The new year is here, and though it seems not much has changed on the global level (microchip shortage, international supply chain havoc, and a little thing called Omicron), on the technological level, a year is an eternity of time.
Nonetheless, the business of fleets, leasing, remarketing, and of getting people and goods from Point A to Point B doesn’t stop. So let’s take a look at some tech news and wireless wizardry and learn what could galvanize your year, your outlook—and the people, vehicles, and services that rely upon you.
Data, Telematics, & Dash Cams
When the world came to a stop, we didn’t need the local news to tell us so—the data did that.
An efficient telematics process is less a product and more an alchemy, and the numbers behind it are staggering. By 2026, the global vehicle telematics market is expected to reach $179.5 billion on the back of a 5G-enabled infrastructure worth an additional $87.9 billion, and the commercial vehicle market remains the largest segment affected by this global megatrend.
Much has changed since General Motors pioneered early telematics with the OnStar system. Today, over 75% of new vehicles feature standard data capabilities. The Ford Motor Company has long enjoyed the data dividends from its Ford Pro Intelligence services, while Stellantis benefits from Ram Telematics as its ProMaster models pepper the map. As go the OEMs go the world, and here are a few solutions from the interconnected world of data, telematics, and the drivers, vehicles, and routes captured and integrated via onboard dash cams and other services.
Fleetio provides integrated software solutions to help fleets track, analyze, and improve operations. Like many solutions providers, Fleetio’s primary focus is digital and web-based, helping fleets integrate with other apps, tools, and services to streamline data and improve efficiency in real time.
In late 2021, Fleetio announced a partnership with Optimum Fleet Health, a predictive maintenance and analytics company to help customers predict system failures or quality control issues before they happen, reducing technician diagnostic time by up to 85%, improving repair shops’ efficiencies, and keeping fleet customers safe, informed, and on the road.
Samsara’s primary product is its Connected Operations Cloud, and the fleet solutions company has built a suite of products and services geared toward total fleet integration through technological simplicity and clarity. Samsara recently pioneered the Camera Connector, “a product that connects side, rear, and interior vehicle camera feeds” to the Cloud, helping FMCs leverage pre-existing camera investments to increase driver and vehicle safety, protect against not-at-fault claims, and to enhance the driver experience.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, there are over 240,000 sideswipe accidents every year and because many fleets don’t have video backup or use 360° video at all, drivers lack the evidence that exonerates them from fraudulent activity. Samsara recently published a case study with Iowa-based Rasmussen Group, a heavy construction company, citing a 30% reduction in backup incidents since employing the new technology and saving the Group an estimated $30,000.
IntelliShift is a cloud-based fleet and safety management platform geared toward growing fleets up to 100 vehicles.
IntelliShift’s AI-powered dash cams deploy quickly and are tailored to the specific needs of the client, so no two systems between fleets are alike. The cams provide 360° video bolstered by an AI that “proactively detects accident-causing behavior and events” before they occur, helping protect drivers from within and without using in-cab warnings and cloud-based video backup.
In the short term, IntelliShift is directly addressing the microchip shortage by providing deployable, standalone services to improve vehicle efficiency and sustainability, lengthening service length, vehicle health, and driver safety.
In the first quarter of 2022, IntelliShift will launch updates to its AI Video and Safety solutions to further augment driver safety, including in-app customization that will allow customers to prioritize the safety measures most relevant to its fleet. IntelliShift will also debut enhanced fuel management solutions for greater clarity on fuel levels, consumption, and interoperability with fuel card vendors and other third parties.
AI and Performance
Much of the technology that appears in consumer vehicles is derived from the racetrack, and fleets often enjoy the same sort of trickle-down effect regarding performance and artificial intelligence systems, moving the onus of safety more from the driver to the vehicle itself. Whether at 45 or 200 miles per hour, safety and performance will never go out of style.
