It could be asserted that fleet management is a perfect illustration of how IoT can create efficiencies and reduce overhead. Vehicle scheduling, driver and vehicle tracking, routing, and load management are just a few examples of IoT revolutionizing how carriers do business.
Early fleet IoT adopters enjoyed distinct market advantages. However, we have reached a point where utilization of IoT is not really a differentiator – it is now a necessary means of remaining competitive.
As is the case with any technology, innovation and advanced uses are never far behind what is currently available. IoT will continue to revolutionize how carriers operate, and we expect the four following trends to have a significant impact:
More sensors in new places - Beyond basic fleet tracking, we are seeing more and more innovation around sensors that collect a wide range of vehicle data. Think about all of the ways a truck can be sidelined – the list is practically endless. Vehicles can now be connected to gauge something as simple as tire pressure and as complex as fuel efficiency. This allows carriers to be more proactive in how and when they service vehicles to extend their life, limit time off the road, and improve safety.
But there is more to the truck than the components that make it run – carriers also have to consider the protection of cargo inside. For example, a truck carrying perishable items needs to maintain a specific temperature range to avoid spoilage. IoT sensors can let drivers know if the cooling system is functioning properly, and can be monitored remotely so that fleet management personnel can notify the driver to take action if something is amiss. By continuously monitoring temperature data, records can be used to prove food safety throughout the entire transportation process. The same technology can be used to determine how much cargo a truck is holding. If it is part of the vehicle, there will be a sensor sharing data about its status.
Richer data analytics– n the examples mentioned above – vehicle maintenance and cargo status – separate sets of data would be shared and used appropriately. With that said, a siloed approach to data only offers so much insight. As the evolution of IoT continues, more advanced innovation around compilation and analysis of data is emerging. Seemingly unrelated components can affect one another both directly and indirectly, but without supporting data, you could just be shooting darts in the dark. By seeing how all data points interact, new discoveries that drive efficiency and ROI will be uncovered.
IoT for the masses – As technology becomes mainstream, price points inevitably drop – remember how much you paid for your first HDTV? We are now seeing affordable, all-inclusive platforms that power IoT applications with connectivity, hardware and software, advanced security, failover solutions, and support. These platforms represent turnkey opportunities to quickly and more easily implement the power of IoT.
ELD Mandate - Further driving expanded IoT adoption will be the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) electronic logging device (ELD) rule – also known as the ELD mandate. Beginning this December, those with a commercial driver’s license will be required to keep a Record of Duty Status (RODS) using an ELD to record the information. As more carriers will be forced to become familiar with IoT, many who may not have had interest in exploring the opportunities will soon realize that they now have the opportunity to do business in a much more efficient and cost-effective manner.