One look at today’s telematics technology and it’s clear how quickly it’s advancing. The cumbersome methods of the past, when fleet managers had to make sense of very complex data, have given way to the much more refined telematics systems of today.
The upshot is increased safety, greater efficiency, and all-around better results. It’s all putting fleets in a position to get ahead—and stay ahead.
Here are the top telematics trends for 2018, as forecasted by Lytx Chief Client Officer David Riordan.
Fleets are looking to integrate their telematics technology
Since telematics and video telematics have by now seen wide adoption, fleets are ready to integrate their telematics technology, striving for ultimate efficiency. There’s increased demand for integration in 2018, and telematics technology providers have answered the call with enhanced hardware, software and product offerings.
Under pressure to maximize productivity and retain drivers, skilled fleet management professionals are trying to simplify their world, Riordan said, whether through multiple telematics applications from a single provider or a handful of them.
“We’re fully vested in combining video with many inputs and systems to create solutions for business problems,” Riordan said. “That’s the whole basis of certain video telematics programs—integrating more cameras, more engine and body signal data, and cloud-to-cloud system connections, then using them to create safety and operational solutions for clients.”
As for software, telematics providers are focusing on simplicity wherever they can, working on “making this mass of information simple to digest and take action on,” Riordan said.
Mass adoption of video telematics in full swing
David Riordan, Lytx’s EVP and chief client officer. Credit: Alex Jensen
If past video safety trends focused on early adoption, today is all about mass adoption. Data processing and data connectivity capabilities have advanced tremendously, and video telematics has become both commonplace and more advanced.
“There’s almost an expectation that you use the data around you to make the solution as good as it can be,” Riordan said. “Video telematics has become pervasive, both on the road and in training. Video is how people absorb the world.”
The creation of video telematics programs that can use video to provide proof of service or address worker’s compensation claims are a testament to the increasing demand for video-based telematics for fleet management, Riordan said. “Successful solutions will take advantage of the ever-expanding access to information and video, and keep it simple and efficient for line supervisors and staff. That principle is always at the core of what we do.”
Telematics suppliers—and fleets themselves—are “raising the bar”
Today’s fleet and telematics technologies are becoming much more advanced. “There are big enhancements in processing power and machine vision artificial intelligence,” Riordan said. “There’s greater data processing and video processing in the vehicle and in the cloud, and a combination of all that is allowing telematics and video telematics providers to raise the bar on their solutions.”
As they do, the world is not becoming easier for fleet managers. Fueled by increasing distraction, congestion, and danger on U.S. roads, the advances in technology are necessary to combat the increasing risk and cost of running a fleet.
“Fleet managers are putting more of an onus on protecting their fleets, and they’re faced with increasing pressure to use technology to be cost competitive and differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Riordan said.
As the commercial transportation world becomes more competitive, fleets are striving to extract more value from their telematics features. “Their initial implementations may have created a lot of value in the past, but they’re angling to see what’s next as they look to continuously improve,” Riordan said.
While clients tend to focus on the most severe collisions and behaviors first, they may be ready to focus on areas where prior automotive telematics technology wasn’t an initial priority. “For example, a trucking company might not have been ready to focus on backing collisions before, but now they are,” Riordan said. “Fleets have gotten to the next wave of priorities for continuous improvement, and vendors are getting better at making enhancements as a result.”
Telematic services trending toward more safety, visibility, efficiency
The role of video telematics is the same as it’s always been, only more so, Riordan said. In other words, more safety, productivity, fleet utilization and fleet tracking are in the cards for 2018.
To keep pace with these changes, fleet managers often have their own technology road map, Riordan said. “They can have a strategy about where value is created, be smart about the choices they make, and rely on their vehicle technology partners to help them implement their programs to the fullest.”
For fleets that are relatively new to telematics, Riordan suggests first consulting with peers about which telematics services have worked for them. Then, start small by focusing on your biggest opportunities first.
And for those at all levels of the telematics spectrum, he has this advice:
“Spend the time to make sure you understand how to translate the technology into value. Focus on implementation, action, and results. Technology doesn’t create value magically. Once you’ve implemented the first stage, you can build from there.”
Learn more about how telematics can enhance the operation of your fleet.
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