New trends in the automotive industry are rapidly increasing the capabilities of connected vehicles. Automakers are gaining in-house data management capabilities through partnerships with hyperscale cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, they can seamlessly mine vast amounts of data to gain insights to enhance the rider experience.
This is to the benefit of fleet managers, helping them remotely access vehicle information like fuel economy, fuel consumption, operating temperature, diagnostic trouble codes, and key vehicle performance indicators. Collecting this type of vehicle data and combining it with other business data such as maintenance records, weather, routing, maps, inventory, and fuel costs results in a rich set of data that can be analyzed for business insights.
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Fleet managers see concrete benefits: reduced operational costs, improved safety, and increased customer satisfaction.
Reduced operational costs and improved efficiency
Connected fleets enable fleet managers to optimize fuel efficiency, improve routing, and streamline reporting. For example, with big data from connected vehicles, a fleet manager can predict failure points by distance traveled and group the data into statistical confidence levels. This data can be used to prioritize maintenance, manage the supply chain, and avoid failures. The result is decreased operational costs and increased profits.
Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi uses a system built on the Microsoft Azure cloud to deliver connected services in vehicles sold in nearly 200 markets.1 The program uses AI and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to analyze vehicle data to deliver intelligent services like proactive monitoring and over-the-air software updates.
PT Serasi Autoraya (SERA), a subsidiary of PT Astra International (Astra) provides transportation solution services in Indonesia managing thousands of fleet assets.2 Working with Accenture Industry X.0, Avanade, and Microsoft, the company built out AstraFMS, a connected fleet management solution hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud and powered by the Accenture Connected Fleet Platform. With AstraFMS, PT Sera is streamlining operations and lowering fuel costs with improved vehicle utilization and reduced driver misuse.
Connected fleets provide an opportunity to improve driver safety habits. Managers analyze dashboards and reports to identify patterns, behaviors, and habits of drivers. With this information, businesses are able to make informed decisions on how to improve driver habits and more.
WayKonect, headquartered in Lille, France, delivers a fleet management solution based on Azure that helps improve driver’s safety habits.3 Fleet managers use the company’s tools to analyze patterns, behaviors, and habits of individual drivers. The result is real-time coaching tips to help drivers improve.
To safeguard against fraud and enhance both driver and rider peace of mind, Uber4 uses the Face API, part of Azure Cognitive Services, to make sure that the driver using the Uber application is the same as the driver on file for the account. This incremental verification is quick, works on all smartphones, works in dim light, and scales to more than 1 million drivers. By using the Face API, Uber saved months of development work. The time saved was devoted to building out a custom user experience.
Increased customer satisfaction
Mercedes-Benz Research and Development6 is helping fleet managers increase customer satisfaction by improving the way that software is updated in vehicle head units. The head unit computer in a car’s dashboard runs the infotainment system, including the navigation system, digital radio tuner, and apps, such as parking and search. Previously, this software could only be flashed as a monolith when a vehicle rolled off the factory line or when it returned to the shop.
By containerizing the head unit apps using Azure Container Registry and Azure for Kubernetes Service, Mercedes-Benz can update software on the head units over the air easily and frequently. Fleet managers see less downtime and benefit as new features are continuously added.
As automakers offer more capabilities in connected vehicles, fleet managers benefit. From proactive monitoring and reduced fuel costs to increase driver safety and less downtime, fleet managers are seeing better business results.
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