August 13, 2007 With US fleet vehicle sales rising 5.8% to over three million in 2006, (representing 27% of General Motors’ overall sales and 32% of Ford’s), it’s no wonder that the fleet vehicle support industry is also growing. In previous years, the focus in fleet vehicle technology has been on GPS monitoring systems – however, with both the US and Australia reporting ageing vehicles, it is increasingly important to fleet managers to know not only their vehicles’ position, but their health. Networkcar, together with Siemens, has constructed a wireless vehicle management system that not only intricately documents the paths and progress of the cars, but contains a comprehensive vehicle diagnostics program that alerts the fleet manager about any technical difficulties before they become costly problems.
Fleet vehicles are used by a large variety of organizations from law enforcement agencies to rental car services to pizza delivery chains. While they are vitally important to the operation of the company, they are also vulnerable to misuse, mismanagement and simple deterioration. While a good GPS system can ensure a worker stays on track and assist a the dispatcher in making the most efficient delivery paths, it is impotent in combating the inefficiency of car maintenance.
In addition to organizing scheduled maintenance check-ups on all the cars, Networkfleet automatically and instantly notifies the fleet manager via email whenever the car releases a diagnostic trouble code. This allows otherwise invisible emerging flaws in the vehicle - for example random cylinder misfires or circuit malfunctions - to be corrected before they become serious issues.
In addition to vehicle diagnostics, Networkfleet offers well organized and constantly updated information on individual drivers, including their average speed, idle time, stop time, hours worked and deviations from the course, assisting fleet managers with making drivers accountable. Networkfleet also issues information on fuel efficiency and notifies the fleet manager if a car recall is announced for one of their models.