As a fleet manager, your goal is to keep your fleet running at its best, while effectively meeting your customers’ needs. Because of the continuing growth of technology, fleet managing is an ever-changing profession, with new technology constantly coming to market designed to make your job easier. Keeping an eye on the future of fleet management will help you plan for your fleet and embrace those technologies that will make your fleet as effective and efficient as possible. Here are three fleet management trends to anticipate:
The Reality of Autonomous Vehicles
It may sound like something out of a science fiction cartoon, but self-driving vehicles are not as far away as you might think. Of course, taking the driver out of the equation completely isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, but autonomous vehicles will help your employees be more productive. These vehicles allow drivers to override the autonomous driving when necessary, but to focus on other tasks when routine driving conditions occur. These vehicles (or a combination of autonomous features with traditional driving) may be a safer option than trucks driven by distracted or sleepy drivers.
Automated Vehicle Sharing
Some companies have fleets filled with equipment or vehicles that multiple employees need to access. Managing a case of keys is time consuming and tedious, but new car-sharing technology can be implemented into the fleet to make it easier for drivers to access a vehicle when it is needed.
Using keycards and on-vehicle electronic immobilizers, employees can gain access to vehicles or equipment they are authorized to use whenever needed, while keeping access controlled for those without permission. Digital tracking ensures the fleet manager knows who is using the vehicle and where it is, keeping the fleet secure and flexible at the same time.
An Increasing Reliance on Fleet Telematics
Most fleet management tips you will find today will involve the use of GPS fleet tracking. This is not changing in the future. Tomorrow’s fleet is going to rely largely on GPS tracking and fleet telematics systems. Telematics is not a new concept, but in the past, it was considered a feature for large fleets and million-dollar companies. This is changing, as more and more providers are offering scalable systems for smaller fleets, and telematics is reaching markets where it was not being used often.
In order to stay competitive, future fleets will absolutely need telematics systems. This is no longer going to be simply a nice feature to have. Continuing government mandates for electronic records and, in some countries, GPS tracking to reduce theft problems — combined with an increased demand for on-time deliveries and happy customers — is going to make telematics a necessity.