Rapid advances in ADAS, cloud, remote connectivity, real-time video capture and processing, and AI technologies promise to make the management of a fleet of vehicles and drivers more efficient and effective than ever before. Here are some of the advances that are shaping fleet management in 2019 – and beyond.
Drive Recorders for Fleet Management
The emergence of ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technologies means that comprehensive and intelligent driver assistance is within reach. However, since not all businesses are ready for the cost and complexity of the fleet-wide implementation of ADAS, the development of smarter and more connected drive recorders will provide a critical stepping stone for companies planning to boost the safety, responsiveness, and productivity of their fleets.
The value of having a stepping stone technology is enormous, allowing customers to gain access to many of the benefits of advanced fleet management while minimizing investment risk. It also enables individual firms to begin investigating and developing their own, niche-specific systems based on their own experiences and real-world data.
Improved Driver Monitoring
One new approach to fleet management is to enable driver monitoring using drive recorders with dual cameras. Having access to clear video footage of the cabin, in addition to the road ahead, allows the implementation of advanced driver monitoring and training strategies.
These systems use pre-defined triggers to detect risky driver behavior and provide real-time alerts, as well as segmenting and tagging the recorded incident for later review. The result is that, if a pattern emerges from the incidents (perhaps one driver regularly triggers lane discipline alerts) then tailored messages or e-training modules can be automatically sent to the driver to educate and mitigate future behavior.
In addition to the obvious value to fleet managers, this tiered approach means that low-level incidents or one-off minor infringements can be dealt with without adding to their workload, allowing them to focus on high-risk and/or repeat offenders. Finally, the use of an automated impartial monitoring service removes workplace friction between drivers and management, promoting more positive working relationships.
The benefits to enterprise include cutting fuel bills, reducing category-three speeding events (where drivers exceed the speed limit by 10-20%), and deterring Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) as drivers become more careful about where they park and how they drive.
Preventing Malicious Behavior
As well as providing a range of options for the enforcement of company standards and the rules of the road, drive recorders can also provide the means to prevent malicious activities such as “crash for cash” insurance fraud. The higher the quality of the footage captured of an incident, the better the opportunities for analysis and actionable insights.
Promptly delivering this data to fleet managers for analysis is also vital, which is where the importance of onboard 4G network support comes to the fore. This high-bandwidth connection allows key footage to be automatically synced to the cloud when an incident is detected or manually reported, preventing any localized data loss. To this end, many insurance firms offer discounted premiums if a suitable drive recorder device is installed, partly because of the reduction in fraudulent claims and the increased efficiency in dealing with genuine claims.
Delivering Better Information
While video information of the driver and road is important, combining this with vehicle data such as idle time, fuel consumption, speed, and distance traveled delivered using the CAN Bus provides an extra layer of value to fleet managers. The result is a more complete data-set that allows management to enjoy a more detailed picture from which to draw insight.
One of the most transformational technologies in fleet management has been GPS tracking. For a fleet manager or dispatcher to know the precise location of each vehicle in the fleet is incredibly valuable – for example to better optimize routes, saving fuel and time – and of course it has been a boon for driver navigation too.
These GPS-based telematics systems have become expected (and, in some situations, government-mandated), especially in light of today’s ‘next-day delivery’ commercial world. But the benefits extend beyond courier services. A drive recorder that combines GPS with on-board 4G support makes an ideal choice for taxi and other transportation companies, providing managers with huge business benefits and minimal hardware investment.
The process of automating compliance is of crucial interest to fleet managers across the globe, as is the ability to monitor and improve safety levels. As regulations around environmental issues, worker welfare, and general liability concerns comes to the fore, so a connected, AI-enhanced system becomes increasingly valuable.
For example, the requirements imposed by the International Fuel Tax Association (IFTA) in the US can be automated, saving painstaking hours of comparing fuel receipts and vehicle GPS data. Meanwhile, maintenance and hours-of-service compliance data can also be recorded and analyzed for potentially actionable patterns and measured against key performance indicators.
Accelerating Fleet Management Transformation
Devices such as the VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder are already transforming the fleet management industry. The continued development and integration of AI tools will only accelerate this process. As the barriers to entry are now falling, enterprises of every size and scale can now begin to benefit from this digital driving revolution.
Find out how the VIA Mobile360 D700 Drive Recorder can help your business.
Note: This article is part of a series of pieces about dashcam and drive recorder trends that we have recently published on the VIA website. The content has been amended in places.