26 oct 23

Generative AI - Changing the Conversation on Intelligent Data-Driven Decisions 

By Edward Kulperger, Senior Vice President, Europe, Geotab 

At Geotab, we process more than 55 billion points of data every single day. That is how much information our 3.9 million fleet users generate as they make their journeys - whether that be a corporate leased passenger car or a last-mile delivery vehicle.

For fleet managers, making sense of their data is crucial for the success of their operation, to make informed decisions and anticipate future challenges. We call it ‘data-driven intelligence’. Our founder Neil Cawse, has an easier way of putting it: ‘You can only manage what you can measure.’ It is a mantra that runs through the company. But with bigger fleets comes more data. Keeping on top of it, or interpreting it to the benefit of the business, can present a challenge.

Earlier this year, we developed a first of its kind in the telematics industry, Project G. If it sounds conceptual, it is. It is our first foray into the world of generative AI - or Artificial Intelligence - and a way of using natural language processing to make data accessible to everyone. It has been a tremendous success. For the first time, fleet managers can monitor and understand their fleet operations using simple commands. They merely have to ask questions such as ‘Tell me which journeys are the most fuel efficient’ or ‘How much charge do my EVs need to complete their daily routes?’. The generative AI tool will make sense of the data, and provide answers and guidance.

Generative AI offers fleet managers around the world the means to access and use data in an intelligible and straightforward way. It is emerging as an innovation that is promising to revolutionise fleet management and make it more efficient. 

Fleet management: a fast-growing sector

The automotive fleet management market has been growing steadily for several years, driven by the recent boom in electric vehicle fleets. Predictions show the growth in the global market for telematics will be almost 20% annually between now and 2026*. The near-real-time collection and processing of valuable data and vehicle connectivity is driving the adoption of telematics. Analyst group Gartner** predicts that the volume of data emitted by the global fleet will increase by 236% every year between now and 2030.

At the same time, fleet managers need to cut their costs in an inflationary market whilst reducing emissions in view of the climate emergency. This is driving the need for fleet managers to fine-tune their fleet monitoring, across all sectors. The need for valuable data across the fleet has never been more pressing.

How generative AI is reshaping fleet management

While generative AI is now familiar to a wide audience, it is interesting to see how it can
meet the specific needs of fleet managers:

  • Decision-making support: generative AI offers a solution to the explosion of data by accelerating its understanding. The result is a reduction in the time needed to process information on vehicle performance, efficiency and productivity. 

The data collected by a traditional solution very often needs expert interpretation. Thanks to AI, a greater number of people now have access to clear, reliable analysis. The conversational capability makes the tool simple and intuitive to use.

Above all, AI makes it possible to provide simple answers to complex queries. Perhaps a fleet manager wants to know the average time spent by vehicles idling over the whole fleet in the past year. This would normally require cross-referencing thousands of columns of information in an Excel table. Now, with Geotab’s Artificial Intelligence capability, it takes just a few seconds.

  • Predictive functionality: AI not only makes understanding data easy, it also enables predictions and anticipates certain actions. It can provide fleet managers with precise recommendations to readjust their maintenance strategy.

For example, predictive maintenance makes it possible to rationalise vehicle maintenance schedules. This is a significant asset for managers, who can use it to predict the obsolescence of a vehicle component. In addition to the obvious savings in time and money for both the manager and the driver, it also makes it possible to address another major challenge: optimising fleet utilisation. 

Indeed, there's nothing more valuable than being able to solve a problem before it gets worse.  Directing a driver to the nearest workshop or garage, before a vehicle breaks down, saves not only time and cost but also the company reputation.

  • Transforming safety and sustainable mobility: generative AI can play a crucial role in helping to maximise road safety by identifying risky vehicle  behaviors. It can also help adopt new strategies to promote sustainability by improving fleet performance, improving the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, and optimising routes in real time.

Opportunities for Innovation

The opportunities for innovation offered by generative AI are endless, and the transportation and mobility sector are no exception. To quickly find out how much CO2 emissions a manager has saved thanks to the electric vehicles recently added to a fleet, or to make the decisions on the best locations to deploy charging stations, conversational and generative AI are making fleet management tools increasingly relevant to those decisions.

To get to know more about Geotab’s IA capabilities click here

*ResearchandMarkets.com Global Telematics Market Growth, Trends and Forecasts 2021-2026 - CAGR of 20% Forecast Between 2021 to 2026 -
** Gartner study "Hype Cycle for Connected Vehicles and Smart Mobility".