16 Mar 22

Unlocking telematics: How corporate fleets can efficiently utilise connected vehicle data?

International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts there will be 41.6 billion connected active IoT devices globally by 2025. In a world of smart cities with intelligent transport systems (ITS), billions of IoT devices will equip Connected Vehicles (CVs) to extract value from data to achieve maximum performance. 

According to the Fleet Advisory Hub, 78% of large fleets that run more than 500 vehicles are in the process of adopting connected vehicle data services (CVDS), while 8% of fleets are actively using these platforms’ services. 

CV usage for transportation and mobility is surprisingly low when it comes to smart city stakeholders. Research from Otonomo in 2021 of US smart cities showed that only 8% are utilising connected vehicle data for transportation and mobility services, while only 22% are using CV data for real-time traffic management. 

Changing the CV data mindset from “silo mode”

According to Andy Walters, Global Stream Leader Fleet & Truck Mobility at Octo Telematics, corporate fleets need to move towards new fleet solutions. 

“For too long, fleet solutions have been provided in silo mode,” says Walters. “Data has been used to supply fleet managers with specific information only addressing a pre-defined use case.”  

The vehicle’s health and performance are significant to better managing efficiency, costs, and uptime. Still, additional information provides fleet managers with insights to improve the customer experience and the safety of drivers," says Walter.

He also says that the cross-fertilisation of vehicle and driver data, plus additional information linked to specific business applications and multiple stakeholders, can result in the highest return. For this to happen, adopting a new and flexible operational model will maximise interactions and spread the full power of data across an extended digital value chain.

“IoT platforms with the capability to manage data and get insights from different sources are the real innovation and the evolution of the traditional fleet platform. Fleets that use multiple OEMs, with different needs in terms of services, may have a full technological integrated approach to include additional stakeholders such as insurance companies, car dealers, and road assistance providers.”

Are fleets successful in tracking the data in their ecosystem? 

“In order to maximise the value that data can bring to corporate fleets, it is certainly important to have an ecosystem view of that data," says Mike Branch, Vice President of Data and Analytics at Geotab.

Understanding the readiness and data maturity of the fleet is also important to have the systems in place to utilise the insight that the data provides. 

“When a fleet first starts on this journey, typically they are looking for track-and-trace capabilities where location data is the most important point for them. If that is the case, reliance on the entire data ecosystem isn’t as important. But as the fleet progresses through its journey and starts looking at driving value through savings drawn from predictive maintenance and V2X, via opportunities such as freight signal prioritisation, the importance of ecosystem data becomes paramount.”  

Branch provides intriguing examples. Having firm ties with telematics suppliers close to OEMs ensures the data is being captured at the appropriate fidelity to drive predictive maintenance models. Additionally, privacy-compliant data-sharing in the ecosystem between vehicles and infrastructure can boost city fleet efficiency by reducing downtime and costs. 

How can fleets efficiently use mobility intelligence?

“The innovative culture of a fleet and its appetite to be an early adopter in leveraging new technologies,” says Branch. While there is a broad spectrum of adoption amongst fleets leveraging mobility intelligence through collaboration, Branch sees customers that are highly driven to adopt new mobility intelligence technologies, which will give them a competitive edge.

“Fleets use around 80% of the telematics data” 

The current performance in utilising data is not low in Europe, but it still requires more expertise, according to Gavin Lancaster, Operations Director at MiX Telematics Europe.

“Typically, fleet operators are using around 80% of the data that we’re able to provide. This includes business-critical items such as vehicle and driver fuel performance data, driver scorecards (for safety), trip data analysis to ensure customer KPIs. The remaining 20% of data that we see underutilised is CANbus related engineering data. Most modern telematics systems can harvest and transmit items like diagnostic trouble codes, low oil and low screenwash, plus another critical engine/drivetrain events.”

According to Lancaster, most fleet operators cannot react to the data in time. He believes automation and warning systems would be the most sensible solution. 

And what are the key aspects to utilising the CV data optimally? 

Leadership and accountability, says Lancaster. “Telematics data should be treated like any other KPI within the business environment. Major efficiency gains and improvements in fleet-wide safety are only achieved through effective leadership and thorough data management processes.”  

How will connected vehicles help to shape intelligent transport systems in the future? 

“The spread of IoT (Internet of Things) devices heralded the emergence of an all-round connected lifestyle,” says Walters. 

“CV data and the AI Algorithm are transforming traditional mobility, where vehicles are the sensors in the smart city space, able to communicate with each other and with the surrounding ecosystem information about the flow of the city, the main movement patterns, the heatmap of traffic and pollution” he adds.

Eventually, the vast amounts of CV data will make cities greener and traffic to be more free-flowing. CV technology can trigger a chance by benchmarking trends, patterns and habits, understanding how problems occur, making plans to surmount issues and utilise transportation. According to Octo's Walters, along with IoT, CV intelligence will promote smarter use of roads if encouraged with behaviour change. 

“Mobility can not be erased, therefore, we are aware that through the analysis of predictive models, it is possible to plan a new concept of mobility more attuned to the physical limitations of current infrastructures.” 

If you want to explore more about connected data and how it will evolve fleet efficiency, join the Connected Fleets Conference on 28-29th March in Amsterdam. Register now

Main photo courtesy of Shutterstock,
The first in-article photo shows Andy Walters, Global Stream Leader Fleet & Truck Mobility at Octo Telematics,
The second in-article photo shows Mike Branch, Vice President of Data and Analytics at Geotab,
The third in-article photo shows Gavin Lancaster, Operations Director at MiX Telematics Europe.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen