How AI is revolutionising fleet management


In an era where efficiency is paramount, fleet managers are constantly on the lookout for the next innovation that will drive their operations forward.

Enter artificial intelligence (AI) – a technology that is poised to redefine the landscape of fleet management. AI is not just enhancing existing processes, it’s pioneering new standards in operational excellence and strategic foresight.

Here, we delve into the benefits AI can bring to fleets, and how it can improve performance and boost business profitability.


Reduction in downtime

Effective management of vehicle downtime is crucial for maximising business profitability. Every minute a car or van is off the road due to unplanned maintenance and repairs not only results in lost revenue, it also impacts service delivery and customer satisfaction.

AI is helping to address this issue, allowing fleets to adopt a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance. By leveraging data from vehicle sensors and historical records, the AI can predict breakdowns before they occur, allowing fleet managers to forecast and plan for maintenance before costly, unexpected issues arise.

For example, Nissan and Acerta Analytic Solutions are developing an AI tool which pulls data from the vehicle’s electronic control unit to predict engine component failures. The technology then estimates the distance the vehicle can travel before the driver is alerted of the issue.

Amazon, meanwhile, has implemented AI technology that can detect even the smallest of anomalies in their delivery vans before they head out on the road. Similarly, Anyline’s AI-powered mobile tyre scanner instantly creates a digital model of the tyre, providing fleets with a more reliable and accurate tread depth and informing users when to replace it.


Improved fuel efficiency

Fuel remains one of the largest expenditures when it comes to running a fleet. With fuel prices hitting record highs in recent years, fleet managers have been under increasing pressure to prevent costs from spiralling out of control.

Route optimisation software plays a crucial role in addressing this challenge. Well-planned routes mean drivers spend less time caught in traffic and idling, reducing fuel wastage and costs.

AI takes the technology one step further. By analysing a wealth of information, such as real-time traffic data, weather and road conditions, and historical patterns, the AI continuously refines and optimises driving routes to ensure the most fuel-efficient route is taken.

What’s more, AI extends its benefits to load management by predicting demand and suggesting optimal loading distribution. This ensures each vehicle is loaded to full capacity, reducing the number of unnecessary journeys, and minimising fuel wastage and emissions.


Improved driver behaviour

AI technologies are proving instrumental in promoting better driving habits across a workforce.

By monitoring driver behaviour, AI can suggest ways to improve performance, such as smoother braking, reducing speed and keeping a safe distance from the vehicle ahead.

AI-powered Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) further support drivers by offering safety features such as automatic braking, lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control.

Driver-facing AI cameras can also analyse driver movements in real-time. These cameras, which have evolved from traditional in-vehicle CCTV systems, look for subtle changes in eye movements, facial expressions and head position to detect signs of fatigue, distraction, stress or even intoxication.

When they identify potentially unsafe behaviours, the system immediately alerts the driver, prompting them to take corrective actions to help avoid accidents.

Additionally, external-facing cameras can study the surrounding environment to identify risky driving actions, such as failing to slow down for a stop sign.

Tech company Nauto has developed dual-facing dash cams to constantly monitor for potential risks out on the road, such as pedestrians and changing lights, as well as in-cab distractions like phone use or smoking. The system’s predictive collision alerts effectively double a driver’s reaction time, providing an extra 100 feet to react when traveling at 60 mph.

Footage generated by vehicle cameras is extremely useful for fleet managers wanting to better manage their fleet risk. However, reviewing hours of film just isn’t possible. AI post-analysis solutions, such as NARA from VisionTrack, assesses footage of driving events, near misses and collisions in just seconds, providing fleet managers with a comprehensive overview. They can also issue alerts if necessary and identify drivers who require additional support, like the emergency services.


A better EV experience

Fleet managers worldwide are increasingly electrifying their fleets to meet government sustainability targets – and AI is helping to simplify this transition.

Range anxiety is still a huge barrier to electrification, particularly for organisations with vehicles that cover long distances. Companies are now developing AI algorithms that address these concerns, with the tech analysing data such as battery levels, historical driving data, terrain and weather conditions to provide a more accurate range prediction.

Personalisation could also significantly enhance the EV experience in the near future. Each driver has unique habits and preferences, particularly when it comes to charging. AI-equipped smart charging systems can learn from individual styles, factoring in elements such as electricity demand, grid capacity and cost fluctuations. The tech would then optimise a user’s charging schedule for maximum convenience and cost-effectiveness. 

An example of this is Uber’s recently announced smart charging feature in its app for London-based drivers. The feature employs machine learning to offer drivers real-time information on chargepoint prices, availability and traffic conditions, as well as battery level monitoring, to help drivers choose the best time and location to charge.

As AI continues to develop, the benefits it brings to fleets will only become more profound, unlocking new levels of efficiency, safety and sustainability.

By staying abreast of the latest innovations and implementing them effectively, fleet managers can ensure their fleets remain at the forefront of industry excellence.



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