There are so many industries that employ fleets for functioning. But these industries do not solely need vehicle tracking. In this regard, fleet management systems users get an upper edge over the others.
They have options to integrate sensors with their vehicles to optimise the working of these fleets. Sensors help managers keep control over their vehicles. They can observe and study their fleets through the reports generated by these sensors.
Use of Sensors in Various Industries
There are all kinds of sensors and all industries use them uniquely. But before we have a look at individual industry-wise sensor usage, let us learn about a sensor common to all industries.
Fleet management software provides fleet owners with options to track their fleet’s fuel consumption. This is possible by connecting the odometers of all vehicles to software. The acquired readings are then used to calculate the distance covered by a vehicle and its fuel consumption.
This sensor reduces the chances of odometer fraud. Drivers often add extra kilometres to their odometer reading to get more money from managers. But with an odometer, these readings are sent directly to managers and leave no room for tampering.
Do you see just how effective sensor integration is? Let us study all industries separately:
The fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry deals with perishable goods transportation. The sole priority of this industry is to make sure that its transportation process is seamless. The greater the time wasted in delivery, the lesser time would remain from its shelf life before it spoils.
Such perishable goods include both food and beverages that require cold storage. But how is that possible in moving vehicles? This is where sensors come into play.
- Thermometers: These fleets can be integrated with fleet management systems to allow managers to keep track of their fleet's temperature.
To understand the working of this sensor better, let us look at an example. Imagine Vehicle A has to transport milk from one location to another that is 500km apart. There is a high chance that milk will go bad if kept at room temperature. Thus, owners invest in reefers for this transportation process.
But even after this, supervision is still required. Drivers cannot physically check on goods regularly as it can delay their tasks. Without regular inspection, the possibility of shopkeepers receiving expired goods increases.
In this case, owners can integrate thermometers with their fleet management system. This allows managers to track the cabin temperature of all their vehicles. Any sudden rise or drop in temperature beyond their set limit will alert managers immediately.
Motion Detector: Vehicle safety is one of the key reasons for businesses to invest in fleet management systems. To take this safety one level further, owners can integrate motion detectors with the software. Any unauthorised movement will alert managers immediately. With this, owners are able to eliminate any threat of theft.
It is very important to have a well-planned and optimised waste disposal system for any neighbourhood.
Planning waste disposal might sound very simple on paper. Just making sure that the vehicles cover all the garbage cans on their way, right? In reality, consideration of issues like vehicle maintenance and fuel consumption takes up several hours. Though, sensors can reduce the workload of managers significantly.
- Load sensors: These sensors are used to detect how much weight a vehicle is carrying. Managers can study reports generated through the data collected by this sensor. After some time, it becomes clear which areas tend to incur more garbage than others.
Managers can plan routes for all vehicles according to this information. They can judge what routes require more than vehicles. Ultimately, the plan finalised should have the least amount of overlap between the paths of the two vehicles.
- Routes for garbage collection should be created in a way that there is the least amount of overlap between the paths of two vehicles.
Managers also ensure that no vehicle travels with a load over its capacity as it leads to unnecessary fuel consumption and waste dropping on the roads.
- Waste Level Sensors: To fully optimise the waste management industry, we need to use garbage cans in this process as well. Waste level sensors alert managers when bins reach their maximum capacity.
Using this, managers will have an option to optimise routes wisely. They will add only those garbage cans to routes that are either overflowing or about to reach maximum capacity.
Medical and Healthcare
The Healthcare industry has absolutely no margin for error. It is responsible for not only transporting patients but also delivering medicines. This is why a fleet management system is more of a requirement than a choice in this industry.
- Thermometers: Maintaining cold temperatures while delivering medicines and vaccinations is necessary. Without proper conditions, medicines can go bad or lose their potency. Using refrigerated containers/reefers is necessary but the work does not end there. Even slight errors can not only lead to huge losses but can also put lives in danger.
We can take Covid-19 as an example. During the pandemic, vaccines had to be transported at a temperature between 2℃ to 8℃, which can be possible only in a refrigerated setting.
In such cases, a fleet manager should be able to monitor reefer temperature at all times.. thermometer integration to fleet management software can make this possible. With it, managers get real-time access to the temperature levels of their vehicles. They can use this data for transportation optimization.
- Door Sensors: Sealed doors are another way of maintaining vehicle temperature. If doors of a vehicle are left open, then it can affect consignment negatively. This is why the amalgamation of door sensors with fleet management systems can prevent this from happening.
Managers can track and ensure that their goods are safe. Whenever somebody opens a door, managers get alerts. Necessary actions to rectify such situations are thus executed.
