This article will explore how IoT technology and IoT sensors are being used in vehicles for fleet management. Fleet management is a branch of logistics that deals with the movement and scheduling of goods, people, and services within an organization or between organizations. The goal is to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction by using data analytics.
IoT sensors have been designed to help fleet managers and fleet operators optimize their routes, monitor the condition of vehicles and drivers, reduce fuel consumption by up-to-the minute tracking of vehicle performance and execute on any other important decision. This article will explore how IoT sensors are being used in fleet management operations.
First, we’ll start with a brief overview of what fleet management is and the benefits of using IoT sensors to optimize routes, monitor vehicle condition and more.
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is a term used to describe the use of data analytics and technology (such as IoT sensors) in order to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve customer satisfaction. Fleet managers utilize IoT sensors for fleet management by optimizing routes, monitoring vehicle conditions and more. Data analytics can also be utilized with cloud-based software programs to allow fleet managers to plan ahead based on real-time information about their assets while reducing maintenance downtime due to better preventive care. By collecting and processing the data, you can get actionable insights about your fleet.
What IoT Is Doing Right Now for Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the backbone of any company. A properly managed fleet ensures that your vehicles are running smoothly, which in turn maximizes efficiency and reduces costs for vehicle maintenance. The integration of IoT sensors can help with this process substantially because they’re able to monitor conditions like fuel levels, tire pressure, odometer readings, engine temperature and more.
Many fleets have thousands of vehicles that need to be monitored and managed 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. If you’re in charge of an entire fleet management team, then that responsibility falls on your shoulders. You not only have the responsibility to track each vehicle but also analyze data from those vehicles to make decisions for optimization.
The goal of using fleet management technologies is to help transportation companies operate more efficiently, reduce costs and provide better customer service.
How does IoT assist in fleet management?
By using IoT sensors to monitor vehicle performance and condition, fleet management can provide predictive analysis that allows fleets to keep up with demand changes before they happen. Additionally, by reducing the number of accidents due to low-maintenance engines or faulty tires from lack of proper monitoring, these technologies have a significant impact on safety as well as cost savings for companies at any size.
Why Fleet Managers Need an IoT Asset Tracking System
Fleet managers need an IoT asset tracking system to get insight on cost savings opportunities and safety risks.
Fleet operators are working to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) and must comply with rigid environmental and safety regulations.
Providing fleet management solutions with data analytics that are valuable in themselves but also allow fleets to better predict market changes is essential for future success.
The best way to keep up with demand changes before they happen is through predictive analyses driven by IoT sensor technology such as GPS navigation systems, engine performance records, and fuel consumption metrics.
By combining this information with other data sources, such as weather forecasts and customer behavior patterns that are shared between vehicles in the fleet – through their on-board communications technology, fleets can make adjustments to save time, reduce operating costs, protect natural resources, and improve safety before anything goes wrong.
All of these technologies generate massive amounts of data which need to be properly analyzed for insights into what is happening with your business, like the following:
- Why did we have a sudden spike in demand?
- How many units will we need to order next month?
- What locations do we still need coverage?
How IoT Data Can Transform Fleet Management Systems
Fleet management is a complicated industry. There are many moving parts and it’s difficult for managers to keep track of all the data that needs to be collected, analyzed, sent off-site for storage, and delivered back again in time-sensitive situations.
The number one challenge facing fleet managers today is how best to combine IoT sensor technology with analytics software within their existing IT infrastructure, so they can get these insights as quickly as possible—without additional cost or building more hardware.
The first step is sorting out where you want this information to go—to an internal team or external service provider who specializes in analytics. If your company has a dedicated IT department, then there may not be any need for outside help; however if you are still building your IT team, you may want to consider either hiring a third-party analytics provider or partnering with one of the many providers that offer software as service (SaaS) solutions.
Setting up an IoT sensor system and feeding it into data warehousing is not enough; fleet managers need to be able to go back later for insights about how these systems are operating over time. This means there needs to be some kind of archiving solution in place—whether on the premises or offsite—so that managers can extract information from archived records when needed.
Examples of Solutions for the Fleet Management Industry
Monitor Driver Behavior
Fleet management tools that allow for the monitoring of driver behaviors can be very helpful when it comes to reducing fuel and maintenance costs. For example, drivers who frequently accelerate quickly or drive too fast are more likely to experience engine wear and increased emissions than those drivers that maintain a steady pace.
Monitoring these types of behaviors is also not only beneficial in terms of preventing excessive vehicle usage, but will help identify any problems with vehicles on the road before they become serious issues. By enforcing policies such as speed limits through telematics data collected from IoT sensors, fleet managers can decrease their carbon footprint while simultaneously saving money—a win-win situation.
Fuel Level Monitoring
Fuel level monitoring devices help fleet managers stay on top of fuel efficiency for their vehicles, enabling them to better plan and budget accordingly. By knowing how much fuel is currently in a vehicle’s tank, it’s possible to calculate when an individual will need to refuel.
These types of sensors are most often installed on commercial trucks or vans which frequently have long distances between destinations. Fleet management can use this information not only for planning purposes but also by comparing data from different vendors with one another in order to find out where they’re getting the best prices per gallon, so they know exactly what kind of deals they should be pursuing at any given time.
The Cargo detection sensors we designed will detect the absence or presence of cargo in a 53′ trailer.
We solved this problem by using our MB2530/MB2532 cargo detection sensors. This sensor line uses a combination of ultrasonic and IR sensors to create a cargo detection solution. The combination of using these different technologies at once is known as sensor fusion.
The benefits of using a cargo detection solution for your fleet include:
- Monitoring and controlling trailer usage.
- Remotely see whether or not the trailer has assets in them with real time monitoring.
- Optimize Your Fleet’s Turn Time – that way you’ll alleviate truck’s congestion in terminals.
- Manage your assets better and increase trust with real time updates.
IoT has affected waste management companies and cities for their waste collection process. Arguably, the greatest problems solved by smart waste management solutions is route optimization.
The main reasons to adopt route optimization include:
- Reducing the mileage on fleet vehicles
- Cutting costs on labor, maintenance, fuel, and more.
- Increase efficiency by saving time
The fleet will spend less time planning routes or picking up at sites that aren’t in need of service.
As our world becomes more connected, the way we use and transport goods is also changing. By using IoT sensors for fleet management, you can leverage information about your vehicles’ location to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
IoT sensors can be a powerful tool for fleet management, but picking the right sensor is important. If you’re not sure what type of sensor would work best with your application or need advice on how to implement them into your business process, contact us now. Our team has years of experience in working with these types of technologies, and we are excited to help you turn this technology into an asset within your organization. We have also helped many other companies do the same thing so don’t worry-we know what we’re doing! Let us walk through our IoT sensor solutions today and see if they will work for your application as well.
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