Fleet Management: In IoT terms, fleet management deals with concepts such as automatic vehicle tracking.
What is fleet management?
Fleet management is the area of management that deals with the organization of fleet operations.
A fleet manager is responsible for:
- Be responsible for the smooth operation of machinery. He must arrange for the prompt repair of vehicles, ensure timely maintenance and insurance, replace vehicles and replenish the fleet at the request of management.
- Optimize the work of employees: drivers, technicians, and other specialists connected with the operation of vehicles. Fleet-manager adjusts work so that there will be no idle time neither for equipment nor for personnel.
- Optimize the cost of car maintenance.
- Work with contractors. Maintain documentation: signing contracts, processing payments for orders, preparing closing documents, and mailing documentation.
- Provide reports on the results of trucking: fuel costs, drivers’ performance, delivery times, and resolution of technical problems.
In general, the fleet manager must ensure the smooth operation of the fleet, improve it and optimize the costs of operating the equipment.
How to control the fleet using technology
Modern fleet management is based on vehicle tracking systems. Such systems work based on GPS or GLONASS. But GLONASS equipment is more expensive and works less efficiently than NAVSTAR GPS. Perhaps, over time, both systems will become standards, and companies will be able to choose which one to use.
The scheme of work is as follows:
1. On-board equipment is installed on the car, which consists of:
- a receiver of satellite signals,
- information storage module,
- module, which transmits coordinates.
2. GPS or GLONASS components determine the location of the vehicle or receive data about the technical state of the device. For example, about the level of fuel in the gas tank or the speed of the car.
3. Receiver of satellite signals determines the coordinates of the car. The storage module records them. When the car returns to the fleet, the fleet manager can download this data. This is how offline control is conducted.
But more often, online control is used. In this case, the transmission module wirelessly transmits the data to a device to the fleet manager. This receiving device can be a desktop computer, tablet, or cell phone. In the first case, the data will be recorded in the CRM like 1C, and in the second – in the application.
There are satellite and terrestrial methods of data transfer. Satellite communication is more expensive but works more effectively if the car leaves for hundreds of kilometers, and the manager must receive data without interruption to quickly respond to the situation. For example, if a driver exceeds the speed limit, the dispatcher can send a warning or remotely limit the speed of the car.
What equipment helps control the fleet
With satellite equipment, the fleet manager can remotely monitor the technical condition of the vehicle, the driver’s behavior, and the location of the vehicle.
To track the mechanics, sensors are installed on different parts of the car. In this way a fleet manager can monitor:
- Fuel level and consumption. Some monitoring programs compare the actual fuel drain and the actual drain. If the data does not match, the fleet manager has grounds to check the driver for improper fuel consumption;
- vehicle load,
- tire pressure,
- refrigerator temperature,
- opening of doors or hoods,
- the presence of passengers,
- the fact and force of the impact, and other similar parameters.
The driver’s behavior can be tracked using:
– an identification key. As a rule, it is a key tablet, on which the personal code number of the driver is written. The car will not start until you attach this key. The data is immediately transferred to the database, where the connection is automatically recorded: which car a particular driver is in.
– Trackers with a built-in accelerometer. Fleeman can form an opinion about the driver’s driving style based on how often the driver accelerates and exceeds speed, how sharply the brakes, and what maneuvers he performs.
If the manager notes that the driver frequently breaks the rules or makes dangerous maneuvers, he can send the employee to corrective training or fire him. Conversely, reward drivers who follow the rules and are careful with their duties.
A panic button can also be connected to the onboard unit. In case of an emergency, the driver will quickly send an alarm signal to the dispatcher. In turn, the dispatcher can quickly contact the driver or remotely manage the car: for example, to reduce speed or prohibit traffic.
The position of the car is tracked with GLONASS trackers and terminals.
Not only the manager can track the position of the car. RFID tags can be connected to the onboard device, and then the car will pass the barriers without delays, which read the tag and will open when the car approaches. The RFID tags in the car transmit data to the gate so that automatically the entry and exit of cars are recorded.