Intelligent Fleet Management Helps Cities Reduce Costs and Maximize Efficiency
In a medium-sized city, the number of city vehicles on the road can easily reach the thousands. Law enforcement, fire, public works, waste management, public transportation and other city vehicles make a up a sizable portion of city traffic. When you account for the costs of capital expenditures, maintenance, fuel and staffing, fleets can make up a significant portion of budgets for various city agencies.
To reduce these costs and maximize efficiency, cities should be employing the Internet of Things (IoT)-based fleet management model used in private industry. Sensors, high-speed communication systems, and data collection tools enable vehicles to share information with each other (vehicle-to-vehicle, or V2V) and with the network infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure, or V2I). Data about everything from traffic light patterns and accidents to vehicle location and fuel levels can be collected, shared and analyzed, providing valuable insights into how fleets operate and what factors into those operations.
Benefits of Fleet Management for Municipalities
This advanced approach to fleet management delivers a number of benefits to cities. First, fleet management can improve driver safety. Are drivers operating vehicles correctly? What outside factors can affect their safety? The insights gained can ensure that drivers are properly trained and have the applications and data in the field to improve driving habits and make better decisions.
Optimizing vehicle maintenance and reducing the risk of breakdown are top fleet management priorities. Monitoring vehicle utilization and performance indicators in real time makes it possible to schedule proactive maintenance and repairs and maintain a high level of productivity. Also, you can determine whether vehicles are being overutilized or underutilized. If vehicles are underutilized, you can either eliminate some of them or make better use of them to maximize fleet uptime.
By monitoring vehicle utilization and activity, you can reduce fuel costs and excessive carbon emissions. Are drivers following their routes? Are they driving inefficiently by speeding and hitting the brakes hard? How much time is spent idling and how can idling time be reduced? Although fuel costs fluctuate, an important benefit of fleet management is controlling those costs and making them more predictable.
Directly tied to fuel costs is route optimization, which not only increases efficiency, but also enables you to provide the fastest, most effective service to citizens. For example, the shortest route may not be the most efficient route depending on the purpose of the trip and the time of day. Again, how much time is spent idling? When is traffic heaviest? Are routes overlapping? If so, why?
Some cities are taking fleet management a step further to prevent accidents with connected public transportation. Transit agencies are using connected vehicle safety applications installed in cars and on roadways to alert drivers to potentially dangerous driving conditions. This could include notifications about an accident, reduced speed zone, or pedestrian traffic.
Cisco Connected Mass Transit
Cisco Connected Mass Transit solutions connect vehicles, transit stops and maintenance yards through an extensive wireless network. Administrators can collaborate through video conferencing and Webex to optimize their mass transit offerings, keep services on schedule, and automatically provide drivers and travelers with real-time information.
Fleet management is crucial to budget management and providing safe, effective services to citizens. Let Cerium help you assess your current fleet management strategy and recommend tools and services that maximize the efficiency of your fleets.