Automotive Fleet

FEB 2014

Magazine for the car and truck fleet and leasing industry

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AUTOMOTIVE FLEET I FEBRUARY 2014 24 TECHNOLOGY INTRODUCING A NEW TECHNOLOGY Deutsche Telekom and its subsidiary T-Mobile will introduce a new technology in the U.S. The company expects to release the still-to-be-named product sometime in the f rst quarter of 2014. The system will build on the company's experience in helping f eets in Europe be more productive and eff cient, ac- cording to Niclas Andersson, Deutsche Telekom's director of sales. "What we're doing in the automotive space is a different approach. Our intention is to expand on some of our capabilities that we have in Europe within a variety of solutions going beyond connectivity," Andersson explained. Andersson said the f rst trial in the U.S. was with an automotive asset and inventory management service called iCar in cooperation with Un-Blinking Tech- nologies is now being tested together with Barrier Motors to manage inventory, and additional options, such as proactive service offerings, real-time GPS monitoring, eco-drive functionality including possible electronic boundaries for the consumer vehicle. Fleets in the U.S. that are expected to be the f rst users are small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) f eets, giving them a comprehensive inventory over- view, including routing. "The goal is to provide a complete turnkey service to f eet customers," Andersson said. "It will be designed more like an asset manage- ment system, and can be combined with security systems. It's more about how to extend the services." The system will allow accessibility through smart devices and will be a service and not require any up-front costs. MONITORING PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE Donlen's DriverPoint telematics offers its customers a number of f eet management applications including customized analytic tools. Among the most recent innovations are a maintenance analysis and an engine diagnostics tool. "For one of our clients, we analyzed maintenance times by different maintenance vendors. For example, an oil change at one vendor might take 20 minutes while at another vendor it might take more than two hours. By being equipped with that information and data, they were then able to route the drivers to the proper vendors, so they're not wasting their time waiting for service," said Tom Sloan, Donlen's di- rector of telematics. Vehicle diagnostics is another new area for Donlen's DriverPoint solution. The goal with this new analytic tool is to try to predict the timing of severe engine failures or when major maintenance work needs to be done before a ve- hicle has to be pulled out of service for an extended period of time. To that end, the DriverPoint system can capture engine trouble codes directly from the vehicle. "The goal is to nip those problems in the bud before the engine actu- ally does fail by capturing that data that you may not notice when you're behind the wheel driving," Sloan said. Donlen has also added some additional improvements, so it can be integrated into other companies' manage- ment software to increase driver productivity. LEVERAGING BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE Fleetmatics is focused on how to turn business intelligence into an asset. "We have 20,000 customers with 417,000 vehicles reporting into us every 90 seconds, so we have billions and billions of data points to work with. We've been more focused lately about business intelligence as an asset and helping our customers large and small leverage that data to tell a story relevant to others or relevant to a scale be- yond themselves," according to Todd Ewing, director of product marketing for Fleetmatics. A new way that Fleetmatics is looking at data is with its Hotspots application. "We can use the data and look at where drivers are going, where are the clusters of activity, and relay that to the f eet manager," Ewing said. "Hotspots is the f rst step in allowing us to proactively identify a cli- ent's key locations, rather than relying on the client to advise us. Ultimately, we want to be able to tell our clients: here's where your drivers are going, here's where your off ces are, here's where your customers are. And, we'll be able to do that. We have the information to make it real." PREDICTING ACTIVITY GE Capital Fleet Services is seeing an increasing number of f eets adopting telematics as a regular part of business, and they're using its Monitor Application in increasingly sophisticated ways to increase uptime and productivity. "A number of our telematics customers are using the key telematics data to change things such as where and when they pick up their inventory of parts for service needs, so their drivers spend less time at branch locations and more time servicing customers," explained Mike Mrosko, GE Capital Fleet Services' telematics product leader. Another new offering is asset tracking, which is designed to keep tabs on ancillary equipment, such as a trailer or a small forklift. The cellular device sends a "ping" whenever the equipment is moved. "We've also developed a tool to help our customers manage their idle asset inventory. The tool helps f eet managers identify and track when and which units are pulled out of service and helps monitor to ensure those units don't remain in storage too long. This leads to cost reduction and improved productivity of the as- sets," said Teresa Johnson, Fleet Management Solutions' product and RFP leader for GE Capital Fleet Services. Going part-and-parcel with GE Capital Fleet Services' telematics solutions is predictive analytics. "We're building predictive analytic tools to gain visibility of future spend, this will allow us to run scenario analysis to see tomorrow's cost impact of today's actions" said Steve Jastrow, strategic consulting services manager. This turn to predictive analytics ref ects GE's corporate push of using big data throughout all of the company. Mrosko said the most signif cant cost savings opportunities are in the area of driver productivity. "We have an installation company focused on decreasing branch stop occurrences and time. As a result of their focus, they've been able to add more installations per installer per day — which is a huge driver of their bottom-line results," Mrosko said. GE Capital Fleet Services has also launched a collision avoidance device, which gives a physical alert when the vehicle is approaching an object too quickly. A F 0 2 1 4 p r o d u c t i v i t y . i n d d 2 4 AF0214productivity.indd 24 1 / 2 4 / 1 4 6 : 1 3 A M 1/24/14 6:13 AM

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