IoT In Fleet Management: The Past, Present And Future

Frustratingly, fleet managers and business owners spend a huge sum of money, time, and resources to effectively manage the fleet assets and ensure that they meet all the safety standards and operate at the desired performance levels. This article discusses how IoT in fleet management helps meet all objectives in the industry and the main IoT use cases that come in handy for operating and managing fleets.

Published 13 Oct 2022Updated 22 Jun 2023

Table of Content

  • IoT In fleet management: A boon?
    • How IoT is transforming fleet management
      • 1. Advanced Telematics:
        • 2. Predictive Maintenance:
          • 3. Autonomous Vehicle Integration:
            • 4. Data Analytics and AI:
              • 5. Integration with Supply Chain Management:
              • How does IoT work for fleet management?
                • 1. Protection
                  • 2. Visualization
                    • 3. Cost optimization
                      • 4. Cloud connectivity
                        • 5. Enhanced productivity
                        • Use cases of how IoT can help in fleet management
                          • 1. Cargo management
                            • 2. Fleet maintenance
                              • 3. Driver management
                                • 4. Vehicle monitoring
                                  • 5. Passenger information
                                    • 6. Insurance company management
                                      • 7. Advertising of vehicle infotainment systems
                                      • Applications of IoT in fleet management
                                        • 1. AI-enabled fleet monitoring solutions
                                          • 2. Optical sensors and cameras
                                            • 3. Real-time video monitoring
                                            • Monitoring fleet operations in real-time 
                                              • 1. Real-time geolocation tracking
                                                • 2. Historical location tracking
                                                • How companies benefit from IoT-based fleet management solutions
                                                  • IoT digitalizes the future of fleet management
                                                    • Over to you

                                                      Unless you have been living under a rock, you will agree the Internet of Things is a disruptive technology that can convert every industry's operational capabilities into an efficient one. The IoT-based fleet management, in particular, helps businesses run their transportation system with complete control, with numerous vehicles running simultaneously.

                                                      You see, fleet management is a critical process for logistics and supply chain businesses. Unfortunately, it becomes highly complicated with vehicles of varying make and capacity participating in the operations.

                                                      No wonder key challenges of fleet management include maintaining accurate records of vehicle location and health along with scheduling and routing vehicles to optimize efficiency. Besides tracking fuel usage and expenses, businesses must ensure vehicle and driver safety and compliance with government regulations.

                                                      IoT In fleet management: A boon?

                                                      The role of IoT in fleet management is to provide real-time information about the location and status of vehicles. IoT helps in addressing fleet management challenges by providing data related to fuel usage, expenses, and traffic conditions. The information can optimize schedules, select routes, monitor driving habits, minimize fuel consumption, and improve safety.

                                                      For instance, a fleet manager can use IoT data to identify areas where vehicles spend too much time idling or driving below the speed limit and make appropriate adjustments to improve efficiency. The main uses of IoT include reducing expenses, making operations faster, and ensuring efficient solutions for different scenarios.

                                                      Fleet management is mainly required in industries that depend on transportation such as food delivery and logistics. With the growing user demand and fast service expectations, it becomes difficult to manage everything manually. IoT uses sensors, data analytics, visualization tools, and learning algorithms to make fleet management flexible and transparent.

                                                      How IoT is transforming fleet management

                                                      The Internet of Things is reshaping fleet management and is essential to improving operational effectiveness and maximizing resource use. IoT technology lets Fleet managers get real-time information on vehicle location, performance, and environmental factors. Thanks to this plethora of information, they can make data-driven decisions, optimize processes, and boost fleet performance.

                                                      IoT-enabled fleet management has recently seen the following advances and improvements:

                                                      1. Advanced Telematics:

                                                      Telematics solutions built on the Internet of Things offer deeper insights into vehicle performance and driver behavior. Modern sensors and connectivity technologies gather and send information about things like fuel usage, engine health, braking patterns, and acceleration. Fleet managers can use this information to discover maintenance issues, improve fuel efficiency, and promote safe driving habits.

                                                      2. Predictive Maintenance:

                                                      The Internet of Things (IoT) enables predictive maintenance operations by continuously monitoring the components and systems of moving vehicles. Thanks to embedded sensors and connections, key indicators like engine health, tyre pressure, and battery level can be remotely monitored. Fleet managers can reduce repair costs and avoid unplanned downtime by actively scheduling maintenance when potential issues are discovered early.

                                                      3. Autonomous Vehicle Integration:

                                                      Fleet management of autonomous vehicles requires IoT. IoT technology is required for autonomous vehicles to communicate with the environment, other vehicles, and centralised fleet management systems. Autonomous, safer, and more efficient operations are eventually made possible by the seamless coordination, data exchange, and fleet optimisation made possible by this connectivity.

                                                      4. Data Analytics and AI:

                                                      Strong analytics and AI capabilities are required to derive usable insights from the enormous amounts of data generated by IoT devices in fleet management. Fleet managers can use data analytics tools to monitor the efficiency of their drivers and vehicles, identify trends, and tweak their schedules and routes. Additionally, Artificial Intelligence systems may assess historical data to foresee the need for repairs, maximize fuel efficiency, and enhance fleet operations.