Derive is an automotive technology company that provides software to improve vehicle performance at multiple levels including safety systems, fuel efficiency, and engine control modules for pinpoint calibrations for more horsepower, torque, safety, and drivability.
Derive was recently named one of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies of the Year by The Silicon Review trade magazine, and under new leadership from CEO John Oechsle, the company anticipates contributing to an electric and low-emissions future with over two million installations to its credit, increasing efficiency and safety for fleets large and small.
In particular, Derive’s VQ Efficiency, Telematics, and Safety products minimize fuel costs, increase safety, and improve fleet productivity by helping fleet vehicles operate at maximum efficiency, saving an average of 6-10% on fuel bills. Other aspects of the VQ suite include idle reduction, speed governors, cell blocking, and seatbelt compliance.
At its heart, Nauto is a safety-first company for fleets. Nauto provides “AI-enabled driver and fleet safety platforms to predict, prevent, and reduce high-risk events” by analyzing over one billion data points and continually updating its AI- and dash cam systems.
Nauto reports an over 80% reduction in fleet accidents with its products by reducing the most common risk factors such as distracted driving, tailgating, speeding, and improper turns. To do so, Nauto uses a dual-facing dash cam to track and detect risk factors inside and outside the vehicle in real time, taking advantage of its 1.3 billion AI-processed driving miles.
Looking ahead, Nauto plans to warn for pedestrian collision, intersection violations, and progressive driver fatigue. “Driver safety and training are the foundation of fleet success,” said Yoav Banin in a recent whitepaper, chief product officer at Nauto, “and we are committed to using data, analytics, and cutting-edge technology to ensure our customers have the best possible solution to improve driver performance.”
5G & Mobile Tech
Unlike the continuous rollback of 5G around major metro airports, the rollout on the ground should only increase the amount of data available to fleets everywhere. While that may cause headaches of its own, fleet managers have an endless array of tools to help them separate the digital wheat from the chaff, paring down the numbers to better protect their vehicles, their drivers, and the services rendered.
Thanks to 5G, more and faster data will be available than ever before, but we’ll also have more tools to sort it, sift through it, filter it, and ultimately increase the ROI of fleet services, investments, and technologies.
Ridecell specializes in fleet automation and mobility by combining data insights with digital/remote vehicle control to turn formerly manual processes into automated workflows.
Ridecell recently announced a partnership with Arval, a European leasing and mobility company. In 2022, the new Arval Car Sharing platform launches in Belgium and then across Europe, offering many value-added services on the back of 5G integration such as mobility and micro-mobility solutions and car sharing in a single mobile app; a decentralized booking system for employees to use company cars without calling their managers; automated fleet workflows for real-time status updates; and even updates on sustainable emissions targets.
“We are helping meet the need for a secure, reliable, and seamless digital and shared mobility solution,” said Aarjav Trivedi, Ridecell founder and CEO, “and together with Arval’s strong fleet capabilities will allow us to solve the toughest mobility challenges for our customers.”
PayByPhone is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Financial Services AG and one of the fastest growing global mobile payment companies. PayByPhone is “available in more than 1,000 cities…and helps millions of customers easily and safely pay for parking without the hassles of coins, lines, or fees.”
And it’s directed at fleets. At the end of 2021, PayByPhone launched its Fleet Parking Management tool in North America, the U.K., and France. Andy Gruber, President and CEO of PayByPhone Technologies, said, “PayByPhone Business is a world-class solution that will help to further shape the mobility landscape by allowing Fleet Management companies to become even smarter and more efficient with their time.”
PayByPhone is scalable and managers can add, remove, and authorize drivers and vehicles all from a single credit account. The app provides maps and nearby parking, texts drivers near the ends of their meters, and allows for additional parking through extend-and-pay features. Anyone who’s used a personal parking app will immediately grasp the implications of a one-size-fits-all parking solution.
No matter the fleet, tech, or services, the simplest solutions are often the best ones, and companies that can simplify fleet operations on a more robust 5G network have much to look forward to in the brave new world and brave new year.