What Are IoT-Based Fleet Management and Telematics?
IoT is playing a key role in offering fleet managers, logistics operators, and drivers the ability to make informed, near-real-time decisions. This is possible by collecting and analyzing more data as it is being generated, referred to as processing data at the edge. Network connectivity via IoT-enabled devices that have built-in processor capabilities provides the connection between the vehicle, the cloud, and the fleet manager.
For example, edge-enabled IoT telematics solutions can collect, store, and analyze vehicle and roadway condition data from GPS technology, artificial intelligence (AI)–enabled technologies for computer vision, and onboard diagnostics. Providing this data to fleet owners and managers can help them to monitor vehicle maintenance, driver operation, and cargo management.
Additionally, once collected, the data can be uploaded to the cloud for both global access and analysis, including trend identification and predictive projections. This level of information visibility can be used to improve operations, manageability, and sustainability.
Use cases for IoT-enabled telematics for fleet management include:
- Fleet predictive maintenance
- Asset and cargo management and optimization
- Fuel management
- Route planning
- Internal and external vehicle monitoring for theft prevention and cargo hold security
- Driver safety and behavior
- Passenger safety and onboarding
- Passenger counting, ticketing, and seating
- Risk management
- Waste reduction
- Service efficiency
- Work zone analytics
- Road asset management
Unique Challenges and Opportunities for Fleet Management
A large amount of data needs to be collected for optimal fleet management, from fuel consumption, maintenance frequency, and engine diagnostic codes to delivery ETAs, vehicle location and driver performance monitoring information, and in-vehicle passenger count.
Traditional telematics solutions for capturing this information included a dongle connected to multiple disparate system devices to capture a limited set of information, including GPS, routing, and fuel consumption data. With multiple independent data sets that had to be collected and aggregated before being analyzed, fleet managers could not get the visibility or information needed for effective decision-making until after the fact. Additionally, each independent point solution and system was vulnerable to potential security risks, and each device required its own power supply.
Today, advancements in technology, analytic insights, and AI, along with the increase in e-commerce adoption, are driving digitalization of the fleet. This means transitioning from multiple independent data collection systems to robust single in-vehicle computers that can consolidate data from these disparate systems, process it in near-real time, and transmit it to the cloud for storage and trend analysis.
This consolidation of data and the ability to process it all on one device mean these powerful, central in-vehicle computers can monitor more data points and analyze more complex situations more quickly while displaying the results in a single dashboard, including video, road conditions, and cargo management information. Access to this level of advanced telematics enables fleet managers to assist with problem-solving, driver guidance, and decision-making in the moment.
Preparing for the Future
The increasing sophistication of consumers, continued obstacles in the wake of the global pandemic, and growing populations in the world’s urban centers will continue to pose significant and meaningful challenges for operators across several industries.
Across the world, government leaders at all levels, together with private and public companies, are turning to IoT and AI technologies to keep pace with the demands of our connected global economy and address today’s transportation challenges.
In addition to the immediate operational and business benefits that IoT-enabled fleet management solutions offer, fleet digitalization can help fleet managers, logistics operators, and drivers be prepared to respond to the outcomes of global trends and initiatives.
For example, worldwide efforts underway to modernize infrastructure, through the integration of IoT and information and communications technology with physical infrastructure, will establish a foundation from which communities, cities, and governments can create a more sustainable, affordable, safe, and equitable world. The outcomes of these initiatives to build equity in transportation, boost economic growth, and support climate responsibility will have a direct impact on transportation fleets and drive the need for smarter fleet solutions. Fleets can use funding from these new legislations to digitize, and thereby futureproof, their fleet.
Additionally, global urbanization and population growth is projected to increase by 23 percent by 2050, adding an estimated additional 2.5 billion people to urban areas during that time1 and doubling the demand for passenger mobility.2 This growth will be accompanied by an increased investment in construction around the globe. In response, cities are similarly integrating IoT and information and communications technology into existing infrastructure to address public safety, traffic congestion, and environmental impact to improve the quality of life for their citizens.
