The mobile apps revolution presents an array of opportunities for fleets to increase travel efficiency and reduce transport costs. While to date it has been difficult to gain clear insight into estimated road traffic throughout the day, technological developments and more advanced traffic solutions now allow drivers to take greater control of their journeys. For fleets this means the ability to plan deliveries more accurately as well as being able to establish how much to charge customers at different times of the day.
As smartphones evolve and new tablet devices launch, the focus for traffic technology developers is on the next wave of innovation, allowing data-powered smart devices to connect and communicate with each other. At INRIX, we are already making inroads into the connected future and recently partnered with Audi to integrate our real-time and predictive XD™ Traffic service updates into all Audi A6 vehicles. This delivers next generation connected navigation and driver service apps to vehicles through mobile platforms and online, providing automotive manufacturers with the traffic information and tools to create apps to meet their specific needs.
The advantages for fleets
Fleets stand to benefit greatly from integrating traffic technology into their delivery vehicles. Firstly, by having instantly updated access to traffic information, fleets are able to find out the quickest route to their destination at any moment as well as being able to identify the time taken to travel via an alternative route if an incident occurs. This means that customers can be continually updated if their driver encounters a delay. Secondly, if fleets have full visibility of how long journeys will take at different times of the day, they have a platform to present customers with more transparent pricing models and accurate delivery times, thereby offering an improved level of service.
The future of travel technology
Besides better quality traffic information, several other enabling technologies, such as two-way connectivity and voice and touch-optimised user interfaces are being developed and these will really help bring the app-based vision into reality for fleets. Traffic information is about much more than the best way to get from A to B; fundamentally it allows a new intelligent use of power to create a point of differentiation and a different kind of USP.
By offering a range of pricing models to customers and having greater control over time spent on the road, capitalising on apps technology is one of the best ways for fleets keep a tighter rein on their overheads while offering a competitive service – both which remain especially important given escalating fuel prices and the uncertain economy.
By Hans-Hendrik Puvogel, General Manager, INRIX Europe