Comment attributed to Barney Goffer, UK Product Manager at Teletrac Navman
The pressure to optimise cost and efficiency continues to impact commercial fleet managers everywhere, but against the backdrop of today’s economic climate, it is proving increasingly more demanding. In a recent survey of more than 1,800 fleet operators, Teletrac Navman found that rising fuel costs (39%), disruption due to the impact of COVID-19 (32%), and supply chain pressure (31%), presented the biggest challenges.
While these hurdles continue to obstruct the path of fleet owners, at least for the short-medium term, advancements in technology are having a markedly positive impact on driving cost reductions and operational efficiencies. One such solution that is paving the way for the commercial fleet market - specifically telematics - and aiding in the quest for more efficient and cost-effective fleets, is artificial intelligence (AI). The smart technology can be used to analyse and interpret telematics data in real-time, to deliver valuable and actionable insights that fleet managers can turn into informed decisions that can cut through the adversities to truly have an impact.
Traditional telematics platforms require users to spend an excessive amount of time analysing digital reports to identify opportunities for improvement. However, AI-powered and machine learning platforms completely remove the data analysis period for users. As a result, fleet managers are now empowered with a much greater sense of productiveness and control.
Solutions such as Teletrac Navman’s TN360 enables business operations to recognise patterns of efficiency and crucially, inefficiency, to highlight instant shortcomings and opportunities. Areas of analysis include route planning, logistic workflows, maintenance, compliance, driver behaviour, and fuel management – with the latter two closely linked.
Excessive idling and speeding are just two areas where driver behaviour can directly impact fuel consumption. Another is dangerous driving such as unsafe driving distances, harsh or late breaking and cornering, which can all increase the likelihood of a collision. While fuel continues to represent a high percentage of a fleet’s overall operational costs, financial gains in the forms of reduced road incidents and the resultant insurance premiums and even fraudulent claims, are more than beneficial for fleet managers feeling the pinch.
Advanced fleet management platforms with the ability to integrate with AI-enabled smart dashcams, provide a view of both inside and outside the vehicle to give managers the complete picture on the roads. These insights can be fed back to drivers in real-time, as well as help to inform training and rewards programmes for those who demonstrate safe driving. A strategy which also helps to retain drivers and make them feel more valued.