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Making Fleets Smarter with Data and the Right Analytics

By James Cowen Chief Commercial Officer at Rideshur

Technology has always played a part in fleet management, from radio contact to the first incarnation of GPS. But with the emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the evolution of machine learning, we’re at a point where technology, and the collation and analysis of real-time data, can be used to create a truly smart fleet management system.

How Data is Making Fleets Smarter – And the Potential Benefits this has for Business

The potential for using data to enhance fleet management has been recognised for a long time. It holds conceivable benefits across a whole range of applications, from enhanced communication to increased security. But it is only in the last five years that the technology has emerged to support the move. Because while smart vehicles have been pumping out huge volumes of data, that data has been so vast as to be unusable. Analytics technology has been slow to catch up. As has connectivity. But with new artificial intelligence (AI) and smart automation changing the way that data is processed, 5G boosting bandwidth on smarter roads, and governments looking to build an electric-friendly infrastructure, we’re now in a place where smart fleet management is a reachable reality.

The benefits of data and smart fleet management

Fleet performance

The data produced by smart vehicles provides fleet managers with a complete range of key performance indicators. These support better business decisions relating to deployment and logistics and help with smarter hiring, training, and company growth. With the right data and analytics combination, you also have the ability to monitor compliance, while providing an unassailable audit trail. While employee management and risk control are dramatically simplified.

Employee management and risk mitigation

Driver behaviour has always been an uncontrollable variable in fleet management. Until recently, it’s been impossible to know exactly where your drivers are, and how they perform. The ability to capture and analyse data can give you that information as it happens. And this is important, not because we want to live in an Orwellian dystopia where Big Brother sees all because it can have a significant bearing on the efficiency and cost control of your business. Being able to identify areas of improvement, where training could have a direct impact upon an individual’s performance, provides the opportunity to initiate positive change.  Whether through reduced fuel costs and vehicle damage, or in-policy reduced insurance premiums.

Genuinely data-led insurance

Insurance is a massive drain for fleets. And as things stand, most businesses are paying more than they ought because there is no infrastructure available to levy accurate, personalised tariffs. With data analytics, there is the ability not just for insurers, such as Rideshur, to create genuinely data-led policies built around each individual’s performance. But for fleet managers to take steps to improve that performance, delivering both training and incentives to help drivers conduct their duties safely, moderating speed, improving vehicle control, and ultimately reducing accidents and incidents. And for insurers to mark those changes and amend policies accordingly – not just on an annual basis, but as the changes happen. 

At present, fleet managers have a host of technology available to them, but it lacks integration. As smart monitoring becomes standard there will be greater control. To improve safety, cut costs, build brand differentiation through enhanced environmental performance, remove risk, reduce insurance fees, and add value and growth to your business. With the right data and the right analytics systems, the future of the smart fleet is within touching distance.

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