If futuristic films like Blade Runner 2049 taught us anything in 2017, it’s that thinking about the future—especially in the world of technology—is exhilarating. While some folks have a fear of the unknown, others obsess over the limitless possibilities that future technologies can bring—and for the fleet management software professionals at Skypatrol, that means we’re obsessing over the possibilities of fleet management tools and GPS tracking solutions for fleet industries.

What’s in store for fleet management technology in 2049, or even in the next decade or so? In this blog, we’ll take a look at where fleet tech is going, and how it could influence the fleet industry down the road.

Full-Service Mobile Applications

The days of cell phone calls and second-hand vehicle diagnostics are nearly over. Soon, mobile devices will be fully integrated with fleet vehicles and track information without drivers pressing a button or saying a word. In the old world of fleets, drivers would call in to record their miles for the day, or even write down mileage in a notebook to be recorded later—but with fully integrated mobile devices in fleet vehicles, the devices will use GPS technology to automatically record miles, and even perform actions like vehicle diagnostics, routing/rerouting, and even provide health and awareness checks for drivers!

It’s not just the automation aspects of fully integrated mobile devices that are impressive—it’s the fact that drivers, more than ever, would have logistical tasks performed for them without looking away from the road. This is obviously a huge boost for driver safety—which is a huge issue in the industry and always has been—and will increase the accuracy of data collection and the efficiency of fleets at large.

Highly Customizable, Cloud-Based Fleet Systems

Fleet management software has already made its way into the cloud to some degree—but what we see today is only the beginning of a transition into seamless, fully customizable cloud-based fleet management tools. Every fleet is different, and so is every fleet manager—they have different vehicles, need different tools, and prefer different methods of data consumption, organization, presentation, and analysis. The more options fleet systems provide to display data in different ways, the more effective fleet managers will be—and that has positive effects on driver morale, vehicle performance, and of course, business profits.

The cloud-based aspect is critical here. Fleet managers of the current generation are spending less time in the office and more time helping their teammates out in the field. With customizable fleet options accessible through the cloud from just about anywhere, fleet managers can make critical decisions at the right time without being strapped to their desks.

Big Data for Big Results

We’ve said it before on the Skypatrol blog, and we’ll say it again: data with a little organization and a lot of context can tell stories that would otherwise be lost in a sea of numbers. The more we can do to make sense of disparate data and organize it in a way that makes sense, the more our fleet businesses will improve over time. This is true from a business-by-business perspective—but what about from a regional perspective or an industry-wide perspective?

Large-scale data collection isn’t just helpful for singular businesses—it can shed light on huge fleet victories and systemic problems that can put drivers at risk and hurt profits for everyone. For example, a single fleet business might understand the risk of driving down a certain stretch of interstate highway in the Mid-Atlantic, but what they might not realize is that dozens of other companies have experienced costly traffic delays or even accidents in the exact same area.

Big data could have other insights, too—like how one brand of fleet truck seems to have twice as many breakdowns as any other fleet truck in its class, or how a certain fleet van appears to be more fuel efficient than the rest over time. These are big-picture insights that couldn’t possibly be seen by a single fleet company, but could have a positive impact on the safety and productivity of the entire industry. The more data collected, the better—and with easier and more effective methods for collecting this data, the entire industry and its employees can benefit.

Autonomous Vehicles

We’re not quite there yet—but this is a blog about the future, remember? At a certain point, it’s virtually guaranteed that fleet vehicles will be driving themselves, pre-programming to take the fastest and most efficient routes all while nearly eliminating fleet-related accidents in the process. While fleet drivers might not like the sounds of artificial intelligence and algorithms taking over their jobs, it’s inevitable judging by the way driver tech is headed.

However, fleet companies would never survive without fleet managers—and fleet managers would never survive without the best fleet management tools. That’s where Skypatrol’s Fleet Command can help. With customizable fleet solutions and a stunning, easy-to-use cloud interface, you can tackle fleet tasks easily and efficiently. Schedule a demo of Fleet Command today.