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2021 and beyond: What truck telematics will look like in the future

Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

using truck data your ELDs collecting generic

Telematics and visibility may have been FE’s 2020 Trend of the Year, but the trend didn’t stop on Dec. 31. Beyond the ongoing trends outlined in that story, here are a few teasers from our group of technological experts on what technology fleets may be able to take advantage of in the next year and beyond.

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“We’ve been working on two big projects,” shares Pete Russo, senior vice president of product innovation and strategy at Decisiv. “One is around managing the relationship of who cares about a particular vehicle or asset.”

He notes that currently, there’s not an option to track everyone who might have an investment in a particular vehicle, including the owner, operator, lessee and leasing company, insurance company and maintenance providers. This is something Decisiv is working on providing. 

The second project, Russo notes, is Connect, which he refers to as the “next level” of Decisiv’s APIs. “It enables fleets and fleet managed care providers to directly interact with anyone in our ecosystem through the API,” he explains. “So, if they are building their own portal, or they want to integrate a partner or a particular fleet maintenance management system, all of those types of different scenarios will now be able to be supported.”

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“With fleet management technology, Geotab is looking to continue to advance connected vehicle technologies to provide a safer, more efficient and autonomous future,” says Stephen White, heavy truck fleet enterprise business manager at Geotab. “Additionally, as artificial intelligence and machine learning become increasingly integrated into video technology and new solutions are introduced, Geotab seamlessly integrates or adds these solutions to the Geotab platform to provide its customers with a reliable and ‘future-proofed’ telematics platform.”

On the service side, Alec Johnson, product manager at Noregon, predicts that the future will bring with it expanded integration of remote diagnostics and in-shop tools. “Remote diagnostics capture time series fault and sensor data and we’ll soon see this information shared with in-shop tools,” he says. “The ability to go back in time and know a vehicle’s precise operating conditions when the failure occurred will not only make diagnostics more efficient, but also feed predictive algorithms with data to predict additional failures with greater accuracy.

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“Additionally, we’ll see the gap between in-shop and remote diagnostic tool capabilities continue to shrink. As remote diagnostics begin to offer more repair functions, fleets can expect greater uptime rates by reducing shop visits and correcting issues before they fester.”

Neel Sheth, director of product management at Samsara, echoed the idea that predictive systems are on the rise. “We expect strong growth in the need for predictive solutions that help managers know how to see operational challenges ahead of time and take action to avoid them,” Sheth says. “More efficient dispatch operations, predictive maintenance and proactive driver coaching programs will all be possible based on more advanced analytics and machine-learning based solutions.”

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Chris Orban, vice president of data science at Trimble, shared the three areas that the Trimble Transportation Data Science group is focusing on:

  1. Continuing to increase the amount of information available in visibility tools, and moving from just current information to predictions about future positions of assets.
  2. Exposing more information to the carriers about current and future availability of shipments to reduce deadhead, and optimize backhaul opportunities by showing carriers freight that they currently are unable to see.
  3. Providing a “Trust Center” that will allow carriers to choose exactly what they display to shippers, allowing a shipper to potentially find a better carrier match for their shipments, without forcing a carrier to share all of their asset information.

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