Fleet News

M2M could spark a fleet revolution

FLEETS could find new F1-style car-to-computer telemetry a double-edged sword that makes business more efficient but makes many fleet employees’ roles redundant.

M2M (machine to machine) wireless telemetry will enable many companies to save money in fleet departments but could lead to downsizing of fleet operations, according to Orange Business Solutions.

M2M makes the movement of data and information between HQs and elsewhere more flexible and quicker.

It enables companies to maintain constant communication with employees on the move and to monitor the movements of people and their vehicles through wireless electronic messaging.

Melissa Jenkins, M2M product manager at Orange Business Solutions, said: ‘Businesses will find M2M attractive by enabling them to cut costs. In fleet departments, for example, there will be the chance to cut one or two jobs because mileages can be recorded automatically.’

The application of M2M technology, also known as telemetry, means ‘the dreams of 2002 are becoming a reality now,’ said Clive Richardson, head of product development at Orange Business Solutions.

He was speaking at a London seminar hosted by Orange, which combined with Sony Ericsson and Comtech to brief industry on the future of M2M. Richardson said: ‘The changes are so important that Orange has had to change many of its business practices. If we have to, every other company must. The applications of M2M are endless and fleet operations are one of the most obvious starting points.

‘Most businesses are becoming aware of the influence of M2M and the opportunities it opens up for them.

‘The main resistance to change seems to come from local authorities which were against their employees having mobile phones when they started to become widely used.’

Jenkins added: ‘Orange and companies we work with are talking to customers running fleets about the implications of M2M, we’re aware of the ‘Big Brother’ aspect.

‘We urge companies introducing M2M to involve their fleet drivers. We’re getting to the point where drivers need to press a ‘work’ or ‘private’ journey button on the dashboard.

‘Making that distinction needs to be agreed with employees, especially fleet drivers, who will benefit from the M2M’s ability to make their working lives easier by updating data and information they need.’

How M2M remote system works

EXECUTIVES behind machine to machine (M2M) solutions at Orange say the service provides a unique insight into what is actually happening, as it happens through wireless technology.

The system then allows decision-makers to make effective choices quickly and react by controlling the remote systems, for example by allowing a key employee to change electronic signs outside hundreds of dealerships.

Examples of the system in use would include remote monitoring and control, with two-way communication, simplifying both monitoring and control.

Any number of mobile devices, using varying ways of communicating, go through an Orange M2M buffer which then makes the information available to the fleet. Updating can be constant and there is no human interaction needed.

Motor dealers are starting to use roadside message displays to inform passing drivers of special offers.

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