Artificial intelligence has created a tipping point for fleet industry

A combination of new technologies and evolving customer expectations is reshaping how fleet companies interact with customers and the wider supply chain.

Martin Drake, chief commercial officer at Digital INNK. The change will be evolutionary but feel revolutionary as more elements of the customer journey are automated thanks to the greater use of data and AI.

Over the last 10 years, the fleet industry has deployed new technology to streamline processes.

It has meant fewer bits of paper flying around and drove efficiencies for the fleet manager.

However, the next wave of technology will be focused on the customer and automating support to meet their needs.

Real-time data sharing and deploying advanced technology architectures will enable a service model based on apps and self-service.

It will mean customers’ requirements are met faster and with greater efficiency.

There is little available in the market today for drivers who prefer to resolve issues quickly on an app.

For example, if you want to buy tyres, you need to look on the web, find the right ones in stock, source the best deal, find a local fitter and agree on a time.

Technology can complete this task in seconds to save the driver time and the fleet manager money.

If we look into the near future, connected vehicle data will be able to trigger the tyre repair process automatically and simply offer the driver a choice of bookings and prices.

The same approach applies to other parts of the ecosystem, and there are many areas where this is already happening.

For example, insurance companies have become much more adept at using rich data to auto-renew policies, often with targeted offers and tailored marketing.

The future of the fleet industry is to enable drivers to do everything they need over an app, from arranging a valet to end-of-term inspections. The whole thing will be driven by data and autonomously.

The automotive industry is already seeing greater engagement with this model.

The Tesla app allows drivers to do everything from booking a service to purchasing upgrades.

Empowering the driver improves the customer experience and creates increased sales opportunities.

Connected data

The more connected data is shared across the industry, the greater opportunities are to innovate and drive revenue growth.

The open banking revolution now has 4.5m, regular users in the UK, spanning consumers and businesses.

Millions of consumers and small businesses now have much greater control over and access to their financial data thanks to open banking, which has also strengthened the UK’s position as a financial services pioneer on a worldwide scale.

The automotive sector could benefit from taking advantage of learnings from the open banking revolution.

While the current debate on data ownership is healthy and addresses important issues such as security, it’s clear that industry-wide access will benefit everyone.

Greater use of connected vehicle data will require the use of new technology to improve data provision.

The data can be used to inform third parties about driver behaviour, common faults, and average journey times – the list is endless.

It will lead to safer vehicles, better roads, and other benefits.

The key point for fleet operators is to act now.

If a business wants to keep pace with the marketplace, it has to evolve, and the change is coming faster than many anticipate.

Take a look at where you are and where you need to be, and start acting on the plans today.

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