Similar to many businesses, governments are under higher pressure to retain spending, reduce expenses, all the while being more efficient, environmentally friendly and safe to workers and citizens. This fact makes governments – all levels from municipal to federal – well-suited to leverage the Internet of Things (IoT). So far, few government agencies are pursuing opportunities to improve their operations with fleet management IoT applications. Worldwide spending on the IoT is forecasted to surpass the $1 trillion mark by 2020. The consumer market will lead this growth, followed by insurance and healthcare.
By comparison, the public sector is expected to spend approximately $12 billion on the IoT by 2020. Justifiably, governments have a good number of factors, liabilities, and challenges to navigate before integrating emerging technology into their operations.
Fleet Management IoT benefits to government
Despite low adoption rates at this point, governments have much to gain from connected technologies. Specifically, those with goals to reduce costs, improve existing services, and create new ones.
Fleet management is a key area where government entities will benefit from connectivity. The use of sensors, cameras, GPS systems, mobile devices, and more will make government fleets safer, and more productive, efficient and secure. It is why more governments are adopting telematics to manage their vehicles, drivers, and fleet operations.
This need is especially true at the municipal level. Telematics enables governments to capture data-based insights about fuel usage, routes, driver behavior, and vehicle diagnostics. With this data, governments can gain valuable insight and make improvements when needed. For example, upgrading waste collection vehicles with IoT sensors and devices will provide real-time visibility into driver activity and behavior, enabling managers to monitor patterns and correct risky behaviors.
The data gathered will also help fleet dispatchers determine how many vehicles are required to service a specific area, and map out the most optimized route that will improve fuel efficiency and speed of service. For fleet managers, the data can be used to better manage their fleets. They can identify vehicles that are being under or over-used and proactively plan maintenance and repair schedules. For city administrators, they will have information that will help them better manage budgets, service quality and refuse collections service providers.
Pennsylvania equips its fleets with GPS
These benefits can be had for other fleets, too. Earlier this year, the state of Pennsylvania announced it would equip about 5,000 of its government-owned vehicles with GPS connectivity. The objective of the upgrade is to help planners make more informed decisions as it relates to routes and vehicle use to be more efficient. Plus, the fleet management IoT capabilities can help vehicles in case of damage or accidents by quickly dispatching emergency workers or maintenance support.
The US Navy and telematics
Information is the crux of all things for the U.S. Department of Defense and its military agencies. As such, they were an early adopter of IoT devices and sensors. In 2010, they added RFID tags to record, track and manage their vast network of supplies, equipment, and vehicles.
It was no surprise when the Navy installed telematic devices to its vehicles in 2015. The initiative was intended to help with fuel savings, fleet management, as well as the personal safety of the officers onboard their vehicles. Since using the technology, the Navy has seen fuel savings, as well as safer driver behavior that has reduced direct accident costs by an average of about $300 per vehicle per year. Additional savings may be available regarding reduced lost work time and liability costs.
For the Navy as well as other governments like Pennsylvania and municipalities around the world, scaling and securing fleets are prime concerns. This growth demands governments leverage intelligent IoT management platforms that enable remote provisioning and configuring of firmware updates while offering the protection networks need to keep systems free from “bad actors.”