Artificial Intelligence Can Help Fleets Retain Vehicles Longer, Saving Money and Lives
New cars are in short supply, with delivery times of up to a year due to continued shortages of semiconductors and other supply chain issues.
This affects customers of all kinds, but no more than fleet buyers. The shortage means that many fleets, from car rental companies to police departments, are unable to replace vehicles as often, resulting in a growing reliance on older vehicles and increased resources devoted to maintaining them. .
Rather than simply replacing vehicles, which was often the strategy before because it was more cost-effective than making repairs or tracking ongoing maintenance, fleet managers need to invest more in inspections, monitoring and the repairs.
One of the ways they can ensure that the vehicles they deploy remain safe and in the best possible condition is to use artificial intelligence solutions that increase driver accountability, examine a vehicle’s performance and determine ways to ensure it remains up to the necessary standards in order to ensure safety and efficiency – as well as recommending ways to bring vehicles up to code or identify problems before they don’t cause problems.
For many people, the term “fleet” conjures up rental cars and taxis. But the fleets include police and rescue vehicles, the transport of government safety inspectors and regulators carrying specialized equipment, vans and delivery trucks to bring much-needed supplies to consumers and institutions like schools and hospitals, and more.
Operators of these fleets need vehicles they can really rely on; and if they fail, it could put lives at risk.
Until the supply chain backlog is cleared – and that could be years, experts say – fleets of all kinds will have to make do with what they have. To do this, they will have to go beyond the usual inspection and repair procedures that they have relied on in the past.
Artificial intelligence can help with these in-depth inspections, using easy-to-use mobile apps as well as standard vehicle equipment such as security cameras to regularly document the condition of fleet vehicles.
This creates an objective and updated record. Apps can remind drivers to log an inspection report when they start and end a shift, and cameras can record vehicles and details about their condition, entering and exiting services. All of this data can be uploaded to a central server, where advanced data analysis tools can process the images, cataloging them in an easy-to-use format for review by fleet managers, body shops, inspectors and other suppliers.
Meanwhile, sensors can track data about driving habits, brake usage, wear and other internal vehicle data. Based on the analysis of all this data, AI tools can make recommendations on needed services or expected issues and repairs.
Tracking driving habits and the current condition of vehicles also makes drivers more accountable, ensuring the vehicle is better handled, aware of its condition, and collected and returned on time. This too can help extend the life of a vehicle, or at least keep it in better condition.
The widespread use of AI in these inspections will not only make driving safer and vehicles safer, but it will also reduce the work needed to ensure vehicles are fit for the road.
Most of these inspections are still done manually, which means they are labor intensive and subject to human error. Automating the inspection process using advanced data analysis will help ensure that inspections are carried out regularly, without the risk of error due to fatigue.
Advanced AI analysis systems could mean the difference between poor and ideal performance – perhaps even between life and death.