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Artificial Intelligence in Fleet Management

  • By Ryan Skidmore

The future is upon us. Artificial Intelligence (AI), as a productivity tool, is now within reach for the small business owner. Less in the form of Skynet and more in the form of suggestions on your smart phone. For a quick primer on AI, please see Techopedia’s article.

  1. Examine many data points. A connected vehicle, and all its ancillary systems, generates thousands of data points in a day. Scale that across a fleet of five operating six days a week, 52 weeks a year and the volume quickly becomes more than one business owner can make sense of by parsing through it via a spreadsheet or graphs. AI’s unblinking nature enables processing all of it and drawing conclusions, to truly optimize Fleet Management to the maximum.
  2. Making suggestions. AI learns from thousands of examples across many systems. If it sees similar touchstones, it can suggest changes. A single person at the business would need to stay current on industry trends and have a large network of colleagues. Alternatively, the business could hire a consultant to examine their situation and suggest changes. Unlike, a groomed specialist that can leave the company for a better offer, or a consultant who is hired under a limited contract and then moves on, AI can be used like a service similar to a CRM or Fleet Management suite, becoming a permanent component of the company’s tech stack.
  3. Combine data across multiple services. Part of the appeal of modern AI is utilizing the interconnectedness of the modern business internet. The insight available to a business can come from data gleaned from other businesses; whom might be larger, more mature, or put more resources into an issue. Data can even be drawn from different industries that have more mature solutions and different approaches to the problem at hand.
  4. General Automation. Repetitive tasks that require a little bit of human judgement can be passed off to AI, reducing the overall hours or staff required to complete tasks in a small business, like checking Fleet Management reports. Business owners can focus their attention away from routine tasks to more productive activities.
  5. Make complex skills less expensive. AI can do a lot of the heavy lifting in professions that require years of education and expertise, shortening the overall time and effort to complete a project. While high level professions will not likely be automated away in for the foreseeable future, business owners that serve double or triple duty can save time and reduce their overall workload. Example, a tax accountant with a fleet can use Fleet Management software to keep track of his drivers without hiring an administrative assistant to manage it.

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