With 5G rolling out and expected to continue reaching its full potential over the next 10 years, fleet management solutions stand to see a greater enhancement of the already leading-edge technology. What is currently on the market will continue to evolve with the incredible speed and power of the new cellular network technology.
Optimizing routes to avoid downtime is one of the biggest factors in fleet efficiency. GPS and Location-Based Services have served a large role in providing visibility to analyze the best routes to take. Not only does this ensure that delivery times are met, which is crucial for the best possible customer experience, but optimizing routes also helps with fuel efficiency. Any effort to mitigate costs in the fleet industry is beneficial.
Challenges met on the road have long been a problem for the fleet industry – whether it’s due to an accident, inclement weather, or any other unexpected roadblock – sudden traffic jams that slow productivity simply cannot be avoided. The best solution has historically been reactive, hoping that enough time has been built into the estimated delivery schedule to account for the unexpected.
With 5G, high visibility into routes as well as the ability to analyze and relay these data points can enable real-time communications for a proactive approach that lets a fleet driver avoid situations that cause traffic delays. Being able to view constantly updated maps of streets and highways in real-time means preventative re-routing, which is both a time- and cost-saving solution.
The cellular connectivity technology that can enable the future of how cars move is finally here with 5G. Granted, the expectation of seeing the first autonomous vehicle commercially owned and operated still lies ahead, with autonomous fleet vehicles even further behind. But the future of that reality is nearing.
The high-speed communication and analysis on the edge will benefit from the bandwidth, latency, and rate that 5G can provide. Autonomous vehicles will rely heavily on this triad of connectivity capacity. Steering and braking are currently the primary focus in automating vehicles, with the initial goal of having drivers supervise the autonomous vehicle – that is, riding inside the car but having the freedom to multitask and not truly operate it. Eventually, an entire driverless experience is anticipated.
The benefits will be three-pronged: reduce collisions, increase productivity, and reduce operating costs. While the rollout of this technology may still be in the not-too-distant future, it is a reality in the creation of Smart Fleets.
Telematics have driven the fleet industry into a new reality of using sensors to monitor vehicle condition so that predictive maintenance can help with advanced planning in taking vehicles off the road. Gone are the days of experiencing mid-route vehicle breakdowns – even monitoring data as granular as tire pressure to avoid blowouts on the road. Not only does this help mitigate cost, but it also promotes safety. An unexpected vehicle issue, especially a tire blowout, can be incredibly unsafe on the road.
5G has the massive bandwidth to allow for millions more connected sensors than what was previously on the market. The more sensors, and thus data points, the deeper the analysis of the inner workings of a vehicle. Predictive maintenance will take a large step forward into prescriptive maintenance communicated at the edge, i.e., the vehicle.
For example, tire pressure that is critical and needs attention prior to an event — such as a flat or active blowout on the road — is extremely helpful data to have. But taking that even further, a driver and fleet manager, being alerted when tire pressure is low, ultimately helps with cost containment. While the alert isn’t critical, driving on low tire pressure impacts fuel costs and may cause slow damage to a vehicle over time.
Artificial intelligence is currently on the market with in-vehicle video telematics. Artificial vision is used to monitor driver behavior and is able to detect unsafe behavior such as cell phone use, distraction, drowsiness, and much more. The analytics engine in artificial intelligence not only scans for this behavior, but it acts in real-time to alert the driver. This type of driver management allows for the greatest risk mitigation by monitoring behavior most associated with vehicle collisions.
With a more available network that is finely tuned to support artificial intelligence, expect that this IoT solution will be more widely adopted. In tandem, simple driver behavior can be monitored by AI-driven telematics to create a dynamic map to further aid in safe driving over time.
For example, if drivers routinely brake roughly on a route that has a sharp curve not well marked by signage, the map created from this data will include a warning of a sharp curve. This lowers the risk of unsafe driving behavior, aids in unnecessary wear on brakes, and keeps cargo better protected from the sudden shift created by harsh braking.
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has a campaign for the ultimate adoption of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications. Leveraging sensors, this technology would enable vehicles to detect road conditions and surrounding vehicles in such a comprehensive manner, they would have a three-dimensional view of their surroundings, right in their car.
These kinds of technology-driven fleet management solutions would be made possible through the high-speed, low-latency, and high-bandwidth of 5G.
Whether it’s Location-Based Services, advanced telematics, or artificial intelligence, KORE can enable you with the technology of today. For the most efficient, streamlined, and business-case savvy fleet management solutions, KORE has the devices, connectivity, and managed services you need for a comprehensive, cost-saving solution.
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