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Mobility as a Service (Maas) is Shaping the Future of the Fleet Management Software

The role of fleet management is changing as the transportation landscape now includes a broader than ever selection of fleets – ride-hailing vehicles, shared cars, scooters, e-bikes. This adds new dimensions and higher complexity to fleet management software, which is no longer only about running a fleet of freight vehicles and managing the cargo. It is about the mobility of the individual and finding the most suitable path from point A to point B.

As the need to own a vehicle is in decline – with 39% of respondents saying access to mobility is necessary, but owning a vehicle is not – the number of carpools in need of fleet management software will continue to grow. Mobility as a Service (MaaS) will revolutionize how the fleet management industry operates and facilitates the delivery and dispatch of assets.

 

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What is Fleet Management?

Through fleet management, companies can operate, monitor, and maintain large fleets of commercial or non-commercial multi-brand vehicles. In general, commercial fleets include trucks, vans, and cars that cover many industries, from freight to emergency services, delivery, car-sharing, or ride-hailing. For example, PepsiCo had a freight fleet of 10.950 tractor units in 2020, making it the largest U.S. private carrier, according to Statista. When it comes to delivery fleets, Deutsche Post DHL Group is a pioneer in Germany. The company reported in 2019 that its emission-free fleet reached 12,000 e-bikes and e-trikes.

To oversee the day to day operations – vehicle maintenance, fuel consumption, route planning, real-time location, cargo load, driver safety – fleet managers rely on fleet management software.

What is Fleet Management Software?

Simply put, fleet management software is an essential tool that business enterprises [fleet managers] use to receive and interpret data from all the vehicles. It helps companies reduce operational costs and improve efficiency. Fleet management software shows data gathered with the help of active and passive data trackers.

  • Passive tracking – This option stores tracking data on a device but can be viewed only after connecting the device to a computer.
  • Active tracking – This is the more advanced option that tracks vehicles in real-time and shoes their position even when they are idle.

Acting as a sophisticated database, the software stores information such as the distance traveled, engine health, speed, fuel usage, idling time, incidents, or alerts. It varies depending on the fleet type, manager needs, and objectives. Fortech’s automotive software development team worked on a desktop application that connects to trucks via a pre-installed device (i.e., digital speedometer), which offers a diagram with the vehicle’s health and status metrics, such as speed and driving time. The complete software platform for fleet management optimized our client’s costs with freight transport. Read more about the project in the case study.

 

A complete fleet management software platform for managing the configuration and operation of our client’s device for fleet management.

Fortech ensures the full lifecycle delivery of the project, from architectural proposals to Agile implementation.

Fleet Management Software in the Mobility Era

Due to technological advancements, increasing demand, and the ongoing need to improve delivery times, mobility management software must include more features and functions than ever. Fleet managers expect in-depth insights, predictive analysis, vehicle diagnostics, or algorithm-based predictions for vehicle maintenance at their fingertips. All these requirements triggered a new wave in fleet management software, urging software development companies to innovate.

Logistics companies are using cost reduction programs and technology to drive efficiency, such as increasing delivery density.Randall Miller, EY Global Advanced Manufacturing & Mobility Leader

The global fleet management software market will reach USD 50.09 billion by 2027, from USD 14.59 billion in 2019, according to a report done by Fortune Business Insights. During the forecasted period reducing operational expenses, optimizing fleet activity, enhancing security, and decreasing fuel consumption will be the main driver for the adoption of fleet management software.
Cost of ownership for a vehicle should be considered in a fleet management software platformTo identify potential cost-saving sectors and reduce operational expenses, a total cost of ownership (TCO) analysis is mandatory in the fleet industry.

 

But not only managers of medium and heavy truck fleets will rely on fleet management software to improve their fleet operations’ efficiency. The rising number of car-sharing and ride-hailing services entering the mobility landscape disrupts the fleet management market irreversibly.

Fleet Management – From Freight Fleet to Mixed Carpools

Until recently, the focus in fleet management was on moving products and assets, as truck fleets stood at the core of the industry. The shift towards shared vehicles has never been more apparent and is making an impact. Now, the term – fleet management – covers, like never, a broader selection of transport options for goods and individuals.

Thus, the fleet industry is changing at a rapid pace. The increasing demand for fleet management services and the pressure for operational efficiency fuels the sector’s growth. Marketsandmarkets estimates an 11,3% CAGR for the global fleet management market until 2025. According to their analysis, the market size will grow from USD 19.9 billion in 2020 to USD 34.0 billion by 2025.

Fleet management is gaining momentum in the world of mobility, and one emerging trend that fuels the growth is Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

What is Mobility as a Service (MaaS)?

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) refers to transport as an on-demand service. Individuals shift away from owning personal vehicles (cars, scooters, e-bikes) to using different mobility services to navigate urban areas. Maas provides instant access to many forms of transport: ride-hailing (Uber, Lyft, Grab), car-sharing (Get Pony, Zipcar), or micro-mobility services (Lime Scooters, Bolt Scooters).

How MaaS Will Change Fleet Management

MaaS brings a boost to the standard fleet management software. The platform needs to incorporate options for managing travelers, payments, and account for a much larger fleet that is in continuous movement and has mixed vehicle types. Real-time interaction options and mobility and data analytics services (i.e., mobile apps for drivers) need to be incorporated into the software.

Enhanced data security is another change coming to fleet orchestrations as MaaS is growing in popularity. With the absorption of personal and financial data from drivers and passengers, fleet management software holds substantial amounts of sensitive data.

Dynamic fleet management refers to people-freight integration. In other words, fleets will no longer have a single focus but could combine the transport of goods and people. The online shopping sector’s growth spiked the demand for the last mile delivery due to the new global situation. At the same time, the demand for ride-sharing services dropped significantly. In conclusion, fleet owners might need to repurpose carpools on the go. This adds yet another layer to fleet management software.

When developing fleet software platforms, automotive software development companies also need to consider that major European and American cities look at MaaS as the future of public transportation. The actions of two pioneer cities’ actions paint the picture of how this could become a reality and what features fleet management software might need to include.

  • In Los Angeles – The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) developed MDS (Mobility Data Specification) as a way for micro-mobility companies to send real-time data (location, information about trips taken on each vehicle, battery power, status) to cities. MDS helps cities to manage e-scooters fleets better as the raw data is translated into dashboards. City staffers use MDS data to check if any vehicles block the sidewalk, for example.
  • In Munich – Munich Transport Corporation (MVG) wants to use MaaS as a way for commuters to combine public transport with private mobility services. All transport solutions and journey planning capabilities need to be available on one platform. “The MVG’s current goal is to also cover the first and last mile by cooperating with new partners and offers. Our customers want to reach their destination from and to their front door, and not just from stop to stop.” – Ingo Wortmann, Chairman of the Management Board at Munich Transport.

Simply put, automotive software developers now need to consider MaaS when developing software platforms for fleet management. As technological advances, telematics, and new legislation have reshaped the transport industry in the last decade, so do ride-hailing and car-sharing fleets that enter the market. Real-time location for mixed fleets -cars, scooters, trucks, e-bikes-, in-app payment system, transfer of data to cities, integration with public transport platforms, data security, and driver management are just some of the features and functions fleet managers expect from their fleet management software.

About the Author

B2B Digital Marketer at Fortech

Alexandra Groza

B2B Digital Marketer

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