For the second article in our series on IoT (The Internet of Things) we are going to be covering a business critical service that has been in existence for quite sometime and in many respects was a forerunner of the IoT craze.
The subject of this article is vehicle tracking or fleet tracking as it is often referred to.
Fleet tracking is basically a central management strategy for company vehicles. The most obvious benefit is, as the name describes, the ability to track all of the vehicles managed or owned by your company to ensure that they are where they should be and working as intended.
However, there are many other benefits to fleet tracking solutions aside from this obvious one, and in fact these fleet tracking solutions can be used to fine tune efficiency and ultimately save lots of money by optimizing vehicle efficiency.
Some of the key benefits in relation to efficiency of vehicle management that can be brought about by a fleet tracking solution are as follows:
Driving pattern management
Fleet tracking can help to monitor and manage driving patterns to make sure that vehicles are driving efficiently in terms of speed and fuel consumption. If certain vehicles are not performing as well as others then the patterns can be assessed and drivers can be retrained as required to ensure maximum efficiency which will in turn benefit business efficiency, customer satisfaction and also keep vehicle running costs to a minimum.
Vehicle tracking can also be used to monitor the routes taken by vehicles and ensure that they are the most efficient routes available in terms of congestion and distance.
In addition to static planning of routes, drivers can also be notified in real time of any congestion, road traffic or accidents and be rerouted accordingly.
The vehicle tracking hardware can also be used to monitor and collate many different metrics relating to the vehicle itself, ensuring that it is in good working condition and also often enabling the company to preempt repairs and maintenance and servicing requirements.
Not only is this much more efficient than leaving a vehicle to break down before it is serviced, but it is also ideal for cash flow and planning as servicing windows can be planned and accounted for in advance.
Vehicle tracking via the use of telemetrics has been around for many years and although it isn’t necessarily linked to the Internet by definition, it is now very much considered an Internet connected system and the management of it is always linked via the Internet at some point along the communication chain (normally near to the end user managing the system).
A such, vehicle tracking as a system was very much a forerunner in the world of IoT – its an early conception of the idea that everything will eventually be connected via some form giving it the ability to be managed centrally.
We believe that there is lots more to come from vehicle tracking in the future and that it will be an absolute necessity for any company that runs more than a couple of vehicles. The future of vehicle tracking will no doubt see much more automation in the management and efficiency optimization of company vehicles.
We can envisage every single aspect of a vehicles movements being cataloged and monitored in real time by vehicle tracking hardware and software and then tweaks being sent to the vehicle to improve its efficiency based on that real time data.
If you are interested in adopting vehicle tracking into your organization, there are lots and lots of companies out there that offer various solutions.
It is important to look at all of the available options and make an informed decision on who the best company is to go for.
There was a recent survey carried out by Telematics.com in which some of the top individuals and companies in the fleet industry were asked their opinion on what to look for when choosing a vehicle tracking solution.
Telematics collated all of the information and published it on their website along with a summary of some of the most commonly mentioned points.
If you are looking to find the best vehicle tracking solution then that article is a great place to start. It should give you an idea of what sort of features you can expect from a vehicle tracking solution, what benefits it is likely to bring to your organization, and consequently what things you should be looking for in a provider of vehicle tracking software.
The future of Vehicle Tracking
Vehicle tracking is already a very advanced technology, using telemetrics for the transmission of data as well as advanced software with integrating mapping in order to visually track and manage your fleets.
The future of vehicle tracking will likely see a closer integration of software and vehicle and enable many more metrics to be monitored other than driving indicators.
For example, vehicle tracking may also help to manage the health of the entire vehicle including tires, engine management and even perhaps fluid levels.
Vehicle tracking solutions are also likely to become heavily integrated with navigation even at the driver level. In fact perhaps the future will see the vehicle tracking solution actually managing the route entirely and thus dictating exactly which way the vehicle is driven to any particular route.
Perhaps one day the vehicle tracking solution will actually replace drivers and transport will become absolutely efficient and fully automated.
Vehicle tracking really is a fascinating subject, from a business point of view but also from a technology point of view and it is very much in its infancy at the moment. We see it as being a technology that will become very important over the coming years and perhaps will evolve into other areas that we cannot yet foresee.
It is without a doubt an important technology that you should consider worth investing in as a business owner. It will likely be one of those technologies that just keeps evolving and becomes more and more beneficial.