Top fleets know that it's not about where you've been; it's about where you're going. The market is changing rapidly and it's vital for managers to know what's coming next and how to stay competitive.

Maintenance Programs are Embracing Automation

Advancements in built-in monitoring systems are giving fleet managers increased visibility into vehicle health. With early warning signs of trouble — such as overheating, electrical faults, low fluids or low oil — fleet managers are able to improve maintenance efficiency, lower diagnostic costs, avoid major breakdowns and reduce downtime, saving the company significant dollars.

Self-Driving Vehicles are Coming

We’ve already seen a huge amount of interest in autonomous, self-driving vehicles. Several of the world’s largest tech firms as well as many of the biggest car makers — GM, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz — have invested millions in this space.

And, research and development continues in Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which is a vital part of improving the infrastructure these vehicles will need.

More Compliance Requirements

Increased regulation will hit businesses hard, particularly those not prepared for the technology transformation that comes with many of these new mandates. The big one for many fleets will be the change to electronic logging devices (ELDs), due in December. Carriers transporting food products will also need to comply with updates to the FSMA, utilizing temperature monitoring technology to improve safety.

Other reforms are coming, many of which are also safety-related, including new rules around driver training, screening, speeding, and the CSA’s Safety Fitness Determination (SFD).

OEM Telematics Continue to Grow

OEM telematics isn’t new. Back in 2011, Telogis partnered with Ford to develop telematics software. However, in 2017, more manufacturers will be offering built-in telematics hardware, and for a growing range of vehicles, like the recently released line of passenger electric vehicles (EV) by Nissan in Europe.

The real advantage is going to be for fleet owner, who now can look forward to easier deployment of fleet management software solutions, Wi-Fi hotspot options, and richer diagnostic data.

The Internet of Things Meets Vehicles

This field of research has already advanced the development of autonomous cars. This year, the internet of things will boost growth in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity.

This growth will have valuable benefits for mobile workforces, particularly those in field service industries such as plumbing, pest control, landscaping, and delivery services. As the vehicles we drive get smarter, we will see previously labor intensive or manual processes continue to become automated while efficiency increases in asset utilization.

About the author: Kelly Frey is the VP of product marketing for Telogis.