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5 Industry Trends That Will Shape the Future of Fleet Management

fleet industry trends

by Titan GPS

The fleet management industry has experienced rapid change in the 21st-century and it’s only picking up. To stay competitive and thrive in today’s ever-evolving landscape, fleet managers must have their finger on the pulse of industry trends. With that said, here are five of the biggest fleet management industry trends for 2022 and what you can do about it.  

Digitization of Fleet Management Operations

Perhaps the most glaring trend is the widespread implementation of fleet management software to streamline and simplify operations. GPS tracking solutions, for example, are quickly becoming ubiquitous. According to 2021 data, nearly two-thirds (64%) of fleet managers are currently using GPS fleet tracking, which was an 8.5% increase from 2020. 

And it’s not just medium to large-sized fleets that are doing this. There was a 12% spike in the rate of technology adoption among small fleets between 2019 to 2020, and that number should only continue to increase moving forward. Given that 45% of fleet managers achieved a positive ROI after using fleet management SaaS this year — more than double from 18.4% the previous year — we’re poised to experience full-blown digitization of fleet management operations.  

From monitoring driver behavior to reducing fuel consumption and emissions to automating compliance with HOS regulations, fleet management software allows you to stay on top of virtually every aspect of operations to make your fleet as efficient as possible. Titan GPS, for instance, makes it easy to install and set up a fleet management system so you can access detailed reports to make more informed decisions on things like driver location, vehicle health, maintenance needs, and much more.

Fleet management digitization. Fleet industry trends 2022

If you have yet to implement fleet management software, now is the perfect time to explore your options. 

Rising Environmental Awareness

A push toward being more environmentally friendly is nothing new. Fleets all over the world have been placing a larger emphasis on lowering emissions for some time now. But these efforts will rev up even more in 2022 and beyond. 

The State of Sustainable Fleets 2020  report writes, “About 98% of the fleets surveyed expect to increase or continue the same level of use of sustainable vehicle technologies and fuels. Natural gas, propane, battery-electric, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, the four sustainable vehicle technology platforms covered in the study, are all growing in terms of vehicle sales, fuel sales, and investment.”

Becoming a more environmentally fleet is a win-win-win because it:

  1. Lowers emissions, which benefits the environment
  2. Reduces fuel consumption, which boosts profitability
  3. Strengthens brand reputation because most modern consumers prefer eco-friendly businesses

So, understandably, we’re seeing growing initiatives among companies throughout the entire fleet management industry to raise environmental awareness and become more eco-friendly. Besides opting for sustainable vehicle technologies, a popular way to go about that is by using a vehicle tracking system to:

  • Reduce speeding and aggressive driving
  • Optimize driver routing and rerouting
  • Decrease wasteful idling
  • Reduce miles traveled 

You can learn about the full range of vehicle tracking system capabilities here.

Demand for Flexibility and Speed

Quick and efficient dispatching has always been important. You want to get drivers from location to location with minimal disruptions — something that factors heavily into providing a high level of service and maximizing productivity. But as we move deeper into the 2020s, the demand for flexibility and speed is only going to increase. 

With flexibility, for example, fleet managers need to make sure their drivers can seamlessly reroute when needed based on real-time variables, such as traffic congestion, road construction, weather, and so on. And with speed, they need to quickly dispatch drivers to locations, while avoiding speeding and aggressive driving to ensure service demands are continually made. 

Again, fleet management software is one of the primary tools companies are using to achieve this level of flexibility and speed. Today’s platforms can help drivers find efficient routes and seamlessly reroute them to reach their destination while avoiding unnecessary setbacks. At the same time, this technology can improve safety by instantly identifying risky behavior like speeding, and it can even provide in-cab audible coaching for educational opportunities.

5G Expansion and Its Impact on Telematics

In 2020, there were only 236 million 5G mobile subscriptions worldwide. By 2022, that number is expected to grow to one billion. And by 2025, experts predict it will swell to three billion. This graph from Statista puts this rapid 5G expansion into perspective. 

Image source: Statista

The impact of 5G is far-reaching for many industries, and the fleet industry is certainly no exception. Fleet telematics are set to experience major advancements as this telecommunications technology becomes more ubiquitous. 

One example would be providing in-depth monitoring of vehicle health to ensure proactive maintenance is continually done to decrease wear and tear, reduce costly breakdowns, and generally extend their lifespan. With 5G telematics, fleet managers always have a bird’s-eye view of vehicle performance across their entire fleet, enabling them to keep vehicles in peak condition. 

Another example would be fleet managers having in-depth monitoring of driver behavior via an AI dashcam. This innovative technology has seen rapid advancements and offers a wide range of features, including:

  • Real-time alerts of risky driving behavior
  • Live-view of forward-facing and driver-facing cameras
  • Distracted driving and fatigue detection
  • Secure cloud storage of HD videos 

To efficiently transmit data like this, of course, requires robust wireless technology. And that’s exactly what 5G telematics delivers. While 4G and similar technologies have often gotten the job done up to this point, the high speed 5G offers is poised to make it one of the more game-changing fleet management trends. Not only should it create far more transparency for fleets, it will also likely be the catalyst for higher customer satisfaction because of the increased productivity and efficiency it offers. 

Electric Vehicle Fleets & Autonomous Vehicles

Finally, we’re at the tipping point where we’re seeing noticeable growth in electric fleet vehicles and autonomous vehicles. Until recently, these were primarily used by a smaller number of fleets, largely in test pilot programs. And while they’re by no means mainstream, their use has definitely become a trend. 

A prime example is FedEx who recently started using all-electric vans like the BrightDrop EV600 from General Motors. It gets roughly 250 miles from a full charge, has zero-tailpipe emissions, and has over 600 cubic feet of cargo space, allowing drivers to deliver more packages per trip. This is a key part of their initiative to ensure all vehicle purchases are electric by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2040. 

As for autonomous vehicles, FedEx announced in mid-2021 they’ll be partnering with robotics company Nuro “to test autonomous multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries. Nuro vehicles are custom-built, all-electric and fully autonomous, and operate on public roads.” With these autonomous vehicles, FedEx should become more efficient and support fast-growing demand, adding a level of unprecedented convenience for customers, while also becoming more eco-friendly. 

Although a full-scale implementation of electric vehicle fleets and autonomous vehicles probably isn’t realistic at this time, it’s definitely a trend to pay close attention to. And, if possible, it’s smart to run a test pilot program to see the impact it can have on your company. 

How Can Fleet Managers Keep Up with New Trends?

Largely fueled by advancing technology, fleet management has seen a lot of change this century, and it will only gain steam as we move further into the 2020s. To recap, some of the most notable fleet management industry trends include the wide-scale digitization of operations, growing environmental awareness, the demand for speed and flexibility, 5G expansion with telematics, and the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles. Perhaps the best way to keep up with new trends is to plug into insightful resources and leverage best-in-class fleet management solutions.

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