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Building Fleet Management Applications With Auto API

The organisation involved in managing a fleet of vehicles is no easy task, which is why, since the development of connected car technology, we have seen a host of applications being developed to assist such businesses. Although the range of ways in which these services seek to assist fleet managers varies from application to application, we can break down the main areas that they cover into Maintenance, Location Tracking, Insurance, Logbook and Vehicle Security.

Benefits for the fleet manager

As we have seen in previous blog posts, applications and services offering these individual services do already exist. However, a fleet management application is likely to offer multiple services under one umbrella to simplify administration and provide a more seamless user experience for management and drivers.  

If you’re looking into building an all-purpose fleet management application that covers one or more of these areas, it is likely that you have been thinking of utilizing different APIs to gain the data needed from cars. Fortunately the High Mobility platform and the Auto API offer APIs for all five categories.

Maintenance

An important part of managing a fleet of vehicles is ensuring all vehicles are kept in good condition, that faults are quickly identified and repaired, and driving the vehicle is safe in all weather, irrespective of road conditions or traffic. To do this, a fleet manager has to keep a close eye on the condition of the vehicle.  

Through the Auto API it is now possible for fleet managers to get a detailed overview of all their vehicles without the need for hardware like dongles, or for the driver to have to manually check the condition of the vehicle or call the headquarters to report any damages or repairs needed. Using data points available via the Auto API, these tasks can be performed automatically, with information about the status of the vehicle sent directly from the vehicle itself to a central HQ.

If there was a problem with the engine, the vehicle can report this to both the driver and the fleet manager, who can then establish the seriousness of the problem. The vehicle can also alert the driver to nearby mechanics or refuelling stations, so that a problem can be seen by a professional as quickly as possible.

Data points via Auto API

Tire Pressure - tracks the pressure in the tires and reports when tire pressure is incorrect for vehicle type.
Malfunction/Warning Lights - alerts users when the malfunction or warning lights go on in the vehicle.
Low Brake Fluid - tracks and reports low brake fluid to the fleet owner, enabling them to detect this issue remotely.
Gearbox Oil Temperature - keeps track of the oil temperature in the gearbox and reports it to the fleet owner, enabling them to detect this issue remotely.
Engine Coolant Temperature - records the engine coolant temperature and alerts the fleet manager when the temperature is abnormal, to enable remote tracking and control.
Fuel Status/State of Charge - whether the vehicle has a combustion engine or is a pure EV, this data point identifies when it needs refuelling or recharging. This information, when sent via an application back to a fleet manager, can help a fleet management company estimate overall fuel costs.

Insurance

Fleet insurance makes up 10 -15% of the fleet's total cost of ownership. However, a fleet management app can include vehicle insurance options, so that a fleet manager can insure all of their vehicles with the same tool that they might order spare parts through or arrange repairs with. A fleet management app can also focus on insurance designed specifically for large groups of vehicles, rather than a general vehicle insurance app which will be more suited to individual drivers and vehicles.

Data points via Auto API

Mileage - using this data point your service would be able to charge a customer based on the distance covered by all its vehicles, or on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis.  With this data the number of miles driven can be easily monitored, allowing your app to offer more tailored fleet management insurance or PAYD packages.

Logbook

A logbook application can be an app or service on its own. However, some fleet management tools seek to include a logbook feature as part of their offering. A logbook app might seek to obtain the mileage travelled by the vehicles which can be used to calculate cost per kilometer per vehicle, differentiating between private and company usage of the vehicle/fuel, and keeping accurate records of business kilometers to claim back from the tax office.

Data points via Auto API

Mileage - will track the number of miles driven by the vehicle, ensuring the driver doesn’t have to manually log miles driven or fill in any lengthy forms. The fleet manager will have a clear overview of what distance has been covered, as well as if and when maintenance checks should be carried out on the vehicle.
Vehicle Location  - will track the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of each vehicle, providing the fleet manager with a precise location. In a logbook application this data helps the fleet manager to confirm the exact start and end point of every journey.

Location Tracking

Knowing the whereabouts of each vehicle in a fleet is a crucial component to almost any fleet management service. Using the Auto API, this location data can be easily provided.

Data points via Auto API

Vehicle Location  - tracks the latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates of each vehicle, providing the fleet manager with a precise location. Fleet managers can therefore manage multiple journeys, deliveries, drivers and requests all from one central location because the car data provides them with up-to-the-minute information on the precise coordinates of each vehicle.

Vehicle Security

To keep the fleet manager abreast of the security of each vehicle, we provide the Door Locked Status API.

Data points via Auto API

Door Lock Status -  reveals to the fleet manager that the vehicle is secure when the driver is not inside. In a fleet management application this provides reassurance to the fleet manager that all vehicles are safe and neither the driver or the goods at any risk of harm.

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