Fleet and transport companies utilize technology to optimize efficiency, safety and performance. As more businesses prioritize these key areas, we take a look at three of the most influential emerging trends set to bolster the industry in 2023. Our analysis is based on experience with thousands of fleet and telematics solutions developers and service providers spanning 150 countries.
- The Rise Of The API Economy: The Embedding Of Telematics In The Global Value Chain
Fleet management systems are just one part of the global transportation landscape, which comprises various other players from vehicle and sensor manufacturers, software and map data providers to warehouse managers. When data is shared properly between the various systems, it enables synergy and creates additional value for fleet managers and customers.
We increasingly see telematics services providers proactively investing in creating an interconnected data network and embedding their systems into the global value chain.
Liberalization and standardization of APIs and data structure can help stimulate independent developers to add new solutions and layers on top of existing platforms, turning them into self-sustainable ecosystems. Wider applications of no-code or low-code technologies can also enable developers to easily create customized user experiences without the need for a deep pool of engineering resources.
These trends will likely lead to further consolidation in the market in 2023 with emerging ecosystems expanding globally.
- EV Strategy Becomes Business-Critical
EV adoption is growing rapidly in commercial fleets, a trend that I expect will remain a key development factor in the industry for years to come. Throughout 2022, we saw a rising number of EVs designed specifically for commercial utilization, and this trend will continue throughout 2023.
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Switching to EVs is inevitable in the long term, driven by regulatory pressure, technological progress in energy storage and distribution, as well as business incentives.
Fleet managers need to make informed decisions on when and how to ‘go electric.’ This requires a comprehensive strategy, taking into account a variety of factors such as the impact on current fleet operations, future benefits, real cost of purchase, utilization and service, which fleet categories and which routes to electrify first, how to choose the right EV model for their specific needs, how to measure and optimize EV performance compared to ICE vehicles, etc.
A swift and smooth electrification is important to help ensure the continuity, adaptation and transition cost optimization of business processes. Building and sharing this expertise and demonstrating the capability to effectively lead the process of going electric will likely become a strong advantage in 2023.
- Leveraging Automation And AI In Telematics
Automation has streamlined many previously time-consuming activities involved in taking care of a multi-vehicle operation, from the fleet management systems, which have enabled fleet companies to become truly paperless, to the maintenance of the vehicles themselves.
I believe that AI will be the next evolutionary step for fleet managers across the globe. Fleet managers tend to work with large amounts of data, and AI can be harnessed to analyze this data and generate insights that can help to improve fleet business metrics and boost operational efficiencies.
In the fleet management industry, AI is rapidly developing in a wide range of areas, including:
- Predictive maintenance (flagging when a vehicle’s equipment is likely to fail, allowing for proactive maintenance and reducing downtime).
- Assets utilization (algorithms that help to optimize routes, improve order assignment and reduce idling).
- Driver safety (analyzing driver behavior and identifying patterns such as aggressive driving or speeding to improve safety and reduce accidents).
- Fuel consumption reduction (identifying behavioral, environmental or mechanical patterns that can lead to fuel savings).
- Inventory optimization (predicting inventory needs and optimizing purchasing processes).
AI can also grant fleet managers access to automated algorithms which have the potential to save much of their time, which would previously have been spent on manual data inputs and checks. This shift from “paperless” to “clickless” interfaces can help free up their time for decision-making rather than admin-based tasks.
As a result of technological advancements, we will likely see more fleets leveraging both automation and AI technology to help drive efficiencies across all of their business. If they have not already, fleet managers should begin understanding this trend to determine a possible fit for their business. Then, training staff as early as possible on the proper use of AI can help ensure a competitive advantage in the current market.
We encourage all fleet managers to keep their minds open to these new and evolving technologies as they begin to emerge to help their businesses thrive in 2023 and beyond.