-  Image Credit: CameraCraft

Image Credit: CameraCraft

Moving vehicle keys to the cloud and digitizing access is the first step in a successful digital transformation of your fleet.  

From wallets to hotel keys, what once was a physical card or metal key is now digital. Today, this also applies to vehicles—meaning you no longer need physical keys to unlock or operate them. Cloud-based keyless vehicle access is changing how companies manage vehicles and personnel on daily basis. 

Using this technology, fleets can:

  • Assign or reassign drivers to vehicles and provide instant access from anywhere 
  • Remotely control who can start a vehicle and the areas they access
  • Grant specific access based on roles, scheduled shift changes, or specific geographical areas
  • Set doors to lock automatically as the driver walks away from the vehicle, increasing security of the vehicle and its contents
  • Unlock doors as the driver approaches to increase efficiency and productivity

The intelligence behind keyless technology

Automated keyless entry systems work using radio signals emitted from the vehicle’s security system and the NFC (near-field communication) fob, or the Bluetooth connection from a smart device. Once the driver approaches the vehicle (typically within three to five yards), the vehicle’s security system will send out a short radio signal. If the fob or connected smart device is within the proper range, the doors will unlock.

This technology is gaining industry traction fast—in fact, it's predicted that 7.84 million cars will feature digital keys by 2025. Whether you have a fleet of five small vans, a shared electric fleet, or 1,000 heavy trucks, digital vehicle access can mean major benefits to your daily operations. 

Benefit #1: Security

Vehicle security is a major priority for any fleet-based business. Physical keys can easily get lost or stolen, and cost both time and money to replace. Keyless technology serves as a digital security system that allows drivers to unlock and lock vehicle doors without a traditional key or any form of physical contact. 

In the event a vehicle is stolen, locating a vehicle by manually searching through location history can be challenging and time-consuming. With keyless access deployed across your entire fleet, you can automatically detect if a vehicle is moving and whether an authorized driver is present—and prevent the theft altogether by digitally immobilizing that vehicle.  

Benefit #2: Safety

By leveraging keyless entry, you can safely control the “who, where, and how” of your fleet’s accessibility around the clock. Only the right people with the right access, in the right places with the right digital keys can access a certain vehicle. Access can also be revoked immediately if you are alerted to any suspicious activity, allowing you to easily immobilize vehicles on the spot and alert law enforcement immediately. 

Regular preventative maintenance schedules can also be automated using the right technology solution, keeping vehicles on the road longer, saving time, and reducing unexpected repairs and their associated costs—which improves the overall lifecycle of your fleet. Should an issue with a vehicle be serious enough that it’s unsafe to operate, the scheduled driver can be issued a digital key to a different vehicle, immediately and automatically. 

Benefit #3: Productivity 

The last thing your drivers want to take time to deal with while running from one job to the next is fumbling around for keys while handling a huge delivery load. By leveraging keyless technology, proximity sensors recognize the presence of the driver—once they approach the vehicle, the doors unlock automatically. The doors also lock automatically once they walk away (even if they’re in a rush!), keeping your vehicles safe and secure while employees are busy making your customers happy.

Choosing the right system for your fleet

Keyless vehicle access systems come with many features and capabilities, and are often chosen based on the overall needs and goals of the fleet. A reputable keyless vehicle access system should include multi-door locks, as well as Bluetooth connectivity to a smart device and an alarm system. Also, be sure to spend some time researching different types of keyless access systems to determine which is most compatible with all the vehicles in your fleet—if you are unsure, reach out to the vehicle’s manufacturer for more information.

Having the right fleet automation solution in place provides benefits to everyone involved. Drivers have easy access to the safe and reliable vehicles they need to get their job done. Fleet managers have greater insight into the status and operations of their fleet. And executives are happy with a healthier bottom line.