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News | January 2016

Our cars are becoming increasingly connected and intelligent.

Thanks to technologies like satellite navigation or ingenious on-board services like crash notification and emergency assistance, which automatically notifies emergency services in the event of an accident, today’s vehicles have turned into sophisticated computers on wheels.

And for the fleet industry, this is a game-changing development.

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Fleet managers are always looking for ways to better manage costs, reduce risks, and use assets more effectively. For them, the rise of in-vehicle connectivity has opened the door to pioneering new technologies such as IoT enabled telematics.

In essence, this is an effective method of monitoring vehicles remotely. It works by connecting a telematics unit in the vehicle to an IoT platform over a mobile network. Once the telematics unit has been installed, vehicle data can be transmitted over the network for backend services to analyse and manage.

The availability of data on vehicle usage and driving behaviour puts fleet managers in control. And now they are beginning to take advantage of smarter analytics tools, which allows adjustments and intelligent decisions to be made to reduce fuel consumption, improve safety and bring down insurance premiums.

Cutting costs, casualties and CO2

For instance, by tracking driving styles and behaviours, drivers themselves can monitor their driving behaviour and improve their driving style, whilst managers can spot driving behaviours that, among other things, unnecessarily waste fuel. The ability to identify and rectify these anomalies can lead to significant savings on fleet running costs. Potentially up to around 30%.1

These telematics-derived insights also spell good news for the environment by enabling the reduction of a fleet’s carbon footprint.

Having this level of insight is a major advantage for businesses, but it also protects the driver.

For example, dangerous driving habits can be picked up and prevented; cases of fatigue at the wheel caused by excessive working hours can effectively be eliminated; and reconstruction of crashes can be called upon to guard against fraudulent insurance claims.

What’s more, the location of assets can be tracked at the push of a button, making assets easier to recover in the event of theft.

Instant updates on trip statistics, driving behaviours, or details of crashes and maintenance updates are always available through a simple user interface – giving peace of mind to fleet managers who have the visibility to continuously run their fleets in the most cost-efficient, fast and secure way.

Considerations for IT

The fleet telematics market is expected to grow more than five-fold over the next four years, with an expected 28 million telematics users by 20192 .

Exciting news for fleet managers, but what does it mean for the IT leads in charge of integrating the technology into their business?

With so many information systems already running within the typical business, it is essential to find customisable solutions that enable fleet data to integrate into fleet management and legacy systems. The solution needs to be scalable and able to cope with increasing numbers of fleet assets as the organisation expands.

Privacy concerns also need to be addressed. Fleet drivers may feel that they are being continually scrutinised, particularly outside of working hours. Therefore, it is important to find a solution that is not only compliant with local regulations, but which allow drivers to set a privacy block that prevents data from being gathered when off duty.

Ensuring fleets have robust and reliable mobile network connectivity is also critical for ensuring that wherever vehicles travel they can always transmit the data needed to maintain safety, security and efficiency.

Confidently connecting your fleet

As a Total Communications provider, Vodafone offers customers a complete end-to-end Fleet Telematics service: from vehicle hardware to global wireless connectivity and hosted platforms, as well as having the support of our 24x7 service centre network – giving customers a single point of contact.

Our Managed IoT Connectivity platform enables vehicles to travel internationally without losing connection or incurring additional roaming costs and is designed to integrate fully with our own and partner networks making it ideal for mission-critical applications such as Fleet Management.

Businesses are looking to fleet managers to find ways to increase efficiency and keep on top of the daily usage of their fleets. With a long heritage in the fleet management market, Vodafone Fleet Telematics provides customers with a trusted way of connecting their fleets to meet these strategic needs.

Notes

1 Energy Saving Trust, “A Guide to Telematics.” Available online at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/businesses/sites/default/files/Telematics%2Bguide_WEB%2BONLY.pdf (page 10)
2 http://www.auto-telematics-insurance-europe.com/