Mining and Construction
Both mining and construction industries are responsible for several people working on sites. This is why sensor integration into vehicles is necessary. It automates the process of making sure that no dangerous circumstances arise. Some sensors used in mining and construction vehicles are:
- Accelerometer: Reckless driving can lead to several hazards in mining and construction areas. Managers can use an accelerometer to identify reckless driving by monitoring which drivers accelerate and brake abruptly.
They get alerts for these activities and can investigate all drivers behind such warnings. Better driving habits adapted means less fuel consumption of the fleet. It also reduces vehicle wear and tear. Thus, owners spend less money on servicing and maintenance.
- Proximity Sensor: A collision in such sensitive areas as a coal mine or construction area can lead to heavy losses. This is why a proximity sensor can be helpful to ensure that a vehicle does not run onto another vehicle or a rock.
Such sensors work best in low visibility areas where it is difficult to judge the correct path ahead. Coal mines often work underground with limited lighting options. It also makes an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) possible.
- Tire Pressure Sensor: Healthy tires are essential to ensure the vehicle’s safety travelling on road. That is because under-inflated or over-inflated tires can make it hard to control a vehicle
Maintaining good tire pressure helps automobiles save fuel. This helps fleets cut down costs. Wear and tear of tires is also reduced with this sensor and this reduces the overall maintenance cost of fleets.
Using this sensor, managers get alerts whenever the pressure goes below or above its set range. They can observe reports collected over time and get their tires serviced.
Logistics and Transportation
The logistics industry is responsible for the transportation of high-value consignments. With a fleet management system, owners can make sure that the transportation of their consignments is not only safe but also efficient. Some sensors that can be added to vehicles to be operated by the software are:
- Load Sensors: A load sensor is used to keep a check on the load being carried by vehicles at all times. This sensor helps the system to create reports by comparing the weight being carried by a vehicle to its total capacity
Let us look at an example. Three equal capacity trucks- Trucks A, B, and C- are transporting goods from one location to another. All three trucks can carry about 800kg of goods. But the load sensor detects that all of them are carrying 500kg, 700kg and 400kg respectively.
In this case, managers have an option to transfer some goods from truck C to truck A and the rest of them to truck B. This way the business will not have to spend money to running truck C. That truck can be assigned some other task instead.
- Proximity Sensors: These sensors alert managers whenever another vehicle or some object is about to collide with the vehicle. These kinds of sensors help in ADAS and keep the vehicle safe on busy roads. They can also be used to locate congested areas on roads and can be studied for future reference. Managers can avoid paths that are often blocked while allotting routes to vehicles.
Travelling by public transportation is very convenient for people. They are cheap and efficient. But have you ever wondered what goes behind maintaining such a large fleet? It is not only stressful to plan routes but also to ensure passenger safety.
So what sensors can fleet owners use to make their vehicles more efficient while also ensuring the safety of passengers?
- Proximity sensors: These sensors ensure that vehicles do not get into any accidents. Even though new vehicles have been designed to reduce blind spots in the driver's line of sight, there is still a chance of error. With proximity sensors integrated into the fleet management system, collisions can be avoided with other vehicles and pedestrians travelling on road.
- Tire Pressure sensors: Owners of public transportation fleets cannot take any chances when optimising a fleet. Tires are essentially what run a vehicle and keeping them in perfect health is every fleet’s top priority. With help from tire pressure sensors, managers can constantly check the pressure and health of their tires. When tires run efficiently, then the fleet also stays profitable. It consumes less fuel and requires less maintenance.
We are in an age where there is a boom in online vehicle rental services. For customers, this process has been reduced to just a couple of clicks. Fleet owners in this industry have to take very careful measures to ensure the safety of not just their vehicles, but also customers.
With help from sensors, this process can be automated for fleet owners. Let us have a look at sensors used in car rental fleets:
- Collision Prevention Sensor: This sensor detects when a vehicle comes in close proximity to any object that can potentially lead to an accident. Both managers and drivers get an alert informing them of this incident.With help from such sensors, vehicles are saved from damage. It also ensures passenger safety, increasing fleet efficiency.
- Accelerometer: Supervising whether your renter is driving their rented car properly is very difficult. Harsh driving practices can be harmful to vehicles. It not only leads to depreciation but can also consume more fuel than necessary. With the help of an accelerometer, managers can keep track of their renters. Activities like overspeeding, acceleration and abrupt braking are reported back to managers. This not only saves vehicles from breaking down but also saves fuel. With fleets lasting long, businesses are able to make profits.
Do You Want Efficient Fleets?
Every industry has different functions and the requirements for their fleets vary on a large scale. When we talk about sensor integration into fleet management software, we are talking about customised solutions for your business.
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