The sum of such changes means more data will be available and necessary for decision-making than ever before. Converging IT workloads by combining data inputs into a single in-vehicle dashboard enables fleet managers and drivers to streamline their communications and ability to act on insights.
As cities expand, global supply chains become more complex, and commerce increases to meet demand. For example, shipments of US goods are projected to grow by 45 percent by 2040.3 Maintaining today’s supply-based economy, with the complexity and diversity of supply chain risks, requires smart management tools for agility in predicting and responding to dynamic marketplace needs.4
Fleet operators will need greater flexibility to meet the changing demands of customers and to adapt in near-real time to weather conditions, traffic disruptions, and other events. For fleet managers, using technology, connected devices, and harnessing the power of captured data in an economical way can transform the business. Information based in near-real-time analytics allows organizations to make better decisions, delivering greater value for passengers, customers, and employees.
Altogether, modernizing fleet vehicles today will enable seamless integration with the new, digitally enabled infrastructure of tomorrow, as well as help prepare to meet emerging requirements and regulations.
Benefits of IoT-Enabled Fleet Management Systems
IoT for fleet management can help improve cost savings, manageability, and visibility in passenger-load and cargo vehicles. Intel-powered technologies and market-ready partner solutions can capture telematics data across a diverse ﬂeet of vehicle types and models. The latest IoT-enabled telematics benefit not only fleet managers, logistics operators, and drivers but also passengers and end customers through efficient performance and improved customer experiences.
- Improved safety. Driver, passenger, and cargo safety can be improved by using near-real-time computer vision systems inside and around the vehicle. Collected data may also help to achieve compliance with safety requirements. Vehicle operation and interaction are supported, as in the case of public bus cameras and back of semitruck cameras, for inventory loss reduction and risk management. Blind spot detection technologies can help mitigate collision and accident risks. AI solutions can detect the presence of people and other vehicles, as well as the proper use of protective gear on construction sites. Video feeds can be stored for driver coaching or in case of an accident or litigation. Drivers can also use video to be more aware of cargo conditions during transit.
- Cost savings and efficiency. When telematics predicts ﬂeet maintenance needs, managers and operators can proactively service, fix, or replace parts before problems get more extensive. Optimized route efficiency and cargo utilization management can help to reduce fuel consumption and idle time. Managers may also see a decrease in accidents and theft, which can reduce costs associated with vehicle downtime and repairs or cargo losses. Heavy machine equipment usage can be properly allocated thanks to waste reduction solutions.
- Expanded connectivity. Having an onboard IoT-enabled device means having options for powerful, fast, and reliable connectivity, including 5G, Wi-Fi, or Intel FlexRAN™, a single gateway that supports multiple connectivity options. While connectivity is not required for all use cases, the in-vehicle capability means fleet managers have communications and visibility when needed. Onboard connectivity also enables data analysis to happen in the vehicle, reducing latency issues so fleet managers can monitor drivers and vehicle usage, make decisions, give feedback, and provide direction in near-real time. With passenger-load vehicle fleets, technology allows a more accurate passenger count, in-vehicle monitoring, streamlined or contactless ticketing systems, and Wi-Fi access for customers.
- Increased sustainability. IoT-enabled, in-vehicle devices can outlive a specific vehicle and even type of vehicle, as these devices are reusable. This also increases return on investment over time. Additionally, the consistent monitoring of fuel consumption helps manage fuel usage, reducing the carbon footprint of the vehicle.
Read our Intel® eBook on Empowering the Mobility Fleet of Tomorrow to learn more about the positive outcomes transportation leaders are achieving with IoT solutions for fleet management and telematics.
Technology Solutions That Can Help Drive Fleet Efficiency
Fleet managers can help improve operations, connectivity, security, efficiency, and management while keeping costs low with Intel-powered fleet management solutions designed for application across use cases for any vehicle type.
