iTracking Blog

The Future of Telematics in Fleet Management

Posted in: Fleet Management Systems, Telematics
Date posted: 25 May 2017

In this blog post, I want to look at some of the current and future trends in fleet management and telematics devices. From the advent of big data and truly integrated business-wide systems to the brave new world of autonomous fleets and driverless cars, I will explore some of the pivotal developments in the industry and how it will affect fleet managers, as well as the ordinary driver.

Telematics and Big Data

Developments in integration will see big data in telematics become a major driving force in the evolution of fleet management. With the help of cloud-based systems, telematics will begin producing data that can be used in various business applications from insurance savings to CRM systems. This data can be integrated into these systems and processes automatically, which could signal the decline of standalone systems.

With big data and increased integration also comes more streamlined and reactive fleet management systems, with systems able to react and reroute drivers in real time based on real-world variables that are changing through the day, hour to hour or even minute to minute.

Built-in Telematics Integration from OEMs

A significant trend in fleet management is the growth in original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) building in telematics systems to their vehicles. With many of the major car manufacturers getting in on the act at both the consumer and commercial levels, we can expect to see more and more vehicles coming off the production line with sophisticated onboard telematics systems, lowering costs for fleet managers.

The degree to which OEMs allow customers and third parties access to this data will be telling in the coming years, so don’t expect to see the end of aftermarket telematics solutions anytime soon.

Video Telematics

Video could be one of the most surprising developments in telematics, which has traditionally been driven by qualitative data such as GPS location, speed, fuel efficiency and other unambiguous datasets. The ability to capture large volumes of high-quality video through increasingly affordable onboard video cameras is allowing fleet managers to contextualise the hard telematics data in particular instances where further insight might be required.

Better Analysis of Driver Behaviour

One trend that continues to grow in fleet management is the shift away from data on the vehicle towards the driver. With employees and contractors in all lines of work becoming ever more connected, the telematics system can be seen as another form of the connected workforce. As the volume of data fleet managers are able to collect increases, so too do the potential insights into driver behaviour. This shift from qualitative based insights towards a more complex practice of predictive analytics in telematics is already taking place and is allowing the fleet manager to make more informed decisions based on wider business objectives and strategies.

How Telematics Can Reduce Fleet Emissions

I’ve talked before on this blog about how telematics is a huge driver of fleet efficiency and, as a result, can significantly cut emissions. With big data and integrated systems (which I have already discussed), we can expect to see continuing improvements in the way fleet management systems reroute vehicles to take advantage of favourable traffic conditions or current vehicle positions, as well as in the area of vehicle diagnostic reporting and maintenance scheduling.

Another consequence of the growing complexity of telematics data is the ability to analyse driver behaviour and reduce things like idling time and identify excessive braking or accelerating. By presenting this information to the drivers themselves through positive alerts or even pitting them against other drivers in terms of good driver status. Many in the industry argue that gamification tactics like this create enough healthy competition to create a positive feedback loop, drastically reducing bad driver behaviour without the need for management to get involved directly.

How Autonomous Cars will affect Fleet Management

Whether we realise it or not, the technology that is driving us inexorably towards the advent of the first driverless cars is already in many of the modern vehicles we use today, from parking sensors and collision detectors to onboard GPS. The potential for telematics to play into this exciting new age is enormous. The commercial, regulatory and public need to monitor and maintain vehicle safety in the first fledgeling fleets of driverless vehicles will be intense. As a result, we can expect to see the car industry working closely with telematics manufacturers to win over public trust in driverless vehicles.

The advent of truly autonomous vehicles could ultimately herald a culture shift in which drivers and consumers become disinterested in the inner workings of the vehicles that get them from A to B or deliver their packages or mail. As a result, it will be the telematics industry that takes center stage in vehicle maintenance and fault identification. With an entire industry dependent on the maintenance of public trust in driverless cars and trucks, the importance of our industry in the future of road transport is hard to overstate.

If you’d like to know more about how telematics and fleet management systems can help your business, give us a call today on 0333 2000 670 or fill out our online form to arrange a free demo.