The thought of living in a world where every device in your home, office or your car communicate with each other and be controlled over the Internet may have seemed like a far fetched fantasy a decade ago, but now it is all very much possible with the invention of IoT technology. IoT connected the world at an unprecedented scale via machines and tools communicating with one another through internet within a few years. With the promise of smart homes, workplaces, and even cities, IoT is developing by leaps and bounds completely changing the business industries and the lives of people everywhere. As we have seen lots of exciting and life-altering innovations, but the Internet of Things is set to transform our way of life with objects coming alive, interacting with people, understanding and anticipating their needs and choices.
When it comes to business, IoT is a total game changer. The technology makes companies smarter and more efficient while optimising the logistics processes and improve customer relations. The IoT revolution is still in its infancy, but the fleet industry has been reaping the benefits of IoT and telematics technologies for over a decade now as one of the first industries to adopt the advanced systems.
According to the statistics, 8.4 billion connected devices were in use in 2017 worldwide with a staggering 31% increase from 2016. The number of connected “things” are expected to reach 20.5 billion by 2020 with over $2 trillion of economic benefit globally. The widespread implementation of IoT is a clear indication of how popular the technology is right now.
Fleet businesses are one of the pioneers in the field of IoT technology. While the individual use of connected device technology was almost non-existent, fleet companies used sophisticated tracking software and telematics devices to keep track of their vehicles and acquire data about drivers and the condition of their cargo. Fleet business industry heavily relied on rudimentary tools such as walkie-talkies and car phones to convey essential information that managers need to make decisions, last-minute changes or plan routes before the implementation of telematics systems. With very limited data and communication tools, the managers had a hard time coordinating the movements of their fleet or check vital data on their vehicles such as speed, temperature, and GPS location.
However, with the introduction of the IoT devices into their infrastructure, fleet businesses gained access to a plethora of information about their vehicles and drivers. Field operators require extensive data on every phase of their operations from driver behaviour to fuel levels to real-time location data. This greater connectivity throughout their fleet and the continuous data flow between the IoT devices and the tracking servers pave the way for sophisticated fleet management software that helps businesses with their management process tremendously. Fleet telematics systems boast a wide range of prominent features such as real-time tracking, geofence zones, fuel usage reports, route history, and driver management which are all possible thanks to the IoT’s connected device and vehicle technology.
By utilising telematics systems and IoT technology, fleet companies can completely change the way they operate. There are many examples of how connected devices and vehicles affect businesses all over the world. As an example; a baker which has a fleet of 15 vehicles that perform around 50 deliveries a day needs to precise about their operation down to the last detail to be able to deliver fresh products to their customers. IoT sensors on the vehicles will allow the manager to control the temperature inside the cargo hold and make sure their cakes and pastries are in perfect condition by the time they arrive at their destination. Telematics devices also assist the field manager to plan efficient routes which allow the drivers to reach their intended locations on-time, this is but one example about how IoT and telematics devices connected over the internet can improve business operation. Fleet managers can generate fuel reports based on telematics data or check the humidity levels inside a vehicle to make sure its cargo stays fresh over long distances.
IoT and telematics systems present fleet businesses with unlimited opportunities and improvements in every aspect of their operations. Understanding the potential of IoT, many tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft and IBM started investing in this technology years ago. With the help of IoT technology and the infrastructure to support it, a company can step into a new age of business and become a pioneer in their business industry while increasing its productivity and profits.
There are billions of connected devices generating an exorbitant amount of data all around the globe. We still can’t fully analyse and utilise all this data, but IoT tech is improving rapidly to increase and expand connected device capabilities. Soon; ordinary objects, vehicles, machines, buildings, and houses; pretty much everything in the world will be able to communicate and talk to each other via the internet and help people with their everyday activities.