Todd, do you expect customer requirements to change in 2016?
In 2016, we expect to see further developments in technology to drive many of our customers’ requirements. For instance, the upcoming changes in certain 2G networks is creating demand for more capacity on 3G and 4G networks. This in turn will provide fleets with increased bandwidth and faster data transfer rates.
Previously customers only utilised GPS tracking; however they will access areas of real-time driver safety coaching, improved transparency over vehicle maintenance, video functions, and other productivity tools.
With this level of bandwidth being placed in the field at the point of each vehicle, drivers can turn into mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. The telematics device serves as the hotspot, using its 3G or 4G connection so that a driver or field worker can use mobile devices and ensure online connectivity when at a job site or going out on a service call.
Another area that we are seeing a significant change is the move from manual time sheets to automated timecards with time stamping. This is a function that gives time back into the business and management can track more than just hours worked in the day. A report can show the hours a vehicle is in operation, daily start and finish times, average hours and weekly totals. All this is contributing to the smooth running of the customer’s fleet while reducing overtime fraud and vehicle misuse.
What were the big developments for telematics in 2015?
Australia is a sophisticated market for fleet based businesses where telematics has made managing vehicles simpler by integrating routing, geo-fencing, navigation, two-way communications, vehicle diagnostics, and many other features that provide critical data about vehicles and drivers.
Progress for the industry has focused on improving efficiency and introducing more intuitive software to improve business practices and save money. We have seen developments vary from the introduction of fuel card integration to the increase of safety of drivers and vehicles.
The integration of fuel card data with telematics system enables an easy and cost-effective way to reduce fuel costs and boost productivity. Customers are able to see exactly how much fuel is being lost over a selected period of time.
Safety on the job, regardless of company size, is critical and should be instilled as a mandatory practice, especially for businesses with fleets. Many businesses often lack the resources for adequate supervision of employees, dedicated safety directors or fleet managers. Vehicle, or more specifically, driver monitoring can help identify problem areas using data and efficient reporting tools.
In just a few weeks, fleet management solutions can have a positive impact on driver behaviour and decrease the number of safety incidents that occur.
Which kind of businesses use telematics?
There are many industries that use telematics, and all fleet businesses can benefit. Any business that operates a fleet needs insight into the movement of their vehicles throughout the day in order to manage the cost, safety and efficiency of their team. These include those in service industries, courier businesses, limousine drivers and logistics.
Are telematics more popular with small, medium, or large businesses?
Telematics can give businesses of all sizes the critical visibility into the field to better manage their remote work force. Whether you’re a small business with a five trucks or a larger enterprise with 100 vehicles in your fleet, the ability to see what’s happening with your vehicles and field workers can help business owners make better decisions and deliver improved customer service, better operational efficiency, and drive valuable savings to the bottom line.