The demand for smart fleet management is expected to grow multi-fold in the coming years at the back of rising ask for fuel efficiency combined with high-speed networks. From regional perspective, the APAC region will see rise in lucrative opportunities for smart fleet management and factors supporting this are stringent government regulations, combined with improved transportation facilities and infrastructure. Among various sectors, the automotive and mobility sector has increased the usage of IoT technology to boost their customer experience as well as to steer innovation and development across the fleet management industry. According to the “Indian Internet of Things (IoT) Growth Opportunities” report, the IoT market in India is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.2% from 2020 to 2025.
Fleeting forward with IoT
While new-age technologies have continued to strengthen their grasp over our daily lives, there are still some noticeable improvement spots, particularly in terms of cars, trucks, etc. Here, IoT holds great potential to transform this aspect and usher in a new era of smart mobility.
With the help of cellular communications to further transmit necessary information as well as with the added help of technologies like AI, Big Data, Predictive Analytics, etc, IoT also has the power to revolutionize the fleet management industry. In this way, fleet owners are able to keep a track of their vehicle’s performance and are able to have informed conversations with their stakeholders.
Tesla Motors’ “Over The Air” software update is a good example of how IoT is a gamechanger in terms of fleet management. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in America had published recall announcements, inclusive of one from Tesla Motors, which had problems that could cause fires. While usually, companies would fulfill the recall activity for such cars, Tesla Motors conducted an “Over the air” software update with the help of IoT technology. This move has become a milestone and a new precedent for what constitutes an automotive recall without the owners being forced to bring their vehicles to the dealer. In the same way, IoT has immense opportunities for Indian automotive companies to enhance their fleet management processes.
Indian adoption of IoT in Fleet management
IoT has immense benefits when it comes to fleet management. However, it is interesting to note that as of now, only 11% of Indian logistics companies are already using IoT for fleet management (according to a 2021 study by HERE Technologies and Frost & Sullivan). This shows that logistics companies are still relying on traditional systems to manage their fleet at a disadvantage.
Seeing the growing need for a better supply chain, tracking, and monitoring, the report indicates that two out of five logistics companies are planning to implement IoT solutions across assets over the next two years. Doing so will help such companies improve their location data and location-based services, achieving real-time tracking and improving operational efficiency.
Another promising sector is the last mile delivery sector in India which is on a steady upward trajectory. It is estimated to a market size of $6 billion by 2024 (Redseer report). India’s last mile delivery constitutes of FMCG, e-commerce, retail and other categories. The last-mile delivery contributes a significant 30% of the total cost of shipments in the e-commerce sector. From the buyer’s perspective, last-mile delivery is one of the most crucial aspects of every business. In the distributor-retailer led business, it is critical to ensure that supplies reach the market on time, every time. Indian leading footwear manufacturer Paragon owns a large number of fleets moving across the country. They were regularly receiving complains on the delay in transportation of goods, which was directly affecting their sales and consumer satisfaction. They were also facing losses due to fuel pilferages, frequent unexpected breakdowns and poor mileage leading to unpleasing incidents with the drivers. This led to the search for a technology-based solution to track and monitor Paragon fleets remotely, in real-time to prevent vehicle misuse, idle time of trucks and even driver behaviour. After due diligence, Paragon selected Sify and its IoT partner – Aeris Communications, India to make Paragon’s national wide fleet a connected fleet. Mr. Abraham Chacko, Associate Vice President, Paragon shared that with the successful deployment of Aeris and Sify integrated IoT solution, they now have an advantage of minimizing the idle time, tracking the vehicle in real time, control and take timely action on the misuse of the vehicle in case driver takes a wrong route, quick loading /unloading based on the vehicle arriving information etc. This has significantly improved efficiency of their distribution channel and dropped the number of complaints on late shipments.
Another interesting use case of IoT technology creating USP’s for fleet enterprises is that of SmartE, India’s first and largest electric mobility service. The company provides an environmentally sustainable solution to the first and last mile transportation opportunity in urban cities. SmartE has laced its EV fleets with Aeris technology to make its fleet smart and provide the most convenient, transparent and economical short distance travel solution.
IoT is also enabling municipal corporations transform their citizen services by brining efficiency in operations. The solid waste management department of oldest municipal institution in India uses AerTrak by Aeris Communications for route planning and real time tracking of garbage collector vans at any time of the day & from anywhere. With the rapid increase in population and concern of better management of the waste production, municipality was looking forward to making their waste collection process more efficient cost friendly. Department was spending money, but the result was vague, and citizens were highly dissatisfied. With Aeris connected technology, the fleet of electric vehicles (EV) deployed as garbage vans became smart fleet. Aeris technology enabled automatic setup of the optimum pick-up routes that helped saving fuel consumption, worker’s efforts, reduced operational cost significantly while improving citizen experience of waste management services delivered!
What the future holds
In this new world order, new-age technologies like IoT serve as a facilitator, which reduces the communication gap and time lag to delivery between businesses and their customers. With IoT holding the potential to reinvent fleet management, we can expect a new era of smart mobility to take its own course. It will be exciting to see how the Indian automotive, mobility, and the last mile delivery sectors can take advantage of this as well as their global counterparts.
Director Marketing & Head of Strategic Alliances- Industry & Academia, Marcom, Sales Enablement and CSR Divisions
Aeris Communications India Pvt. Ltd.
Shweta Berry has over 21 years of industry experience as is a specialist in Enterprise Technologies Marketing, Communications, Marcom, Sales Enablement, Tech Influencer, Digital Marketeer & a Content Strategist. Shweta is an alumna of IIM CALCUTTA, Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) in France and has a Master’s degree from Delhi University. Shweta believes in giving back to the society, meaningfully.
Published in Telematics Wire