Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Telematics 2013

The Fleet Business Authority

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The Road Ahead ➤➤➤ — and users will have to upgrade their equipment. Obviously this can mean a major investment for feets. Fortunately, many devices are already 3G capable, so some feets are in the clear. For those preparing to buy new devices, it's more important than ever to ask vendors if their devices are 3G capable — and if the feet is protected from a box swap far into the future. And fnally, feets can overlay information on top of their telematics data to make informed decisions. For instance, feets can overlay weather or Doppler maps on vehicle location, giving a dispatcher the ability to re-route a driver heading into dangerous weather conditions, sparing them from slower — and unsafe — driving conditions. Reporting Improved User Interface With ever-increasing datasets at their fngertips, users of telematics require easy-to-use interfaces that can be viewed at a glance and can go anywhere. Whether data is inputted by a driver, viewed via a dashboard, or reported on, user interfaces have risen to these challenges. Portability More and more drivers are relying on portable devices to input data that will be integrated with telematics data. For these users, a wide array of devices has been developed to match the specifc job function. For instance, some devices can be bolted to the dashboard so they're not left behind. Others are smaller, making it easy for drivers to take a device with them as they get in and out of the car. Still, others may need touchscreens that can be operated while wearing work gloves. Today, telematics devices are matching the practicality of the job. Dashboards For drivers, interface has to be simple so they can keep their eyes on the road. Now, some devices include a voice kit so drivers can interact with them hands free. For feet managers back in the offce, dashboards need to make sense of the data points most important to them in that moment. Now, users can create and save a number of dashboards. For instance, a feet manager could have one dashboard for dispatching information, one with just maps, one with just graphs, and one with maintenance information and utilization data. Many interfaces also allow drag-and-drop functions for specifc tools or data, making the most frequently used items easy to locate. Vehicle location reporting has come a long way as well. For large feets with hundreds of vehicles on the road, viewing vehicles on the map has become much simpler. With group clusters on the map, instead of seeing hundreds of little dots, users can now see the number of vehicles in a region and dive down to see individual units if needed. Some interfaces can even create storylines from telematics data by comparing feet metrics against benchmarks and industry metrics, then revealing opportunities for improvement. Fleet managers used to have to run three different reports to fnd three different data elements, but can now locate data faster and easier. Today, feets can build custom reports based on their varied business needs. Reports can be pulled faster than ever. Now, a huge report for hundreds or even thousands of vehicles can be pulled in just a few seconds. The more accessible the data, the more likely a feet can make good use of it. Information on the Go As society trends toward data on the go, feets are no different. The desktop user interface is no longer the primary interface for feet tracking. As managers are increasingly mobile, they need reporting and updates on their phones as easily as they do at their desk. Fortunately, more telematics providers offer the capability to get alerts and reports on mobile interfaces like iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. These days, many feet managers don't spend their entire day at their desks — they're in meetings, on the road, and checking up on people. For these reasons, feet data is pared down so it can be viewed on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones and feet managers can see their feets at a glance. With tablet and smartphone technology, drivers can also work more productively. Instead of checking in at the offce, they can use mobile apps to check in and out for the day, accept jobs, and let the offce know the status of their jobs. Not having to check in with the offce means a reduction in fuel spend and a more productive employee. Both of these results directly affect the bottom line. Scalability The last thing feets want after making a large telematics investment is to learn their solution can't handle future growth. For this reason, telematics providers have dedicated themselves to scalability. Now, telematics solutions can handle increased data, added features, and can communicate with external serial devices. Data In the past, as feets grew and data size grew with them, THE CONNECTED FLEET GUIDE 2013 5

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