Intel and our partners have developed a full portfolio of products—including hardware, software, development tools, and deployment-ready solutions—to help you accelerate your path to realizing the benefits of IoT for fleet management and telematics.
Intel-Based Solutions for Public Transit
As cities grow in size and complexity, public transportation solutions require a more strategic approach. IoT technology systems that help to provide actionable insights from vehicle data can help to empower public transit fleets with new capabilities that will transform the transportation experience. Below are some of the proven solutions you may want to explore.
- Advantech: Advantech’s eBus TREK solutions feature an in-vehicle system that can be used for driver monitoring, blind spot detection, front vehicle distance detection and lane departure, driver fatigue warnings, and more.
- Passengera: The Passengera fleet connectivity and infotainment solution enables buses and railways with in-vehicle Wi-Fi, integrated GPS, onboard modular software platforms, and centralized management suites to help improve data and vehicle management.
- Genetec: The Genetec Security Center Omnicast in-bus solution enables real-time video monitoring, centralized evidence storage, and GPS bus location.
These and similar Intel-powered solutions are paving the way for smart cities to improve public transportation by combining digital technology with their legacy infrastructure. For example, the Chicago Transit Authority installed and integrated new edge-enabled IoT technology with existing fare systems and onboard video feeds to deliver a faster, smoother, and safer rider experience.
Intel-Based Solutions for Cargo Fleets
Intel-based solutions can be customized to meet specific fleet needs, such as passenger communication systems and multisystem support. These solutions extend to warehouses and distribution centers by supporting autonomous forklifts, cargo measurement, inventory shelf monitoring, and much more. The following are examples of the types of solutions available to fleet managers and operators.
- EverFocus: The EverFocus Driving Vision Assistance solution harnesses the power of AI functions for multisystem integration to provide real-time vehicle monitoring, driver fatigue and distraction monitoring, blind spot event recording, and the ability to send data to back-end servers or the cloud through wireless networks to help ensure data security.
- Advantech: The Advantech TREK-773 is a mobile data terminal that allows vehicle drivers to communicate with dispatch offices, receive and display mapping information for delivery routes, monitor driver behavior, and streamline workflow with live notifications and alerts.
With Intel-powered solutions that support the entire delivery chain, fleet managers can gain insight into how their fleet is performing and operating and make key decisions to improve their fleet operations.
For example, China’s Yunda Express used Intel® technologies to develop and deploy high-efficiency AI applications to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their delivery logistics system.
Intel-Based Solutions for Heavy Equipment
Heavy machinery equipment has specific needs to support operator and vehicle safety. Following are examples of Intel-based solutions designed for heavy machinery equipment.
- LivNSense: The LivNSense Vision-Based Intelligent Collision Avoidance and Safety System, or LivNSense ViCAS, enables human, vehicle, and object detection capabilities within blind zones and breach detection for improved security, increased productivity, and a streamlined workflow.
- Lanner Electronics Inc.: To help with predictive maintenance, Lanner Electronics Inc. worked with Intel to develop the V6S 10-Port PoE Fanless Vehicle NVR. This single open platform runs multiple workloads, allowing access to cameras, sensors, and other devices. By converging workloads, managers can easily deploy predictive maintenance applications and reduce service repair costs.
- Kontron: Kontron offers in-vehicle technology that enables key capabilities like AI-assisted driver fatigue monitoring, predictive analysis of vehicle conditions, maximized payloads, and real-time data insights for equipment performance to reduce waste and increase efficiencies.
Enabling the Future of Fleet Management
IoT-enabled telematics is key to the future of fleet management. Intel, alongside our partner ecosystem, is focused on helping advance the adoption of AI and IoT for ﬂeet management with a full portfolio of Intel® technologies and market-ready solutions that enable telematics and other fleet management solutions. With Intel, fleet managers, owners, and operators can move forward with confidence that they have the solutions they need for today and to be prepared for tomorrow.