Specialized asset tracking is being implemented throughout a variety of careers — from oil and gas to law enforcement. Along with improving operational efficiency, fleet managers realize that fleet management software is vital to not only the safety of the assets being transported, but the safety of company vehicles, employees, and the general public as well.Commercial fleet management trends for 2019 are expected to head start new innovations for asset tracking that will also improve existing tracking solutions. Here are just some of the big changes the fleet management industry can expect to see going into next year.
1. Dash Cam Monitoring for Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that in 2016 alone, more than 3,400 car accident fatalities were due to distracted driving. These distractions cover more than just cell phone usage — they also include:
- Eating and drinking
- Personal grooming
- Watching videos
- Conversing with passengers
Commercial fleet management has an enormous responsibility to increase the safety and efficiency of drivers to avoid serious incidents. A distracted driver can put a business’ reputation on the line and cost them billions in insurance and legal costs.
One way that companies and government agencies are trying to fight distracted driving is through the use of dashboard cameras. Using dash cams are a valuable tool towards maintaining driver accountability so that fleet assets and other drivers are left safe on the roads. Rastrac offers a large selection of fleet tracking devices for commercial and law enforcement vehicles — and will be including dash cams that track in-cab and out-of-cab activities in 2019.
2. Greater Use of Solar Powered Fleet Tracking Devices
Engineers are constantly developing new technologies that run on solar power, and fleet tracking devices are no different. Solar powered fleet tracking devices offer many benefits, especially in terms of ROI.
Lithium batteries provide a continuous recharge throughout the day, reducing the need for replacement batteries while maximizing the life of the device itself. It also helps in lowering fleet maintenance checks for fleet managers. Another great advantage of solar powered fleet tracking is that it is excellent at tracking offshore rigs and assets traveling overseas. Live data reports that can pinpoint location with geofencing can ensure the safety of a ship’s cargo and the crewmen.
3. More Fleet Data and Analytics
Fleet tracking allows for complete transparency concerning the conditions of commercial fleet vehicles and driver behaviors. Fleet managers highly benefit from this cost-effective strategy with the countless streams of data fleet management software provides.
Along with monitoring driver performance and providing route optimization, commercial fleet management software offers data and analytics on lane departures and whether a seatbelt is used; it also gives predictive maintenance analysis on areas of fleet vehicles that need attention.
4. Integrations with Other Software Platforms (Through APIs)
A commercial fleet management trend that is expected to heavily improve software performance is using application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate other software platforms with the fleet management software. The ability to use an API key to connect databases from outside sources not only expands the functionality of a fleet tracking device, but offers deeper data analysis capabilities in reviewing the performance of your fleet vehicle and driver.
The range of software platforms that can integrate with fleet management software greatly extends the involvement fleet managers have in daily fleet operations. A fleet manager can find themselves able to do a variety of tasks such as:
- Transmitting messages directly to a driver’s device
- Reviewing daily fuel expenditures through their fuel card
- Tracking a driver’s hours by punching in and out directly from their vehicle
5. Security For Fleet Management
A stolen commercial fleet vehicle can be a severe loss in both worker productivity and company funds. Installing a fleet tracking device in your fleet vehicle is the best way to reduce the risk of auto theft.
Rastrac offers versatile fleet management capabilities that allow you to upload your own maps. With our geofencing tool, you can be alerted either by text or email whenever a vehicle enters or leaves specific areas. This documented data also gives law enforcement details that can help them locate your fleet vehicle in the event that it is stolen.
A rather overlooked feature of Rastrac’s fleet tracking devices is the starter disable function, which allows a fleet manager to disable the starter for a programmed period of time and then enable the starter at a programmed end time. It won’t stop the engine if it is already running, but the next time the ignition is turned, the vehicle will not start.
These latest commercial fleet management trends are proving to be a huge step toward better fleet tracking capabilities. Rastrac’s diverse selection of fleet tracking devices can fit any of your fleet management needs. Our continued dedication to evolve and adapt with fleet technology is to ensure our customers have the most relevant commercial fleet software updates and upgrades. If you’re looking to invest in quality fleet management software, contact our representatives for more information!