Vehicle tracking originated in trucking, but is now used in farming, public service, sharing economy and more
For more than 70 years, carriers and their fleet managers orchestrated the intricate process of routing and assigning jobs using only paper and some creative handiwork. Then, technological advancements gave them more visibility into their fleets and helped streamline operations. For the past 15 years or so, the majority of carriers have relied on GPS fleet tracking to track their trucks’ locations and assign jobs and routes more efficiently to save time and fuel.
But today, it’s not just trucks using fleet tracking. Vehicle tracking is also widely used in construction and mining fleets, and is now being applied in new industries; from government and public service, to car sharing, farming and even personal cars. In the future, this technology could potentially be in almost all moving equipment and vehicles, on and off the road.
Here are seven use cases that exist today.
- Government fleets: Councils and central government both maintain fleets of general road vehicles, which are driven by government officials and workers. Government needs a 24/7 view of its assets to help reduce its CO² footprint and manage safety, vehicle utilisation and budgets. With effective GPS-tracking based systems, these large-scale fleets can be pooled to effectively manage the resources.
- Farm equipment: GPS tracking lets farmers remotely collect and manage information from their field equipment. This is especially useful for maintenance, as diagnostics data can help catch breakdowns before they occur and provide a quick resolution. The data is also being used for crop management and field efficiency analysis. Using an approved system like RUC Manager, those in the agricultural industry can also manage road usage charges electronically – and accurately claim off-road rebates on their RUC licences.
- Public service vehicles: Increasingly, public services are turning to newer technology to manage the demands on their fleet. Police and emergency services for example require highly accurate GPS tracking for dispatch and the field office to effectively respond to call outs. In the USA, new school buses are required to incorporate computerised routing software, automated route and stop assignments, GPS mapping and tracking, and cameras as safety measures. School buses are also using telematics to monitor student ridership and enable parents to see the location of the school bus prior to pick-up (ETA) and when their child boards. In New Zealand, all vehicles operating under an MOE contract must be fitted in with a telematic device to ensure the health and safety of both workers and students. Teletrac Navman is approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) as a telematic provider.
- Corporate company cars: Similar to the government, for businesses with a big fleet of cars for field or travelling workers, vehicle tracking gives a more precise capture of miles and maintenance needs. It’s now commonly installed in vehicles in power, internet, gas, and other service fleets such as plumbers or landscapers.
- Car sharing fleets: Car sharing membership is expected to reach 60 million worldwide by 2022, according to a report from Berg Insight. With unattended, self-service locations, companies ‘hot-seating’ cars need to track usage, maintenance and car locations to keep up the quality of their fleets and collect data on who’s using their vehicles.
- Insurance and personal cars: Some insurance companies have opt-in programmes that use telematics to drive individuals’ driving behaviour and reward clean drivers with savings. Businesses are able to claim discounts through some insurance providers if they have telematic software installed. We recommend contacting your provider and seeing if this is available for you.
- Driverless cars and smart cities: GPS vehicle tracking will be the basis for establishing a connected infrastructure to support the general use of automated vehicles. Knowing where autonomous vehicles are and what they’re doing are absolute safety prerequisites. Tracking technology will also allow vehicles and smart city infrastructure, such as traffic lights, “smart parking” and stops signs with sensors, to communicate.
The opportunities for fleet tracking are almost endless, especially as we move into an era of autonomous vehicles.