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The swift evolution of technology over the past decade has presented the world with a profusion of novel tools and resources that offer countless benefits to a wide variety of industries across the globe. A prime example of one such brilliant resources is the Internet of Things (IoT), which offers immense scope to enhance business operations, especially the ones involved in fleet management. The ability to connect the fleet’s vehicles to not only presents opportunities to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency but harness new opportunities for business growth as well.

Moreover, it is so immense is its potential that researchers believe this market will be worth $15.87 million in another five years. That estimate, though massive, isn’t entirely surprising. Just look at the needs driving the need for IoT in fleet management — companies need to innovate, optimize efficiency, and keep a better eye on their operations and the personnel involved. To be able to do all of this, they need a versatile tool like IoT. Allow us to walk you through some of the other benefits provided by IoT in the context of fleet management.

  1. Monitor fleet: With the vehicles in the fleet connected, managers gain seamless access to an overview of their fleet’s activities. They can then analyze incidents, trends, and more to make adjustments in the process accordingly. It will help them to extract the most performance out of their fleet. They can also look at traffic data and road hazard data to put together the ideal route for the fleet vehicles.
  2. Utilize data better: Fleets generate massive amounts go data — including that about things like kilometers driven, speed, fuel consumed, and vehicle usage among so many other things. It is imperative that these factors both be tracked and managed efficiently at all times. Thankfully, IoT saves you the hassle of doing it manually; since all the requisite devices, including the vehicles, systems, software, and more are all connected in real-time, data is gathered and analyzed as it happens.
  3. Improved maintenance of vehicles: Once again, since cars are connected to the internet/cloud, it becomes easier to keep an eye on them for any issues and faults and execute proactive maintenance services. This ability to continually monitor the health of a vehicle helps save costs associated with unforeseen maintenance and vehicle downtime.
  4. Track driver behavior: IoT can also be used to collect data about things like driver pattern, fuel efficiency achieved, and more to gauge drivers’ productivity. Furthermore, it can be used to ensure that drivers don’t break traffic laws and conform to other regulations on the road and provide the appropriate training they are found by not submitting to any such factors.

As you can see, with GPS tracking fleet management solutions, businesses operating in this market stand to gain a plethora of benefits, including enhanced productivity, improved efficiency, and significantly improved customer service. So, it is only fair that your business can benefit from the many advantages IoT has to offer for fleet management.

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By Abjijeet Banode. This article originally appeared here.

Fleet Management System (FMS) is one of the essential parts of businesses which directly or indirectly deal with automobiles. Precise fleet management minimizes various operational risks and increases cost efficiency. With proper utilization of analytics, alerts, and diagnostics, fleet management converts businesses to be more reliable and sustainable. Like any other business, predicting risks and working towards mitigation is essential for fleet businesses. Ample use of data analytics for early detection of faults and predictive mechanism helps business to reduce maintenance cost and downtime.

Typical modular fleet management unit consist of OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics – Standard revision – II) module which connects to Controller Area Network (CAN) bus. Microcontroller, sensors, and various devices from vehicles use this bus (communication channel) to communicate with each other. OBD-II module captures diagnostic information from the CAN bus example, data engine control unit, and transmission. 

Figure 1: Typical architecture of Fleet Management System (FMS)

GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) receiver unit like GPS, GLONASS, assist to capture geographic coordinates. Synchronous capture of GNSS data and diagnostic data can help to immediately identify exact location of a vehicle breakdown or other events. Mapping it against reference data from the department of transportation can be utilized to analyse driver behaviour and their adherence to traffic regulations.

Every business has its unique requirement and objective behind Fleet Management System.  Organizations need to upgrade FMS module based their particular use case.  Trailer transporting food needs additional sensors to monitor temperature of on-vehicle refrigerators whereas a trailer carrying hazardous liquids has its own sensor requirements.

Cellular module is essential for real-time monitoring of a vehicle’s essential parameters, theft detection, driver safety, and to report breakdown. This data needs to be sent to cloud (or physical storage) so that fleet operators can analyse required parameters in real-time, perform predictive analysis, and identify mitigation requirements for smooth operation of fleet.

Effective use of data analytics and visualization tools – dashboards is the brain of intelligent fleet management system. Visualization parameters varies with respect to business needs but a few basic conclusions like driver behaviour, fuel efficiency, fleet health, maintenance requirements and breakdown will be always there on dashboards. 

Figure 2: Benefits of effective fleet management

The cost of E2E fleet management system has been reduced due to efficient analytics platform based on quality open source solutions (e.g. MongoDB, Hadoop), reduction in cost of electronic assemblies (chipset cost, antenna cost), economical cellular data connectivity (eUICC, dedicated data plans for M2M, IoT), reduction and flexibility in cloud storage cost due to competition, and most importantly cross domain interest of companies from various vertical (e.g. Cellular operators), electronic product manufacturers, and IT services are exploring additional revenue streams in automotive domain.

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