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Security takes the driver’s seat in the digital world of fleet automation

Tuesday, April 19, 2022 - 06:02
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“We have a problem when it comes to the security of our fleet.” Words you may hear from your boss. Next thing you know,  you  run through your check list of questions  such as “what challenges are we trying to solve for, where do we begin researching companies, how do we know if we are looking at the right solution, and how do we implement and manage this without negatively impacting productivity?”

All of these are incredibly valid questions that come with a simple answer – fleet security automation. In the digital age we live in, automating critical aspects of fleet operations such as driver access, vehicle location and immobilization as well as the prevention of vehicle theft is crucial to overall business operations. Using a security solution that not only has the intelligence to identify your fleet’s happenings and remedy those events but to also prevent them is a breakthrough way of modernizing fleet management at a holistic level.

Location is Everything

When it comes to your fleet, having precise visibility into the location of your vehicles is a necessity. Understanding where your vehicles are at any given moment provides you with full transparency into your fleet’s overall operations, allowing you to make intelligent, real-time decisions based on vehicle history as well as predictive location behavior.

The topic of fleet security often raises a few notable talking points, arguable one of the most important and impactful being vehicle theft.

When a vehicle is stolen, speed to recovery is key. Through the use of a single, comprehensive map view detailing the vehicle’s current location and using customizable alerts triggered in the event of a theft, you are able to quickly and easily locate the stolen vehicle. But location is only half of the equation. Being able to share precise location coordinates with local law enforcement helps lead to a faster recovery, shortening the time of locating the vehicle from months to days with the help of a live link and Google Maps Street View. Because time is money, a quick recovery also means you salvage the dollars lost while the vehicle is out of commission. For logistics companies, being able to spot a stolen vehicle carries even more weight as a quick vehicle recovery result in the fast return of the goods being transported, reducing the risk of losing hard-earned dollars and valuable cargo.

It goes without saying that the best way to recover a stolen vehicle is to prevent the theft from the start. Using geofencing capabilities, security automation allows you to set boundaries around specific areas of interest where stolen vehicles may frequent such as junkyards and impound lots while monitoring activity in and out of these locations.

Being able to view a breadcrumb trail of the vehicle’s activity helps you pinpoint the route the vehicle took to get to this location, how long it has been there and if any tampering to the onboard telematics system occurred which prevents the vehicle from being detected.

Protecting Vehicles and Drivers Alike

When it comes to intelligence, you can never have enough when it pertains to your drivers and vehicles. One of the most important and powerful features of a strong security automation solution is the ability to immobilize a vehicle. Triggering the immobilization function plays an important role in many areas.

  • Stopping a theft in progress – Through smart alerts vehicles and visibility into the vehicle’s past traveling activity, you are able to remotely disable any vehicle labeled “at risk” the moment it comes to its next complete stop. This prevents the theft from progressing and increases the ability to recover the vehicle quickly and in good condition.
  • Preventing a theft – Immediately lock down a vehicle once a driver exits to prevent a theft or unauthorized access to the vehicle. This feature coupled with vehicle location becomes especially important when a driver enters a dangerous neighborhood or unsafe area.

Other automation capabilities such as remote door locking allows for you to automatically lock the vehicle’s door once the driver exits, saving time, increasing safety and convenience to the driver so they are better able to focus on the task at hand and return to their destination safely.

Using security automation in the form of alerts, immobilization and remote locking takes a proactive approach to managing the safety of your fleet. These tools help to protect the lost time, money and productivity that often accompanies any incident that occurs with a vehicle.

Improving Business Processes with Fleet Automation

Automating fleet security stretches far beyond the vehicles on the road and drivers behind the wheel. By having the right tools in place, you can easily improve critical fleet-specific business processes while better understanding the economic, efficiency and safety impacts on your overall operations.

The moment a vehicle hits the road, its effect on your bottom line deepens. From fleet maintenance to ancillary costs such as those around driver behavior, insurance premiums and maintenance fees, understanding how to recuperate those potentially lost dollars is critical. In the event a vehicle needs to be repossessed due to a lack of payment, a comprehensive security solution provides the ability to digitally revoke the driver’s keys via automation to prevent further driving until the account is made current. Having this level of control over both vehicle operations and visibility into lost dollars equips you to better understand where to focus your attention in order to recover these costs.

Automation also provides the ability to adhere to vehicle safety compliance standards, allowing you to lock down a vehicle that has been deemed unsafe for the road. By automatically immobilizing the vehicle, you protect your drivers as well as your bottom line, allowing only roadworthy vehicles to be driven as well as proactively preventing an accident that could occur with the operation of an unsafe vehicle.


Author: Mark Thomas, Ridecell Inc.

1https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2019/crime-in-the-u.s.-2019/topic-pages/motor-vehicle-theft#:~:text=Overview,was%20219.9%20per%20100%2C000%20inhabitants

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