What the Internet of Things Means in Fleet Management

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to be a buzzworthy topic that remains unclear to many. But the more IoT relates to our homes and everyday lives – including the industries in which we work – the more we need to pay attention to this phenomenon.

Infoworld.com provides one of the more simple explanations of the Internet of Things that internetofthingswe’ve seen. The tech website says that IoT is “an environment that gathers information from multiple devices (computers vehicles, smartphones, traffic lights, and almost anything with a sensor) and applications (anything from a social media app such as  Twitter to an e-commerce platform, from a manufacturing system to a traffic control system).”

In IoT, “Internet” refers to a network or the internet, and “Things” refers to any physical “thing” that exists in the world, from appliances to objects to people. When the two are connected via sensors and unique identifiers, we can extract meaningful information. For example, the Nest thermostat is a “smart” thermostat that learns the owner’s behaviors and, after time, sets temperatures based on that data – along with information collected from sensors as to whether the owner is home or not. With the Nest app, owners can adjust temperatures from a device anytime, anywhere.

When we talk about the Internet of Things in regards to fleet management, the “things” are vehicles and the people who drive them. When vehicles are given sensors, we can manage and control them through web applications. With Roadnet’s MobileCast, GPS technology gives transportation managers real-time information about routes and drivers. So while a homeowner could use the Nest app to see if the thermostat is pumping costly heat when he or she is away from home, a transportation manager could use the MobileCast app to check in on drivers and make sure trucks are on time and not making costly off-route stops. Both the homeowner and the transportation manager are able to get this information from their smartphones, no matter how far away they are from the action.

Roadnet’s telematics solution also applies to the Internet of Things. Telematics devices installed in trucks can give managers insight into driver behavior, adherence to laws, speeding, idling, and more. The telematics device is the sensor that detects and communicates information.

Before goods are even put onto trucks, they too relate to the Internet of Things. Logistics managers are using RFID technology to chip pallets in order to control and track products. An article from Inboundlogistics.com says that cloud-based GPS and RFID technologies are “the backbone of IoT as it relates to the supply chain.”

Before long, the Internet of Things will be a huge part of our daily lives. In the transportation world, this is good news for managers. The more technology advances, the more meaningful data can be collected about operations so that improvements can be made. At Roadnet, we are committed to using the latest technology to arm our clients with as much data about their operations as possible.

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Celebrating Driver Safety

It’s no question that safety is paramount in the transportation and logistics industry. But checkaward_resizeaccording to an article in Transport Topics, safety directors say that competition brings about better drivers. Read on for highlights from the article.

The Superbowl of Safety
This week’s National Truck Driving Championships, commonly known as the “Superbowl of Safety,” brings 426 professional truck drivers from all over the U.S. to compete for four days in Pittsburgh. With a requirement to be accident-free for a year, this annual competition motivates drivers to operate as safely as possible.

Eligible accident-free drivers must first compete at the state level before qualifying for the national competition in Pittsburgh. Some of this year’s participants include FedEx Corp, with 138 drivers from 45 states; Con-Way freight, with 63 drivers; and New Penn, with 23 drivers representing the YRC-owned company.

Also participating are drivers from Pitt Ohio and Old Dominion Freight Line. Pitt Ohio encourages the competition by holding its own driving event to determine which drivers will move to state level. Old Dominion Freight Line is sending 8 participants and is participating in about 29 total competitions this year.

According to trucking industry leaders interviewed in the article, the benefits go beyond company honor. The drivers that compete often become leaders and trainers, inspiring other drivers to achieve safety goals. The competition gives drivers the thirst to compete each year, resulting in better driving all year long.

Measuring Safety and Inspiring Competition
Drivers need to be accident-free in order to compete in the “Superbowl of Safety,” but there are other measures of driver safety. With telematics devices installed in trucks, operators can determine when drivers are braking too hard, taking corners too sharp, and more. Telematics devices capture this information and make it actionable. For instance, devices tell drivers to drive more carefully through the use of in-cab buzzers that sound when a certain threshold is reached. Safety is a common reason why Roadnet Technologies’ customers implement telematics.

We see many operators use telematics to help establish an incentive or scorecard program. Having electronic records related to driving performance is a positive way to motivate and reward drivers for meeting set goals (i.e. not speeding, reducing idling).

Reach out to us for more information on our telematics offerings and how to achieve driver safety.

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Just Announced – Save the Date for our 2015 User Conference!

Roadnet Technologies is pleased to announce our annual user conference, now Omnitracs Outlook 2015 User Conference, takes place February 8 – 11, 2015 in Dallas, TX!

Our first-ever joint user conference brings together the fleet customers of Roadnet, Omnitracs and Sylectus. Please join us in February at the beautiful Hilton Anatole Dallas for a new, high-impact event.

HiltonAnatolePostcardOmnitracs Outlook 2015 is designed to connect fleet executives, managers, product experts, specialized technology providers, power users and industry thought leaders for educational, networking and peer-to-peer sessions to help fleets improve operational efficiency, safety and regulatory compliance.

Our goal with this conference is to demonstrate ways that customers of Roadnet, Omnitracs and Sylectus can maximize the value of their investment in end-to-end mobile fleet management solutions. It will also be an opportunity for attendees to learn more about how our vision and roadmap for enhanced software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings will help meet critical business needs for fleets across the transportation life cycle.

Outlook 2015 sessions will include product-specific customer breakout sessions targeted to users of Roadnet, Omnitracs and Sylectus solutions, covering the latest transportation and logistics technology trends.

Registration for the conference will open in September and additional information about the conference will be available in the coming months. We look forward to connecting with our customers at this ‘don’t miss’ event!

OmnitracsOutlooklogo_resizeforblogFor additional information, visit: info.omnitracs.com/outlook.html or email us.

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