A few decades back, no one could have imagined a mechanism that can offer real-time monitoring of vehicles. It seemed to be a farfetched idea until GPS trackers came along. The GPS tracking revolutionized the operations of various fleet businesses including logistics, supply chain and delivery etc. and their productivity skyrocketed.
When the conventional mechanism proved to be insufficient for the growing demands of the market, an innovative mechanism was introduced called Fleet Management System. This technology provided a GPS tracking software where all operations of fleet-related businesses can be managed and monitored.
The businesses welcomed this innovative system with open arms as it offered them both convenience and efficiency. With time, new advancements have been made to the technology to meet the changing market requirements, and this blog will cater to them.
The History of Fleet Management Systems:
Concept of fleet management has been around for over fifty years now. The businesses used to employ conventional technologies like relying on fleet managers to perform all the tasks back in the day. Let us have a detailed look at the embryonic stages of the fleet telematics technology.
The idea of managing fleets was conceived by the U.S. automobile industry before the invention of GPS back in 1974. It employed the basic functionalities of fleet telematics like order processing, status reporting, and automated communication etc. The mega automobile manufacturers like Ford, General Motors and Chrysler made use of the electronically processed management mechanism for their fleets. At that time, mainframe computers were used to manage fleet operations.
In the latter half of the 1970s, the concept of telematics was introduced to the world. Alain Minc and Simon Nora of France defined it using telecommunications to transfer information. After this groundbreaking discovery, more research was conducted to ensure that this technology is made eco-friendly and viable for businesses.
Introduction of GPS:
In 1978, an experimental satellite Block-I GPS manufactured by Rockwell International was sent into space. Following the footsteps of this launch, another ten Block-I satellites were sent into space in 1985 to enhance the validity of GPS technology. As the number of satellites orbiting the earth increased, the probability of GPS tracking becoming functional also rose. Finally, on Jan 17 1994, a total of 24 satellites were launched in space, making the GPS technology fully operational.
Post Fully Functional GPS Technology:
The invention of GPS Technology brought a revolution in the scope of fleet telematics with infinite possibilities ahead. It not only changed the method of leading organizations to manage their fleet but also provided researchers with a defining stepping stone to produce clutter-breaking ideas.
Addition of New Features:
Once GPS technology became functional, many other features were also included in the telematics systems to enhance their efficiency. For example, staff performance management and weather forecast systems were integrated with the fleet telematics technology in a few years after GPS was made functional.
One of the most significant benefits of GPS technology was accuracy which became better with time. With the use of GPS, businesses can strictly monitor every vehicle in their fleet resulting in more efficiency and productivity.
Post GPS vehicle tracking, the main emphasis of research has been on making the mechanism more seamless. The integration of different apps and systems with a centralized telematics system allowed businesses to get better automation during daily operations. Various features like fleet maintenance, notification alerts and reporting were introduced to broaden the scope of the telematics system and make it potentially viable for businesses.
Geo-fencing is a revolutionary technique introduced using GPS technology as its basis. It has served the purpose of businesses around the world in many ways by strengthening security, preventing route deviation, enhancing productivity etc. With geofencing, companies can strictly monitor the activity of every vehicle in their fleet and take quick measures in case of an emergency.
The fleet telematics is a booming industry with constant induction of new functionalities in the technology. Limitless possibilities are lying ahead for the researchers and innovators related to this field.
Induction of AR (Augmented Reality) Technology:
When AR first appeared to the scene, everyone was amazed by it. It provided a more optimized and refined appearance of reality to the viewers. Keeping its visual benefits in mind, the fleet telematics industry is looking to use it to improve the safety of the drivers. The modern research shows prospects of AR’s assistance in identifying the presence of obstacles in the path while driving.
The idea of using the windshield as a screen to detect hurdles is in the pipeline, whereas AR’s integration with a telematics system is also probable. The goal is to assist the drivers in the best possible way by using AR technology.
The concept of self-drive is not new anymore as it is under process from quite some time now. Many giant car producers have worked on this technology and provided some features that fall under this category. However, the goal of achieving a fully autonomous vehicle is on the cards and soon to be achieved.
Once autonomous vehicles are designed, the telematics systems will be reshaped. The self-driving vehicles will open up many possibilities for AI(Artificial intelligence) that can add to the efficiency and interactivity of the telematics systems.
Keeping the start of fleet management in view, it is evident that this technology has come a long way. Despite all the advancements, still, there is a lot of room for improvement and innovation. The research and development process of the telematics seems to be on the right track to becoming more efficient and convenient.