IoT – Why It Will Change Fleet Management.

IoT is the Internet of Things. We are in the midst of a major transformation on how fleet management will change in the future. Devices, sensors and chips will be able to collect and communicate via the Internet and back to a data repository in the cloud. According to BI Intelligence, Transportation and Warehousing is the second largest area of where investment is going to take place behind Manufacturing over the next  five years.


Some of the areas where fleets will benefit from are vehicle diagnostics, driver performance and real time navigation. Information will be the key and analytics will allow for a reduction in outages, improved on time performance and a reduction in claims and accidents.


Vehicle Diagnostics. In the area of vehicle diagnostics, receiving real time meaningful diagnostic information is critical to making a decision to allow the  vehicle to continue to travel, send a vendor out for repairs or shut the vehicle down and have it towed. Engine fault codes were previously binary – pass or fail. If there was a failure an indicator light would go on. It was difficult to determine for the driver how severe the problem was with the vehicle. The worst case scenario is to have vendor dispatched and the vendor determines that the vehicle must be towed. When a vehicle sends a fault code back to the data repository a decision can be made  to allow the driver to continue, dispatch a vendor for repair or send a vendor with a tow truck.  In the future, a firmware upgrade maybe able to fix the problem that would be a temporary fix.


In addition, once notified of a failure, arrangements could be made to have the vehicle serviced when it arrives at destination. Many mid to large trucking companies, purchase multiple units and designate the units into fleets when they purchase vehicles.  By capturing the data real time, a decision can be made to flag the units in the fleets that have the same defective components and establish a campaign to bring the units in for service. OEM manufacturers would be notified and data sent to them to could start performing failure analysis on the affected parts.  Engineering changes could be made quickly to improve the parts in question. A back ground process could be initiated to submit information for warranty claims with the manufacturer. If  the parts have a core charge, those parts could be indentified that a core charge reimbursement is due. Speeding up claims processing and payment.  The maintenance facilities that perform maintenance on the units would be notified of the number of additional parts required. If additional parts are required, OEM’s would fulfill an order for additional replacement parts or components. Omnitracs and Cummins engine recently announced that Connected Diagnostics information will be available to be transmitted over the Omnitracs network.


Driver Performance. In addition to capturing information on vehicle diagnostics, data will be collected on speeding, excessive idling, excessive braking and aggressive driving. This information will be utilized to measure the driver’s performance and also track wear and tear on the vehicle. Alertness-detection systems will monitor the driver for drowsiness and reduce human error. In the event that a vehicle is stolen, the vehicle will be able to be remotely disabled and located via GPS.  Swift Transportation recently announced that it will deploy video recording systems with forward facing and driver facing lens in all company trucks.


Real Time Navigation. Navigation systems will allow for dynamic routing around bad weather and traffic. Routes will be scheduled and updated to avoid bad weather and traffic problems; this information will be continuously updated to the driver. This will result in less time spent in traffic and improve on-time delivery. UPS is aggressively rolling out ORION which is a proprietary routing software that helps drivers select the most efficient route.


If your firm needs assistance with developing an IoT strategy, Logistics Trends Inc. can provide assistance. Please contact us at