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Data: a key element for optimised fleet management

In recent years, fleet management has fully shifted into the digital and data era. This change promises relevant, reliable information about how vehicles in your fleet are used, also allowing you to optimise how your fleet is managed, helping your company’s competitiveness and performance.

The automotive sector is no exception to digital and data trends. In this all-digital era, vehicles are often embedded with telematics solutions that gather a large amount of data. Additionally, fuel pass operators and their fleet management tools also collect complementary data about vehicle mileage, fuel consumption, geolocation and maintenance (maintenance data, insurance claims, etc.). Once all of this data is processed, it can offer better visibility of your vehicle fleet and allow you to work on targeted issues. According to the 2019 CSA-Arval Mobility Observatory fleet survey, fleet managers use it to locate vehicles (54%), improve drivers’ behaviour (46%), reduce costs (17%), and optimise routes (29%).

Choosing and optimising data

Faced with such an abundance of information, the stakes for fleet managers are that much greater. First, setting objectives, because optimisation isn’t just a question of costs: it can be seen through the prism of usages, security, maintenance, or reducing the company’s environmental impact. Since the objectives can vary widely from fleet to fleet, the data used for optimisation will be different. The second challenge will be to identify the most suitable data from among existing variables. For example, mileage data can be used to improve how routes are managed. By highlighting when too many miles have been driven, we can consider rethinking how deliveries or routes are organised to reduce journey times. Employees can spend more time on their core role, becoming more productive and efficient. With fuel consumption data, the fleet manager will be notified of driving that is too nervous, and the company can hold eco-driving training sessions to limit CO² emissions and insurance claims (and the cost of premiums). Data about fluid levels (oil, coolant, etc.) and dashboard indicator lights allow the manager to schedule vehicle maintenance and prevent various electrical and mechanical breakdowns. Finally, for vehicles on a long-term lease, data, whether telematic or otherwise, will be an effective tool to understanding the vehicle’s condition and location.

Usages over time

While telematics is growing unevenly in Europe (5% of French fleets of more than 50 vehicles were equipped in 2019, compared to 75% in the United Kingdom, link in French), the accelerating development of onboard connectivity and autonomous vehicles will continue to enrich the feed of available data. Therefore, we can expect that data use will intensify in the coming years. To support fleet managers in a choice that is increasingly complex given the range of possibilities, telematics specialists are working to make this data “smarter”. For example, by relying on artificial intelligence technology, connected vehicles’ capacity for real-time data collection will allow us to “map” the environment and offer users safer itineraries. For car-sharing fleets, the system can also detect anomalies on a vehicle and automatically shift reservation.

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