                                                      5. Integration with Supply Chain Management:

                                                      IoT-enabled fleet management solutions are increasingly integrated with supply chain management systems. This connection's end-to-end visibility allows fleet managers to monitor and manage the movement of commodities from the point of origin to the final destination. Real-time data transfer across systems for fleet management and supply chains facilitates planning, scheduling, and inventory management.

                                                      How does IoT work for fleet management?

                                                      IoT-powered fleet management systems share data between fleet managers and vehicles to improve visibility, productivity, and maintenance. Telematics service providers, insurance companies, service shops, and passengers benefit from higher maintenance efficiency, reduced costs, and more services. IoT typically works on five critical components of fleet management, namely:

                                                      1. Protection

                                                      IoT solutions can update the concerned person immediately for any minor technical glitch or any emergency. An issue can be solved before it gets more complicated.

                                                      2. Visualization

                                                      With IoT, drivers and managers can stay connected throughout the process so a driver can get a quick backup if required. Also, the manager can keep an eye on the fleet's condition.

                                                      3. Cost optimization

                                                      With IoT, it is easier to track the fleet regularly. Gradually, more time and resources can be saved.

                                                      4. Cloud connectivity

                                                      IoT enables cost-effectiveness and fast data processing as all the applications are connected through the cloud. Also, there is enough memory to compute such extensive data simultaneously.

                                                      5. Enhanced productivity

                                                      Fleet managers can utilize real-time updates from sensors in the fleet for strategic decision-making. IoT Data analytics allows them to optimize routes and achieve more even with reduced working hours.

                                                      Use cases of how IoT can help in fleet management

                                                      When the potential of IoT was unraveled a few years ago, fleet managers worldwide were filled with enthusiasm - at least those wanting to take their business to the next level. Naturally, new age innovations triggered an unprecedented transformation in the fleet management industry.

                                                      Use cases of IoT in Fleet Management

                                                      IoT sensors, actuators, smart devices, and more - powered by IoT - have proved to be great pioneers of growth for fleet managers. Research shows that the global IoT fleet management market revenue is expected to touch $15,500 million by the end of 2024, which was merely $3,250 million in 2016!

                                                      That is a huge leap in just eight years. This also proves that the growth prospects of IoT are high and fleet managers are steadily adopting the technology. Let us study how:

                                                      1. Cargo management

                                                      The embedded IoT-powered sensors help ensure the security of cargo during transport. IoT helps in controlling temperature for preserving perishable goods and medicines. It is also helpful in monitoring the cargo in case of theft. Vibration sensors ensure fragile items reach the destination in proper condition. 

                                                      2. Fleet maintenance

                                                      The inbuilt sensors and predictive maintenance platforms can detect any issues with a vehicle. The data gathered can be processed and analyzed to prevent future mishaps through continuous monitoring.

                                                      3. Driver management

                                                      Superior technologies such as blind-spot help and backup cameras can alert drivers and recommend them when rest is needed. The obtained video data can be stored for future reference. Installing cameras in the cabin allows managers to monitor driver behavior, such as drinking, sickness, or drowsiness.

                                                      4. Vehicle monitoring

                                                      The cameras and the inbuilt sensors help provide a clear view of the surroundings, ensuring the safety of vehicles. The IoT-based fleet management solution generates real-time updates of pedestrians, infrastructure, and other nearby objects. It also notifies the battery life and scheduled maintenance to alert the driver and prevent accidents.

                                                      5. Passenger information

                                                      Passenger information systems help in streamlining passenger interactions. It provides services such as paperless ticketing and WiFi to deliver helpful information about routes and services. Video feed helps gather data about passengers and defaulters. On the other hand, telematics can determine when in-cabin parts, such as handles or seats need replacement or repair.

                                                      6. Insurance company management

                                                      When vehicles get fewer accidents, insurance companies have to pay fewer claims. They also benefit by using telematics data to develop more thorough summaries for their underwriters.

                                                      7. Advertising of vehicle infotainment systems

                                                      Commercial vehicle infotainment systems can recommend relevant products or destinations contributing to efficient fleet management.

                                                      Applications of IoT in fleet management

                                                      From better rider experience to cost savings for insurance companies, IoT offers various stakeholders benefits beyond regular fleet management.

                                                      Applications of IoT in Fleet Management

                                                      Whether enhancing fleet management or undertaking predictive maintenance, fleet managers can feel more confident with tools that help protect and manage their assets, vehicles, and employees. That is everything they want! Adding to that thought, here are the typical applications of IoT in fleet management:

                                                      1. AI-enabled fleet monitoring solutions

                                                      They provide a unified system to configure and interact with different devices on board without going back and forth between applications.

                                                      By using a unified system of live videos, fleet GPS tracking localization, and vehicle telematics, they offer a safe journey for customers using the suitable systems for efficient operations. IoT can also track driver behavior and performance, including speed and timing.

