6 Must-Know Fleet Management Trends
In recent years, fleet management has seen significant changes, with COVID adding plenty of fuel to the fire. And as we roll into 2022, the combination of new technology and growing innovations is setting the stage for even more advancements. Here are six must-know fleet management trends that should be on your radar next year:
1. More Remote Fleet Management
Before COVID, there was a push toward building more remote fleet workforces throughout the 21st century. But since March 2020, that push has been massively accelerated. 25 – 30% of the US workforce is expected to work remotely by the end of 2021, according to data from Global Workplace Analytics. And this is a trend that’s expected to remain into 2022 and beyond.
Although COVID restrictions have eased, it’s still a huge factor in many parts of the world. That’s why it’s so important for fleet managers to emphasize building a remote infrastructure where you can seamlessly communicate with drivers and maintain maximum visibility with fleet operations. While this certainly comes with its challenges, there’s a wide array of increasingly intuitive telematics technology that is implementing sensor and video technology to help fleet managers remotely monitor their assets.
2. IoT Will Become Ubiquitous
Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to reach new heights in 2022. Research from Statista found over 60% of new global vehicles were IoT connected in 2019, and by 2023, that number should be more than 85% — marking 25% growth in just four years. While IoT has already been part of fleet management, 2022 should be the year it officially becomes ubiquitous.
When used effectively, IoT can be a tremendous asset to fleet managers. “This technology has started to bring more efficiency and insights to the fleet management field,” explains fleet innovation strategist Justin King. “With automated systems capturing data, the fleet manager can more easily ensure compliance with regulations, measure driver safety, improve productivity, and optimize fleet efficiency.” Besides that, IoT can be beneficial for meeting the demands of increasingly remote infrastructure.
3. 5G Technology Will Expand
5th generation (or 5G) technology first rolled out in late 2018. While there’s only been minimal adoption thus far, things are quickly picking up. Of course, it will still be a while before 5G usage becomes completely widespread, but 2022 should mark a year for significant expansion, with much more to come after that.
And that’s beneficial for fleet managers because these next-gen networks will make it quicker and cheaper to monitor and interact with drivers. More specifically, 5G will improve:
- IoT sensors to keep a closer eye on driver safety, incidents, and vehicle condition
- Route visibility to ensure drivers follow optimal routes and can seamlessly reroute when necessary
- Vehicle maintenance because there’s quicker transmission between vehicle parts and software
- Overall communication with fewer network delays and less downtime
While 5G is only available in select locations at the moment, it’s poised to have a much more significant presence in 2022 and something to keep an eye on.
4. There Will Be an Even Bigger Push Toward Electric Vehicles
Electric vehicles are by no means new. There was rapid growth in global electric vehicle stock, as illustrated by this graph from 2010-2019.
But 2022 will likely be the tipping point of a noticeable surge in fleets investing in electric vehicles. With regulations for controlling emissions revving up and companies’ brand equity more heavily impacted by eco-consciousness, many experts predict 2022 will be the year many fleets make a noticeable transition to electric vehicles.
The good news is that making the shift is becoming more affordable. A fast-growing market, cheaper electricity, and tax breaks in many countries mean implementing electric vehicles is quickly becoming a realistic move for many fleets and often leads to less overall costs in the long run.
5. There Will Be a Growing Emphasis on Fleet Safety
Safety is always a top concern for fleet managers. Research has found the annual accident rate for commercial fleets is about 20%. And with most fleet drivers logging 25,000 or more miles each year, as opposed to just 12,000 to 15,000 miles for non-fleet drivers, their chances of being involved in an accident are considerably higher. Hence, becoming more safety-focused will be another of the top fleet management trends for 2022.
But how exactly will companies be achieving higher safety standards? Primarily with fleet management software, such as VQ Safety, which can be used for several purposes.
One is to eliminate distracted cell phone driving. Cell phone usage is one of the main reasons for accidents and an ongoing issue for many fleet managers. But with VQ Safety, there’s Safe Driving Mode where a driver’s cell phone becomes inoperable while they’re driving based on vibration sensors and speed. That alone can go a long way in increasing fleet safety.
Another is to use a speed governor to limit the maximum speed a driver can reach based on what you’ve set in your fleet policy. Rather than having to merely rely on a driver’s word that they’ll stay within the speed limit, this ensures they’re never placed in a position where they can go beyond what’s acceptable. And besides creating safer conditions for your fleet drivers and other drivers on the road, a speed governor can also help lower your overall fuel consumption, as reaching speeds beyond 55 mph significantly reduces fuel efficiency.
Beyond that, many fleet management solutions are equipped to send automatic notifications in near-real-time whenever a driver engages in risky driving behavior. That way you can promptly react, taking corrective measures and identifying educational opportunities to make your fleet as safe as possible.
6. Analytics Will Further Evolve
We’re already at a point in 2021 where analytics can perform in-depth reporting. As we mentioned earlier, many fleets currently use analytics for driver routing and rerouting, monitoring vehicle maintenance, and tracking general driver behavior. But 2022 is shaping up to be a breakout year where we’ll see even more robust reporting on nearly every imaginable aspect of fleet management.
For example, you can:
- Track miles per gallon
- Monitor unauthorized fill-ups
- Track idle time for each driver and your fleet as a whole
- See how vehicles are running
- Perform predictive maintenance analysis
- Monitor fuel efficiency
- Track productivity
- Analyze key financial data
Also, instead of having to wait for data to accumulate, you’ll have access to information in near-real-time for ultra-intelligent decision making.
Getting on Board with 2022 Fleet Management Trends
Fleet management is a fast-moving industry. The innovations and technology have created an exciting atmosphere at the start of the 2020s, and it honestly feels like we’re only at the tip of the iceberg. While a lot is going on, the six fleet management trends listed above capture what’s most important for leaders and highlight what you should focus on in 2022.