Managing a commercial vehicle fleet is growing ever more challenging. Fleet managers must grapple with fluctuating fuel costs, vehicle maintenance cycles, and the balance between driver performance and driver safety, all while being buffeted with more regulations. Meanwhile, new technology and increasing demand for time-sensitive deliveries are forcing fleet managers to up their game.
Fortunately HERE is able to help.
It’s no secret that fresh, accurate maps are core components of fleet management solutions. Locating drivers, visualizing a vehicle’s position and generating truck-specific routes already help companies reduce delivery times, fuel costs and optimize many other parameters of their fleet.
“HERE is already a key supplier of location services for trucking and fleet management,” says Jussi Koski, who heads our Enterprise Platform Products.
“We’re one of the only companies that has collected dedicated road attributes for trucks, and they are now intelligently integrated into our HERE Platform services. This means commercial navigation systems using our location services can optimize driving routes based on truck restrictions, depending, for instance, on height and weight of the vehicle or whether hazardous goods are being transported.”
Another example is package delivery services. Some of the largest eCommerce companies are offering Sunday delivery or same-day deliveries. This means delivery people are being asked more and more to make stops outside of their typical weekday routing schemes. HERE partners with many route optimization software companies, which use our high-performance geocoding and reliable routing services to accurately pinpoint locations on the map and create the most efficient routes and delivery order sequences for drivers to handle the extra work.
Moving from “Where” to “How”
Now, HERE is helping fleet managers not only answer where their vehicles are and where they are going, but also “how” they are getting there – whether it’s how to plan better routes that account for traffic conditions, black spots and toll costs or to learn how safely operators are driving.
The proliferation of smart mobile devices is having a profound impact on how companies interact with their fleet. Companies and fleet management system providers are creating apps that allow two-way communication, letting drivers relay information from the field and the base station to push out important updates, like new deliveries or work assignments, all in real time.
“We understand how important it is for companies to layer our information into programs and apps that are accessible from a mobile device so we also offer many of our map components to developers via our Mobile SDK” continues Jussi. “Our Mobile SDKs can power Android and iOS native mobile enterprise applications and are unique in that they have truly offline capabilities, like routing and location search, without a data connection.”
Mobile connectivity also means that fleet management systems can capture and analyze enormous amounts of data from the field. When this data is contextualized with map and location information, fleet managers have an increasingly powerful way to maximize efficiencies.
So fleet managers can not only address the perennial concern of reducing their costs, but also to improve safety, better manage drivers, boost overall productivity and make their fleets more sustainable.
Safety: HERE information can show fleet managers whether their vehicles are being driven safely, or risks are being taken by driving too quickly for the specific roads in use.
Productivity and lower costs: “One of our recent platform extensions computes all the toll costs along a given route so fleet managers can identify the best routes,” says Jussi , “HERE is soon going to offer also waypoint sequencing services so companies can calculate the best route for one vehicle to travel to all locations they need to visit in a given work period.”
Sustainability: The same driver management solutions for improving safety and overall efficiency can also support a company’s “eco-driving” initiatives, such as reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Using precise attributes like those available from HERE, including road curvature and slope, companies can create smarter, more fuel-efficient routes that support eco-driving initiatives.
According to industry reports, a well-implemented fleet management system combined with driver training can save between 6 to 15 percent of the fuel costs and reduce accidents. Yet, the number of fleets actively using these systems is relatively small, roughly 15 percent, and the number of fleets using those systems for more advanced services, such as two-way communication with drivers or integration with an internal IT system, is even smaller.
“There is such huge potential for companies to harness the power of the information coming directly from their fleet,” Jussi concludes. “When that data is contextualized with the help of mapping technology and location services, businesses can make smarter decisions about their daily operations.”
Image credit: Dudarev Mikhail (Shutterstock)