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Fleet Management Directly Linked to Data Advancements

Feb. 12, 2020
These emerging technologies are anticipated to impact fleet management in 2020 and the near future.

Over 30 million trucks and vans play an essential role in delivering the goods and services in the U.S. With demand continuing to rise for e-commerce and app based services, in parallel with the ongoing digital transformation of traditional trade industries, the need to leverage advanced technologies for high performance and streamlined operations is only growing. Here are the emerging technologies anticipated to impact 2020 and the near future. 

Video as Data  
The use of smart video data as the next evolution of IoT will continue to mature in 2020. Video has multiple uses within the transportation industry, including driver safety, transport efficiency and even autonomous driving. In the near-term, video data provides yet another layer of insight to help improve safety for both drivers and communities, while also protecting a business’ fleet.   

Artificial Intelligence  
Already AI and Machine Learning are being leveraged in the fleet industry. Adoption of these advanced technologies will continue to grow as businesses and fleets seek to improve productivity and safety. Companies that are keeping pace with technological advancements here will start to gain a lead on their industry competitors and ultimately spur more widespread adoption.     

Electric Vehicles  
Currently, electric vehicles make up a small subset of vehicles on the road, but over the next few years, they’re expected to grow from 3.2 million vehicles in 2019 to over 26 million vehicles by 2030 as public and private organizations pivot towards more sustainable operations. Fleet management solutions will start to include data points unique to electric vehicles like charging time, average kilowatt per hour consumption and the closest charging station, as electric vehicle adoption grows.   

Autonomous Mobility  
The connected vehicle ecosystem continues to gear up and progress. Today, advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS come standard in most cars and hint at the AV future still decades out. Yet with next generation 5G technology rolling out this year and in 2020, the development of the network that fuels autonomous mobility is becoming real. In the short term, businesses should make strategic investments to position themselves to benefit from autonomous technology that can help increase the efficiency, productivity and safety of vehicle fleets and a mobile workforce.  

5G is Here
With 5G rolling out in cities across the U.S., connected technologies are set to further transform and improve our roads, and 2020 will be a year of experimentation and planning around 5G-enabled fleet management solutions. 5G will drastically increase the volume and speed of data traveling through mobile networks, enabling more intelligent infrastructure that will take existing smart vehicle technologies to the next level. With the potential to supercharge everything from video feeds and sensors to real-time data analysis, 5G will usher in new possibilities in transportation and traffic management, autonomous mobility and road safety.  

Q&A with Kevin Aires

Better technology, better acceptance; ‘fast forward’ to key driving moments

CB: How would you describe contracting businesses acceptance and growing familiarity of dashcam technology?

Kevin Aires: “We continue to see service companies, including HVAC, gravitating towards any solution that is going to guarantee a safer fleet. Safety is the constant theme we saw in 2019, and one we will continue to see around fleet management. 

“Obviously dashcam and AI-powered dashcams are a large part of that, because it’s really the first time that those based in the office are tasked with ensuring that their assets are arriving at their destinations safely and protecting those assets – vehicles and people. It’s really the first time they were able to have eyes on the road. We’ve always had access to data. We’ve always been able to see in GPS plot points and different types of data coming off the vehicle itself. But never have we been able to see what’s happening on the road. AI dashcams are giving companies the power to do so, and the AI component is eliminating much of the legwork that was previously associated with dashcams, such as finding the traffic “moments” that really matter to those companies. 

“There can be so much road time logged by a fleet, and there is only so much time to appreciate the key moments related to driving behavior that companies need to be looking at. The companies can weed out those driving moments that do not raise concerns.”

Video data In-step with remote diagnostics and training

CB: The contracting world is taking hold of virtual training and remote diagnostic technology, which seems to be moving at a full gallop across service industries. Is that acceptance in some ways aiding the acceptance of dashcams? 

KA: “Dashcam is part of the broader story related to real time or near real time video as an aid to provide information. You’re smart to think about that, not only on the roadways. Those same drivers are performaing meaningful work outside of their vehicles. Which is why we provide a field service solution. But you’re right. Video can apply outside the vehicle, in the field with diagnosting problems and help guide technicians or be a a path towards escalation when extra assistance or remote diagnostics are needed.”

CB: You write that the AI offerings are ‘maturing.’ How will the end user most directly see that maturation at work? Through increased acceptance, tech advancements or both?

KA: “I think those are related. Acceptance increases as the technology becomes more useful to the companies that are using it. 

“Two dynamics are related to video data trends. First, video is becoming data. Through computer vision technology and articficial intelligence we’re better harnessing the power of video to create actionable insights for the companies that are trying to leverage them. We will continue to see video become more “data full” as a tool to increase safety, or find meaningful ways to increase fleet efficiency.

“The second thing is, while video will provide nice short term benefits for companies, what’s happening behind the scenes is almost more meaningful, in that video will continue to evolve through 2020 and ultimately have the biggest long term impact for really developing the AI and machine learning components, by which that video can be really meaningful for us in terms of furthering the messages of safety and efficiency over time. 

“Technology may be easily applied in the short term in terms of absolving a company of liability or being able to monitor driver safety. But behind the scenes that video and the AI/machine learning components will get stronger throughout the year as that technology improves.”

“There are two ‘use cases’ that benefit from video: One is proactive, to better understand risks and mitigate risks. The other is reactive: companies being able to absolve themselves of liability. We see video being used in those liability cases where claims are made by the public or community regarding an accident or driving behavior.”

Electric vehicles provide different data; could act as social image boosters

Your explanation of data capture as it relates to electric vehicles shows how flexible and ever-accessible data can be. 

KA: “The vehicles of the future will generate massive amounts of data, and electric vehicles will too. They already generate a massive amount of data but it’s different data. So the question is how can fleet management companies really harness the power of EV data for their customers and ultimately, how can customers better leverage their electric vehicle data for their business: efficiency, understanding charging time, charging costs and more. It’s more data but different type.

5G will be the backbone of a new generation of Internet of Things devices, which will make and HVAC technician or contracting owner’s life much more easier. 

“Additionally, HVAC companies are probably not too far removed from that idea of social impact. HVAC is about high efficiency and cost savings, so many HVAC contractors specialize in continue to dedicate themselves to smart buildings and efficient homes and efficient construction. Those would likely migrate to EVs over time to align their brand mission and activities with the type of vehicles they’re using.”

The big one: 5G

CB: What are the advantages of the coming 5G capabilities?
KA: 5G is going to enable more devices to be interconnected and communicating with each other, which will give businesses better insight into what’s happening with that equipment or those sensors. Think about ease of diagnostics, remote diagnostic, and proactive maintenance based on data trends coming from those devices. 5G will be the backbone of a new generation of Internet of Things devices, which will make and HVAC technician or contracting owner’s life much more easier. 

Many of the emerging technologies you see will be much more deployable and much more easier to use at the enterprise level, because it will have increased bandwidth, capacity and speed to hold the IoT traffic from sensors, and lower the lag time in communication between points.”

About the Author

Kevin Aires | Global Product Success and Product Management Lead

Kevin Aries is Global Product Success and Product Management Lead at Verizon Connect