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Smart fleet management solutions are increasingly being used worldwide to reduce operational costs, increase productivity, improve customer service levels and enhance safety and security.
Wahl Bartmann, CEO of Fidelity Services Group, says the company recently partnered with global vehicle security and telematics solutions provider, Amber Connect, to launch the latest, cloud-based, data-rich comprehensive fleet management solution in South Africa.
“The emphasis of Fidelity SecureDrive initially is on smart fleet management,” says Bartmann. “In the digital age, we know that data drives everything. With the accumulation and consumption of data escalating and interpretative and analytical tools becoming more commonplace, we are uniquely positioned to leverage data and infrastructure to help clients mitigate risk and ensure greater safety and security of their people, assets and business.”
Although advanced technology is at the core of all these solutions, it’s how one helps customers use this technology that generates real value for organisations.
“To be able to customise and develop products and tools that proactively deliver tangible value is key,” says Bartmann.
Fidelity SecureDrive combines Amber Connect’s strength in data analytics and software development with Fidelity’s unparalleled infrastructure and service capability to bring a truly unique product to the South African market.
“We offer the only real-time tracking where data is literally refreshed every two seconds allowing true real-time alerts,” Bartmann says.
The technology has developed to such an extent that today smart fleet management systems can provide fleet owners with a comprehensive range of information ranging from critical alerts where there has been a collision, to anti-theft alerts, driver behaviour alerts and safety features like geo-fencing which provides indicators of fatigue and route deviation.
“Our geo-fencing capability has taken monitoring of the fleet one step further by allowing us to create layers of groups and subgroups for either a vehicle or a group of vehicles,” he says. “One can literally create and manage multiple geo-fencing.”
Bartmann says a key differentiator of Fidelity SecureDrive is Amber Connect’s team of data scientists which brings global expertise to local shores. The client-facing portals have become insight portals rather than just a tracking portal, even using Artificial Intelligence to start pre-empting situations. The system collects data about the environment, interprets the data within its context and then determines the optimal course of action.
“Going a step further, what’s exceptionally exciting, as a world first, is how the mobile application employs Artificial Intelligence through the Amber Shield feature to pro-actively inform the driver of theft-related risk events associated with the vehicle,” says Bartmann.
Another technology that’s emerging in new age telematics is augmented reality or virtual reality (VR).
“More than desktops, laptops and games consoles of the past, virtual reality lets users step into a world that is entirely lifelike. While not necessarily photorealistic, VR is powerful enough already to give you a genuine feeling of presence, which has been the Holy Grail for companies trialling the technology for decades. Fidelity SecureDrive’s two-second refresh rate allows users a surveillance-like experience,” says Bartmann.
This kind of view is also ideal for accident reconstruction.
“With the rich telematics data, clients have the capability of accurately detecting crash alerts along with driving behaviour alerts like harsh braking, harsh cornering and sudden acceleration merged with real-time views. All this contributes to an accurate reconstruction of the accident,” says Bartmann. “These advanced level of reporting and analysis, coupled with the ability to access and interrogate data in multiple dimensions, makes it much easier for businesses to identify key trends and issues requiring attention.”
The information and targeted feedback provided by the systems gives customers the insight to better manage their drivers and jobs individually and also, by extension, the efficiency of their entire operation.
“It all boils down to driving value from the solution that is right for a customer’s business and that is where the value component of the service comes in. Guiding customers through the process of change and onwards to higher levels of performance and profitability,” concludes Bartmann.