As we accelerate towards a future filled with electrically-powered, autonomous vehicles, business analysts are predicting costs savings of up to 40% for self-driving fleets, while insurers are looking forward to a decrease in accidents and thefts through the reduction of human interaction.
Electric vehicles (EV) have been hailed as a means of reducing the impact our current modes of transport have on our environment, with many companies working hard at being the first mass produce affordable versions. There are basically two types of EVs currently in production, all-electric which use rechargeable battery packs to power the motor and hybrids which use a combination of battery and fuel.
However, for fleet managers and operators, autonomous EV fleets will bring a whole new set of challenges with them. They will need to ensure that their technology partners are ready to face what comes their way. Companies with proven vehicle mobility solutions, tracking and monitoring products that are easy to integrate into existing systems, completely scalable and primed to drive exceptional value, will be the first choice for operators.
With the introduction of self-driving EVs, the fusion of the physical, digital, and biological systems will result in many new ways of working. Already there is a marked decrease in human intervention in fleet management as always-on, digital monitoring platforms become the norm, both on the road and at the warehouse.
1. Vehicular ecosystem driving trucks to destinations
Currently, sensors on vehicles can tell fleet managers exactly what’s happening inside the cab, the cargo area and the engine, but the future promises a complete vehicular ecosystem. External and internal data will be collected, analysed and turned into useful real-time actions - GPS, satellite, IoT and digital monitoring and analysis platforms will provide the data used to guide the vehicle to its destination, quickly and efficiently.
2. Preventative maintenance software comes into play
No matter how autonomous a vehicle gets, maintenance will always be an issue, with fleet managers having to keep an eye on the health of their self-driving trucks. Preventative maintenance software reports, which are already part and parcel of Cartrack’s system, will assist in this. Our MiFleet software plugs straight into existing administrative and accounting systems, allowing fleet owners to digitalise and automate fleet admin, maintenance, cost analysis and compliance issues. An essential service when it comes to driverless car fleets.
3. Power monitoring and notification
In addition to tyres, brakes, bulbs and more, one of the dilemmas operators will have to face is that of recharging EVs – where, when and how. While real-time vehicle diagnostics will provide oversight on this, fleet owners will have to relook at the current systems and integrate this into their business continuity strategy. Power monitoring will no doubt become even more important in the EV sphere and Cartrack has already proven its mettle in this field.
4. Hacking and vehicle and asset recovery
Driverless EVs will use sophisticated software to monitor and guide vehicles to their destination. This could leave them vulnerable to hacking and redirection. Geofencing, like that offered by Cartrack, can be used to define areas of operation and alert fleet managers when those borders are breached.
Smart AI cameras on board the EVs will also assist operators with keeping an eye on their assets. These can be programmed to continuously keep watch or just react to triggered events and live stream this data straight back to the fleet management systems.
In the event a vehicle is stolen or hijacked, a fleet manager can then decide on the appropriate action to take. Cartrack is SA’s leading vehicle recovery specialists and has a 16-year legacy in delivering state-of-the-art track and return services.
5. One system for all makes and models
Another pain point for managers and owners is that of different vehicle makes and models within their fleet, and each brand utilising OEM tracking and monitoring. An agnostic system that provides seamless vehicle integration will be a game-changer in the age of autonomous fleets. Cartrack’s leading mobility SaaS platform maximizes the value of data to ensure that no matter what vehicle, or where it is, information can be downloaded in real time, analysed and used to ensure efficiency and deliverables.
6. New aspects for insurers to cover
On the other side of the coin, insurers should also be gearing up to provide cover and support for EV fleets. With no drivers involved, accidents will probably be a result of component failure rather than human error. Insurers will need eyes and ears on every aspect of the EV to generate accurate accident reconstruction and decide on the nature of the claims. This can mean anything from CANBus reports to onboard sensors, AI-operating systems such as cameras and more, that all stream data back to the monitoring platform for storage and analysis.
Cartrack is already a trusted name in the vehicle mobility industry and well able to provide the services that will be required by both commercial and private EV users. In the future, all vehicles will be connected, data will drive all aspects of mobility and Cartrack will be right there with them. Click here to find out how we can be your partners now and in the future.
As we accelerate towards a future filled with electrically-powered, autonomous vehicles, business analysts are predicting costs savings of up to 40% for self-driving fleets.