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In this blog, our founder and CEO, John Cunningham discusses the evolution of telematics and what additional changes he expects to see in the future.
In the beginning of telematics, the focus was on improving fleet management efficiencies. Telematics technology provided location data, helping fleet operators understand where their vehicles were located. The second generation of telematics delivered additional information about the fleet like speed, engine status, and diagnostics to help oversee and maintain the fleet.
Over the years telematics innovations included asset tracking and diagnostic information. The technology was integrated into fleet management software to help fleet operators gain insights about the operations of their multi-use fleets.
Fleet management continued to evolve from tracking one type of vehicle, to managing the complexities of a multi-use fleet, to understanding how the fleet operations fit within the company’s broader business operations. As a result, telematics and fleet management have fully transformed into operations intelligence as customers seek more flexible and scalable solutions that adapt to their business models, giving them a holistic view of their connected fleet, asset, and equipment operations.
Operations intelligence leverages data from across the business ecosystem and mobile workforce, unifies it and delivers insights to decision-makers at all levels of the business. As operations intelligence gains traction, we expect additional changes to occur:
Newer vehicles come equipped with technology from the manufacturers that deliver an abundance of diagnostic, location, and other information. Accordingly, there is less need to install hardware to provide accurate telematics data; however, telematics and fleet management solutions providers still only have access to a fraction of the available data.
As market maturation continues, solutions providers will partner with vehicle, truck, and asset original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to consume a wider range of data directly to vehicle and asset management platforms, using APIs. This extra layer of data will foster even smarter decision-making across the business.
Tracking or monitoring the mobile workforce is an important way to measure employee and operational performance, so data collection and analysis tools are growing in importance. Mobile apps can simplify and automate many tasks that employees in the field regularly perform while feeding data to a central platform for effective workforce management. Having a mobile device for employees to log field information gives a company more insights with which they can make better-informed decisions.
Although vehicles are significantly cleaner than even 10 years ago, they are still one of the leading contributors to air pollution. Fleet operators that understand the data behind their fleet — not just from telematics, but information from the entire supply chain — can take steps to make improvements to decrease idling, improve dispatches, and increase customer satisfaction while also having a positive effect on the environment.
With most data analytics platforms, machine learning has become a tool to help decision-makers determine the most likely outcomes based on current circumstances. With predictive analytics, decision-makers can determine what is the best course of action to achieve a specific outcome. For example, with an operations intelligence platform that has prescriptive analytics capabilities, a fleet operator could optimize their customers’ experiences by using data to match customers with the locations of their field service technicians and their service ratings. Or a preventative maintenance program could be set to optimize performance based on data from routes, fuel costs, operator driving styles, and type of asset.
The future of telematics is connected operations intelligence. The market is evolving from just using telematics to manage the fleet’s operations, toward gathering data and insights from across the ecosystem and mobile workforce to drive smarter decisions to maximize the business operations.
Speak to an expert to learn how our operations intelligence solutions can help you turn your connected multi-use fleet operations into organizational success. Request a demo.