Why the Future of Fleets Is All About Technology

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Companies that invest in fleet technology stand to benefit from greater safety and a competitive edge that can save money and improve customer relations

Technology is already revolutionizing business in fantastic ways and we’re rapidly moving into an age where it promises to revamp the way we use and control vehicle fleets. Those companies that invest in fleet technology today stand to gain a competitive edge over their rivals by reducing costs, improving customer service and boosting safety, while those that don’t could find themselves left behind.

Crucially, this doesn’t mean replacing vehicles with newer models. Instead, the smartest companies are retrofitting their existing fleets with the latest safety and tracking systems, such as the VIA Mobile360 suite. By doing so, they can lay the foundations for smarter fleet operation today and in the future. Here’s how…

Improved Safety

Built-in safety systems that monitor and warn of impending crashes can give drivers precious time to make corrective adjustments and avoid accidents. According to technology company Cisco, safety systems could see a saving of $280 per vehicle per year. That’s $190 for the vehicle owner and another $90 for the external costs of each crash.

This figure doesn’t cover the savings made from protecting any goods being transported, nor the benefits of keeping a fleet on the road. In other words, keeping vehicles on the road for longer periods between maintenance is good for business.

Reduction in Theft

It’s a sad fact that theft of or from fleet vehicles costs businesses millions of dollars every year. In 2015 alone, there were a total of 707,758 motor vehicle thefts in the US alone. In the UK, the average theft of a commercial vehicle costs its owner £9,700, with thefts from commercial vehicles averaging £700 per incident.

Remote monitoring via security cameras, properly flagged on a vehicle, can help prevent crime or give police much-needed evidence to help recover stolen goods. Tracking has a part to play here too, making it much harder for thieves to hide a vehicle if one is stolen.

Increased Fuel Efficiency

Rising fuel costs are a burden that all companies need to deal with, but fleet technology can help improve efficiency here too.

Through vehicle tracking and driver telematics, companies can get the tools they need to dramatically reduce fuel consumption and lower costs. Better route planning, updated via live traffic information, is one high-tech option that can be employed to help keep a fleet moving. This has the knock-on effect of keeping vehicles on time, too, increasing customer satisfaction.

Boosting fuel economy can also be achieved in other ways. Consider idling. It’s a big issue for all vehicles and a huge waste of fuel. According to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), idling increases overall engine wear, which will decrease the service time of a vehicle. With telematics systems and GPS tracking, you can monitor how long vehicles remain idle and train drivers to drive more efficiently, such as turning off their engines when stuck in traffic.

Implementing GPS monitoring also enables you to see how fast your fleet is travelling. According to the UK’s Automobile Association (AA), travelling on the motorway at speeds between 80 and 85mph increases fuel consumption by as much as 25%, compared to driving at 70mph.

Improved Dispatch and Scheduling

When you know precisely where vehicles are and can check they are taking an optimal route, efficiency increases and fleet vehicles can perform more jobs, faster. Also, if a vehicle gets stuck in traffic or is delayed on a job, live positioning data often makes it possible to see whether it would be more efficient to re-route another vehicle to the next job instead.

Better Vehicle Maintenance

By monitoring key vehicle data (e.g. how long a vehicle has had its engine switched on, the distance traveled, and the time it spends idle), companies can build maintenance schedules to suit each vehicle. Pre-emptively fixing issues keeps vehicles on the road and can potentially prevent more costly repair jobs in the future.

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A Smarter Tomorrow

These are only some of the benefits that technology can bring to a fleet. But they demonstrate how the cost savings can soon pay back any initial outlay. And more besides. Because any equipment that you invest in starts to provide data, which can be used in future applications and planning scenarios, further improving the way your fleet runs.

With the latest fleet technology, a fleet can avoid becoming outdated and inefficient, making a business leaner, more profitable and highly competitive.

With a system, such as the VIA Mobile360 suite, drivers can enjoy better visibility and automatic warnings, letting them take the right defensive action to protect themselves and other road users. Find out more about the VIA Mobile360 solutions here.

VIA Technologies, Inc.