at delivery terminals, and handwritten inspection reports based on visual observation. IoT-enabled vehicles can automate these processes by instantly verifying the location and condition of vehicles, and wirelessly transmitting images and other data to a central database. This can consolidate operations and help increase employee productivity.
Stay on top of maintenance issues
It’s much cheaper and more convenient to keep vehicles in good working order through regular maintenance than to wait until the vehicle breaks down to fix it. In the past, many problems could go undetected until it was too late—but with remote vehicle diagnostics systems, you can monitor equipment and internal software functionality, and even make adjustments remotely in many cases. Such technology is already prevalent, but will become even more sophisticated in the years to come.
Many of these technologies are in early stages, and will see rapid advances in the years to come. By integrating such technology into your fleet management operations now, you’ll be prepared to make the most of new breakthroughs in the world of connected cars.