Running a fleet of vehicles is more than a little challenging today, so anything that helps create an edge over your competition must be considered or monitored to determine the best time to take it onboard.
Technology is going to play a major part in taking fleet operations forward in the coming years as the challenges of moving goods around, locally, nationally and internationally continue to grow. The fact is the world is getting smaller as it becomes easier to sell across borders and reach new markets.
Fleet Operations Today
5 Reasons to use Fleet Management Software
Using fleet management software is building knowledge that will help autonomous vehicles of the future in optimising every aspect of product movement.
Today the software can bring various benefits such as:
- Improved Time Management – knowing where vehicles are, improved timings, scheduling maintenance, driver work load, Can all be optimised in real time, delivering savings and improved customer service.
- Fuel Efficiency – when routes and timings are optimised, fuel economies will follow. Fuel is a major cost to any fleet business, so having more control and making greater fuel saving can greatly impact running costs.
- Customer Service – being able to better identify arrival times, will reduce issues of chasing delivery times and it can also mean optimising routes when traffic situations determine a change will result in more deliveries that day.
- Less Stressed Employees – the more accurate the data, the easier it is to answer customer questions, both in planning new collections and deliveries and in determining when it will arrive. Not only does this make it easier, but the time saved means employees get more done, making them more efficient and it takes no more effort.
- Operational Costs – when you combine all the above, time and money are clearly saved.
On top of this it can reduce insurance, preventative maintenance costs which in turn reduces incidents that can cost money, such as breakdowns. Profit in your Fleet business is the life blood, so the choice is not so much should I or shouldn’t I, but which system should we employ.
FORS or Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme
FORS encompasses all aspects of safety, efficiency, and environmental protection by encouraging and training fleet operators to measure, monitor and improve performance.
They have 5 key benefits of accreditation which are:
- Stand Out from the Crowd – knowing a company operates to certain levels of responsible, provides confidence
- Improve your Road Safety Record – professional training for managers and drivers
- Reduce Fuel Consumption – training to promote more defensive and economical driving
- Reduce Fines – PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) toolkit
- Greater Industry ‘Know How’ and Networking Opportunities – including e-news and monthly training
Download their pdf for more info on the five reasons
Tomorrow’s Fleet Management
Unless you’ve been living under a stone for the last few years you will be very aware of all the talk of autonomous vehicles, especially the work Volvo has been doing.
In general trucks are being developed for greater efficiency and although we’re still quite a few years away from the reality of autonomous trucks on the roads, making more efficient trucks is still high on the agenda, because it doesn’t matter if they are driven by a human or not, it will still take energy to move them, so the more efficient the more economic.
Artificial Intelligence and Transportation
It’s not just the haulage part of the journey that’s being affected. Warehousing is going the same way, where large volumes of products are now stored and selected by robots for shipping. Although not fully automated, it’s clearly moving that way – see how close the new Amazon warehouse is to full automation:
Amazons Fulfilment centre which a large amount is automated.
AI from Start to Finish:
It’s only a matter of time before the automated production, to shipment, to warehouse, to packing and transporting to the final location without being touched by human hands becomes a reality. For many younger people of today it will become a normal part of life.
The Drone Delivery System
To some this may seem crazy and most of us can come up with many obstacles to its success, but the fact is, some sort of delivery mechanism will come in to being for the final step, in delivering to our door.
It may be a van that drives down the road and has drones flying from it, making the final part of the journey or perhaps it wiil be Amazon’s unmanned airship that uses drones to drop off, as it flies over.
Artificial Intelligence company Nvidia is working with Uber and Volkswagen to join the race of companies developing autonomous vehicles.
Apple has released a paper on self-drive car technology that better spots cyclists and pedestrians using fewer sensors, which shows they clearly have some interest in this market.
The Speed of Change to Speed Up!
Archaic infrastructure will slow some technology from coming into mainstream, such as the state of some of our roads, but it won’t stop it. As we become used to new ways of receiving goods, the speed of change will grow.
By 2050 the world we live in will probably be difficult to identify with the one we live in today and children born then, will probably laugh at the idea of vehicles that you have to drive yourself! Many of the children being born today will probably never have a driving license.