New features are continuously added to fleet management solutions adding more value to end users. One recent example of this, says Johan Fagerberg, co-founder of Berg Insight, is the integration of cameras in vehicle environments for various purposes.
Applications range from simple dash cams and CCTV-type surveillance to more advanced deployments for vehicle exterior monitoring and driver behaviour management. Some innovative solutions even track eye and head movements for real-time intervention in case of undesirable behaviour. Numerous fleet management players have introduced or are planning to launch integrated video-based solutions as part of the solution portfolios.
Some FM players choose to develop their own video capabilities in-house, whereas others work in partnership with established providers from the video sector. Also Tier Ones have activities in this market as part of their vehicle safety solutions. Vehicle OEMs are in the future expected to increasingly integrate various video-based technology solutions as part of the overall offerings.
The cost of collisions
Fleet insurance costs have continuously increased in the past years. Fleet management systems can help lower insurance premiums for fleet owners. Globally, around 6% of all fleet vehicles are involved in a collision each year according to the NHTSA. Many of these collisions could most likely be prevented by monitoring and improving driver performance.
Driving style monitoring is part of many FM systems and can encourage safer driving. Motivating drivers and providing them with real-time driver feedback solutions and ongoing coaching them to drive safely is important to reduce fleet risks.
Some insurance companies install their own devices to collect the driver behaviour and tracking data while others allow fleets to use already installed fleet telematics devices. Verisk Insurance Solutions has, for instance, launched the Verisk Data Exchange. In mid-2017, Verisk Insurance Solutions announced an alliance with TomTom Telematics, where fleet owners can choose to flow driving data collected by the TomTom WEBFLEET into the Verisk Data Exchange.
This will provide TomTom WEBFLEET subscribers access to fleet insurance benefits and operational safety feedback. Fleet insurance telematics is an application area which is yet to achieve wide-spread adoption. It is likely that insurance telematics will become an important driver for fleet management uptake in the next years even though it is not a major selling point today.
Gold is in the data
Big data is the real gold in the fleet management sector. Everything is data – driver performance, tracking data, working times and maintenance history. TomTom Telematics, for instance, processes 25 billion new data points every quarter for its fleet management clients. It can be of immense value to use the large amounts of data generated by a fleet and analyse this data to help the fleet owner to better understand its drivers and assets, which allows it to make improvements that maximise performance.
Fleet owners can learn new things about their daily operations by analysing everything from delivery routes to waiting times. Big Data can detect driving behaviours and let employees know how they can change their driving style to save money and potentially even save lives. Big data can also be used to detect problems before they happen, allowing vehicles to be serviced when they actually need maintenance in order to minimise cost.
Direct sales is still the principal distribution model, especially for the high-end solutions, although many players are investing in the development of indirect channels – particularly when expanding into foreign markets. Mobile operators have become a popular and important sales channel in the past years and most of the larger mobile operator groups work with various aftermarket players.
The traditional pricing model among the fleet management solution vendors has involved an upfront hardware cost as well as installation in combination with monthly service fees. There is now a gradual shift towards solution-as-a-service offerings where everything is included in a monthly fee. In the future we could even anticipate profit sharing models where the pricing is based on the performance of the fleet management system.
The author of this blog is Johan Fagerberg, co-founder of Berg Insight