It’s no secret that fuel costs are rising, and companies are looking for ways to cut down on their fuel bills. Some are putting hybrid or electric vehicles in their fleets, and others are taking advantage of telematics technology to provide them with data to help decrease fuel consumption.
But for companies that wish to implement both of these strategies, things have always been a bit tricky. Now, however, a Geotab has developed a truly plug-and-play telematics solution.
Toronto-based Geotab has a decade of experience creating and deploying telematics technology for business fleets, and it is an end-to-end tech provider with robust hardware that is suited for a broad range of vehicles, including electric, hybrid, diesel and trucks. According to Colin Sutherland, vice president of sales at Geotab, the company’s technology has the ability to understand the way each vehicle uniquely communicates, boiling down the information to a single report.
It focuses on helping companies in a number of areas, including fleet safety, efficiency and compliance.
Suited to all types of engines, the Geotab solution has a tiny form factor that fits underneath the dashboard and works with reliable GPS technology. The solution helps fleet managers understand where fuel is being spent and how best to invest in their assets in the field. Managers can simply log into the software and create alerts or reports. The technology pays for itself early in each month, as it helps drivers adjust their habits, addressing behaviors such as rapid acceleration and speeding, to improve miles per gallon efficiency. An improvement of ½ mpg can result in a $46 per month savings per vehicle.
And achieving this change in driver habits is easy, as the technology can send an audio warning to drivers who are engaging in wasteful behavior, causing them to change their bad habits immediately.
The solution helps fleet managers in other ways as well. It can provide them with predictive maintenance warnings, letting managers know there is an issue before the vehicle’s check engine light comes on. This allows managers to schedule repairs in advance and cuts down on the number of spare vehicles in the fleet. It also helps them determine what materials they need to buy, from spare tires to batteries.
Rich Steeves is a web editor for TMCnet, the online entity of TMC (News - Alert), the parent company of M2M Evolution magazine.
Car & Fleet Briefs
Olivier Beaujard, vice president of market development at Sierra, recently shared some 2013 M2M predictions with TMC, the parent company of M2M Evolution. Beaujard said he foresees a larger demand for streamlined M2M solutions in areas such as smart metering and connected homes, though he still sees the automotive market as the biggest driver of change. In the automotive space, he sees safety solutions as one of the biggest areas for potential growth as well as location-aware applications and infotainment. Overall, he feels that companies will seek out M2M solutions that will minimize total cost of ownership while increasing customer service.
Sprint (News - Alert) has debuted a global, end-to-end solution for auto manufacturers. The solution, called Sprint Velocity, was highlighted at the recent LA Auto show in California. Sprint Velocity helps automakers integrate complex components and vendor relationships required to provide advanced connected services, including news, weather, sports, security, navigation, connectivity to mobile devices and emergency services, and engine diagnostics. It combines technical integration with Sprint’s expertise in the wireless customer experience to help automakers generate new sources of revenue, economize on cost and develop better relationships with customers. Auto manufacturers can use Sprint Velocity as a turnkey solution or on a modular basis. Sprint will act as a mobile integrator, outfitting automakers with an open, modular and agnostic network platform.
Volvo Group and Ericsson (News - Alert) have collaborated to deliver infotainment and communication services in the new Volvo cars. Ericsson is offering systems integration services related to Volvo Car Group IS/IT environments and in-vehicle systems. Ericsson is expected to provide managed services for a global cloud solution featuring a secure connection between vehicles, content providers and others. Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president of product strategy and vehicle line management at Volvo Cars, said, “We clearly see that cars in the near future will integrate the same level of digital services that consumers today are used to hav[ing] in their homes or at work. This is a strategically important part of Volvo's investments for the future where we intend to take a leading position.”
Using Daimler’s car2go project, drivers can use a card and a specially installed reader, allowing them to pick up a rental car that is part of the program and drive it around town. They then are able drop it off at one of the car2go corrals, and swipe their card again, which wirelessly checks in the rental car. All of this can be done without the company or its partners having to employ someone to manually check the cars in and out.
Edited by Braden Becker