Keep Calm and Truck on More Efficiently
We know that as vehicles get “smarter” and fleet management becomes more precise thanks to connected technologies, fuel consumption is expected to decrease significantly. A little over a year ago, this article quoted a National Renewable Energy Laboratory researcher as stating that “the impact can be dramatic” as we move toward a driverless future. The same researcher acknowledged the need for more understanding of how these vehicles will work before we can expect the benefits, but the potential is clear. Air pollution can be drastically reduced as we move toward the emergence and spread of autonomous vehicles.
While we do still need a greater understanding of the intricacies of driverless cars, it’s also important for those interested in these topics to understand how exactly technology will relate to lower fuel consumption. In particular, this tends to be discussed in rather vague terms when we talk about shipping fleets. We’re already seeing a lot of changes in this industry due to IoT (Internet of Things) technology and semi-autonomous features. Lower fuel consumption is one of the benefits that is frequently cited, but we often don’t consider how this is achieved.
The Answers Are Out There
Those looking for an answer can find a whole section of this site devoted to how these technologies are able to maximize fuel efficiency in shipping fleets. This includes more specifics on the potential benefits, like the ways in which businesses stand to save.
The first goal is to reduce idling time. Trucks out on the road tend to spend a lot of time with the engine running while not actually moving, and this idle time wastes incredible amounts of fuel. But it’s not as simple as telling drivers to turn the trucks off at all times when they’re not moving. Smart fleet management systems are working to compile data on when idling may or may not be necessary, so as to educate drivers on how to better handle these issues. Some companies already making use of this automatic data collection are seeing massive savings.
Big Savings Possible
A study by the U.S. Department of Energy also noted that driving in more calm and controlled manner can reduce fuel costs (and therefore consumption) by about a third! One of the chief benefits of fleet management technologies is that they can provide drivers with automatically compiled safety reports, as well as real-time updates about driving habits. Speeding and erratic behavior are recognized and pointed out, enabling drivers to implement better habits and save fuel as a result.
Finally, we’ve already seen that fleet management involves the most efficient routing practices the industry has ever seen. Vehicle GPS connected to systems looking at everything from the weather to traffic flow are combining to provide drivers with up-to-date information about their routes. This means less time spent on poor directions or unnecessary road time, which in some cases can make for the most impressive fuel savings.
These are the specific benefits at the core of the idea of smart fleets or fleet driving technologies. They have potentially great positive impact on company costs and environmental pollution. As the technology continues to advance, we also expect the ecological benefits to increase as well. It begins with better fuel efficiency, which helps both businesses and the earth.
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