What is a Connected Fleet?
In this era of technology and innovation “connected fleet” is becoming a buzz word in the automotive industry. But what exactly is a connected fleet and how does it relate to your business or your everyday life?
Vehicle Data and Telematics
When thinking of a connected fleet you might have futuristic visions of autonomous vehicles, but this is not quite the case yet. Although connected fleets are omnipresent, the current presence of vehicle connectivity focuses on collecting data from the vehicles and help customers make smarter decisions about their fleet by translating data into actual strategies.
The vehicle data has been made available by the OEM and will be captured through a third party telematics provider and stored in a cloud-based platform. Once the data has been stocked in the cloud actions can be taken. The advantage of the wireless communication is real-time visibility on the collected information regarding the connected fleet. The exciting challenge in this field is to find new ways to use data, since a connected fleet only delivers value if data is used intelligently.
Technology is disrupting the traditional fleet management business. Fleet managers are constantly sourcing for solutions in order to gain time, reduce costs and meet KPIs. The emerging business of connected vehicles makes fleet managers turn to technology. Fleet telematics are the key to simplifying the existing processes and boosting fleets. Aftermarket telematics systems allow companies to manage the connected vehicle ecosystem encompassing not only the vehicle but also assets, drivers and tools. Vehicles evolve into an important part of the connected ecosystem through fleet telematics by putting the traditional aspects of a vehicle aside and focussing on technology.
Third party telematics providers
The reason why businesses turn to third party telematics providers is because the data platforms OEM offer are unfortunately not scalable. OEM solutions could be interesting for large proprietary lease companies but turn out to be useless for the majority of businesses. The overall preferred solution is an aftermarket connected device installed in the vehicle which allows businesses to extract data from the vehicle. Telematics providers offer easy to install and advanced telematics devices and often collect the vehicle data in a cloud-based platform including dashboards and easy to run reports using the collected vehicle data. Possibilities of data use are endless and depend on the needs of a business. If a company wants to run the extra mile they will be able to find all kinds of complementary software allowing them to connect third party tools or to go more in-depth using analytics software or accounting and invoicing tools.
How Connected Fleets Transform Business Models
Vehicle connectivity is a new competitive advantage to run a smarter fleet and increase efficiency and reducing costs. Real-time visibility and critical data are allowing companies to improve their business models and even transform them. Fleet managers are now able to manage their fleets remotely knowing location, health status, speed, fuel consumption, temperature, tire pressure and much more simply by taking a look at their dashboards displaying vehicle data.
Connect fleets favor new business opportunities your company was not even aware of. Car rental and insurance companies are able to offer a pay per use business model. New businesses are created based on vehicle connectivity. Startups focussing on Car Sharing were born. Companies are finally able to reduce time spent on fleet management. These evolutions show us how technology is playing a crucial role in the automotive industry as well as in any industry where commercial or private fleets are involved. A very powerful example of how connected vehicles can change business models and perspectives is the – more competitive than ever- logistics industry. By gaining visibility into supply chain, cost reduction, on time deliveries and unused capacity they can outsmart their competitors which is a considerable advantage since logistics companies are longing for opportunities to differentiate their business.
From waste management to emergency services and from field service to construction companies, vehicle connectivity offers valuable insights and helps companies to increase productivity and efficiency, reduces costs and boosts service excellence.
Abel Korevaar FleetGO Consultant
Image: Connected Fleet