                                                      2. Optical sensors and cameras

                                                      Vision-based solutions use optical sensors and cameras to provide real-time and accurate updates for asset security and vehicle operation. They help vehicles avoid accidents and prevent theft by using deep learning models, detecting people in proximity. The reports are synced to a cloud-based portal for future references and analysis in case of accidents.

                                                      3. Real-time video monitoring

                                                      There are also systems with real-time video monitoring, recording, alarm notification, and video playback. They provide driver visual assistance that detects crowds and traffic for an efficient driving route. Assisting the driver in real-time, the solution helps avoid driver fatigue. It is also used for driver distraction monitoring and blind spot monitoring.

                                                      Its onboard surveillance system enhances the safety of vehicles and facilitates robust vehicle tracking. Along with AI functions, the system uses a sensor that triggers an alarm to avoid accidents.

                                                      Monitoring fleet operations in real-time 

                                                      Fleet managers must constantly monitor their vehicles and drivers. IoT helps them ensure that their fleet is operating safely and efficiently. By using IoT devices and software, you can collect IoT data in the following ways:

                                                      1. Real-time geolocation tracking

                                                      Real Time Geolocation Tracking

                                                      One of the most critical aspects of fleet management is ensuring that vehicles are being used efficiently and that the drivers follow the designated routes.

                                                      Real-time geolocation tracking allows managers to see the location of all vehicles in real-time so that they can make more informed decisions about routing and dispatch. The technology can also track driver behavior, such as speeding or sudden braking, which can help improve customer and vehicle safety and reduce fuel costs.

                                                      2. Historical location tracking

                                                      Historical Location Tracking

                                                      It is a process that records the past locations of tracked assets. By tracking asset history, businesses can suggest optimal routes for their fleets. For example, by tracking the location of a delivery truck, a business can see how long it took to make specific deliveries and plan future deliveries accordingly.

                                                      Historical location data can also generate business intelligence reports about vehicle usage. This information can be used to decide future fleet purchases and employee scheduling.

                                                      How companies benefit from IoT-based fleet management solutions

                                                      IoT in fleet management helps improve manageability, savings, and visibility in cargo and passenger-load vehicles. The latest IoT-enabled systems benefit fleet managers and drivers, passengers, insurers, and advertisers - as seen previously. Here is how companies can conveniently benefit from IoT:

                                                      • IoT-based fleet management software solutions are beneficial for protecting the fleets and increasing the overall efficiency of the vehicles.

                                                      • The system safeguards and monitors the overall condition of all vehicles in the fleet.

                                                      • IoT helps achieve fuel efficiency and maintain engine health. Moreover, the system enhances the total visibility of the vehicles with the help of data analysis and tracking.

                                                      • With the help of telematics installed on fleets, you can track down the latest GPS location and recent fleet activities in real-time.

                                                      • In case of any mishap like a crash or an accident, IoT-integrated hardware attached to the engine's module directly sends distress information to the control center for help.

                                                      • IoT solutions improve security by installing various cameras and sensors across the vessel. In case of any breakdown, IoT also informs the nearest tow station for backup.

                                                      IoT In Predictive Maintenance: What To Know

                                                      Learn More

                                                      IoT digitalizes the future of fleet management

                                                      Businesses have been using fleet management for years to improve their operations, but with the advent of IoT, digitalization is becoming an essential part of fleet management.

                                                      With IoT, businesses can connect their vehicles to the internet and track their location and performance in real time. Digitalization makes it easier for companies to share data between vehicles and back-end systems.

                                                      Indeed, IoT digitalizes the entire fleet management solution and improves its efficiency. IoT-based sensors and cameras installed throughout the fleet help monitor the crew's activities during cargo transit.

                                                      Moreover, the sensors come with telematic solutions and help in data acquisitions, identifying faults, and automatically generating maintenance alerts. GPS is a real boon in the fleet industry. It helps in trailing and monitoring the vehicles' current speed, present location, intended destination, and so on.

                                                      In addition, an automated vehicle management system enhances the safety of the cargo, vehicles, and drivers. It makes the fleet management system smarter even without human intervention.

                                                      Furthermore, onboard diagnostics supply vital information. The OBD sensors collect and convey analytic data on various sensible parameters, including fuel consumption, braking system, tailgating alerts, pressure, and so on.

                                                      RFID is capable of swift data transfer, stock monitoring, and security purposes, thereby increasing the overall security and accuracy in general. Overall, IoT in fleet management makes operations more efficient, effective, and accurate.

                                                      Over to you

                                                      IoT is not some fantasy that is still in the works. It is very much our reality. According to Statista, more than 75 billion IoT-connected devices will be in use. This only shows how the world around us is moving towards pervasive connectivity. Undoubtedly, it has also become the backbone of the fleet management industry among other sectors.

                                                      Fleet managers and business owners want to feel more confident about having an IoT-powered solution that makes them do their job efficiently. If you are looking for an IoT solution for your fleet, look no further.

                                                      We have previously worked on many projects in the logistics and supply chain sectors and can help you build a device you are proud of. All you have to do is drop your details here to kickstart your IoT application development project.

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