As we start off the New Year, enterprises are reflecting on the learnings from 2020 and developing their plans for what lies ahead. If this past year taught business leaders anything, it was to be prepared for the unexpected and know how to pivot your organization to quickly adapt to the market around it.
Fleet technology, contact tracing and hygiene verification, and telematics are markets that were all greatly impacted by the events of this past year. Our executives reviewed what they saw occur across these sectors and put pen to paper to share what they expect from 2021–it can only go up from here, right?
Fleet Technology Isn’t Fleeting
Fleet safety will take center stage. Technologies and programs to enhance fleet safety will become more important than ever before for fleets of all sizes. As we look ahead and fleet managers continue to seek how to do more with less, they will turn toward video telematics and driver behavior solutions to minimize unnecessary costs by increasing driver safety and mitigating liability risks. Moreover, safety solutions optimized for SMBs will become mainstream and the pursuit for transportation efficiency will propel trailers to be smarter.
Additionally, smart sensors will be used to optimize trailer loads and routing, and improve tire wear and tear, fuel usage, and safety. Leveraging this sensor technology, trailers will also be able to provide better security and monitoring of trailer door status and have greater environmental visibility into trailer cargo. Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, automation and no contact processes will also become standard operating procedure for fleets.
Lastly, the age of electric vehicle (EV) transportation is here, and 2021 will be the proving ground. Companies, institutions, and municipalities will look to reduce their carbon footprint as more severe environmental changes develop. EV-related data visibility and aggregation with sources for charging stations will also start becoming mainstream. – Kinana Hussain, Vice President, Product Line Management
The Classroom Will Forever Be Changed
School districts will continue to invest in technologies to combat COVID-19 and keep students in the classroom, including GPS-powered solutions on school buses for contact tracing. They will look to integrate their contact tracing solutions tied to their buildings with those used in vehicles to have a more comprehensive picture of potential virus transmission. Knowing the disruptive impact of a COVID-19 event on students, parents and the larger community, we expect schools to invest in contact tracing and parent-facing school bus tracking technologies that many districts relied upon during this pandemic, even after the threat diminishes.
Schools will ultimately integrate the systems and technologies to prepare, manage, and react to any pandemic-like event much like they have long treated natural disasters or, sadly, violence at school. SaaS-based IoT technologies powered by GPS and cellular-based telematics will play a critical role in developing a long-term plan for returning students safely back to the classroom. Using IoT, schools can convert school buses into a powerful data collection asset to help them combat risks of COVID-19 with intuitive contact tracing and hygiene verification. – Brad Bishop, Product Director, Bus Guardian
Building the Human-to-Vehicle Connection
One of the primary points that 2020 proved for enterprises is that customer relationships are key to sustainability and growth. For rental and commercial fleets, this meant gaining the ability to track assets and proactively respond to issues in the field, making all the difference for securing more vehicles and building stronger relationships with customers. As we advance toward the next evolution of commercial fleets and the supply chain, fleet operators will be looking for ways to provide the timely and safe delivery of vital goods and assets. More fleet and supply chain operators will turn to telematics to help them achieve the type of connectivity, scalability, flexibility and security needed to provide the optimal customer experience. Fleet operators will also seek a one-stop-shop to meet all of these demands, allowing them to have one end-to-end solution that they can trust to help them drive their digital transformation strategies forward and grow their customer base.
2021 will have one key theme across all industries – enabling smart solutions. Enterprises learned in 2020 as a result of the pandemic that their operations need to be well equipped to run efficiently and accurately. Fleet operators are no different. For years they’ve been turning to IoT and telematics technology solutions to make their operations run smoother and smarter, however, 2021 will be the year where fleets will be forced to embrace full digital transformation across all vehicles to navigate through regional instability that develops out of implications from the coronavirus. – Justin Schmid, VP & GM LoJack Global
It’s hard to say what exactly this year has in store for us, but technology innovation and advancements across fleets, classrooms and vehicles will most certainly continue to be a priority as changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a permanent impact into their day-to-day operations. We’re looking forward to putting the lessons learned from 2020 into action this new year and making your fleets smarter and our communities safer.