Connected cars are the current buzzword in the automotive industry. It’s prophesied that every vehicle will one day be able to talk to road signs, bridges, as well as everything else on our roads. What you may not know is that connected cars aren’t a thing of the future, and they can actually help your fleet management no end.
A connected fleet means:
- Accurate servicing
- Cost cutting due to less downtime
- Find employees that would benefit from driver training
- Duty of care when staff are out on the roads
- Reducing fleet size by using a ‘mobility’ concept
Predictive servicing, maintenance and repairs.
Guessing when vehicles in your fleet need servicing is the bane of any fleet managers life. Often employees forget to note down their mileage and even leave warning or service lights on for weeks before telling anyone. Not only can this be unsafe, but it could lead to costly repair work rather than the problem being fixed straight away.
In 2016 the AA started to trial their AA Connect service in 10,000 vehicles. Six months into the trial and 17% of problems in vehicles had been identified and fixed before they led to a roadside breakdown. Placing a system like this into a fleet means less downtime as faults can be booked in for repair straight away, not when the employee finally decides to alert you.
It can also keep track of mileage, automatically notifying you when servicing is needed. This sort of tech is readily available for the majority of modern cars via a plug-in adapter that anyone can install themselves in seconds.
Telematics and data
Predictive servicing wouldn’t exist without telematics, and the data gathered from your cars onboard systems. Modern fleet management systems accessing telematics collate the data into a central place for easy reporting; this can then be analysed by the leasing company or fleet manager.
You can see if specific drivers are regularly breaking the speed limit, or drive erratically. This data can then be used to train employees to make themselves safer on the roads and help stop premature wear or damage to your vehicles.
Thanks to location tracking, drivers can even be alerted to accident blackspots or made aware that mobile speed cameras are in the area. Should there be an incident, the fleet manager can act on their duty of care to call the employee and make sure they’re ok and to provide the relevant insurance details if needed.
Greater fleet mobility
Not only can connected vehicles help look after their drivers, but they can also aid each other due to the interlinked way in which they work. If a vehicle is sat in traffic, it can report back how long it’s been stationary when it should be cruising down a motorway, this will alert any other drivers in the area to avoid that road; either rerouting them automatically.
Some European companies have adopted this way of thinking as a ‘mobility concept’, where an allowance if given and the employees can use whatever transport they wish. This way of working could help cut the number of vehicles in your fleet, primarily when used in conjunction with the asset tracking that telematics can provide.
So you can see that vehicle connectivity is here to stay, it’s a fast-growing industry segment that can work with you to cut costs, free up time, look after your employees and keep a beady eye on your entire fleet.