The fleet sector is a major driver in the evolution of telematics, with owners recognizing the huge benefits of near real time monitoring and management of their vehicles, regardless of location. With the fundamental criteria being—typically—cost-saving alongside driver and road safety, vast improvements in overall efficiency are at the heart of the telematics revolution. Combining data gathered from multiple individual journeys—from sources such as fuel cards, sensors, in-vehicle diagnostic systems, GPS devices with, for example, equipment usage data that demonstrates the impact of driver habits on fuel consumption (idling, speeding and braking, etc)—is providing fleet owners with detailed insights that enable key business decisions.
Having access and being able to standardize data from multiple sources is the key to making smart business decisions. With fleet sizes in trucking or hire ranging from a few hundred to tens of thousands, fleet sector investment in telematics-based intelligence underpinning business decision-making is growing; in particular, the positive impact of telematics on trucking has been profound, affecting safety, efficiency and cost.
When connecting thousands of vehicles with internal systems, there can be various challenges. Fleets usually include vehicles of different sizes, manufacturers and production years and can be difficult to normalize that data and start to leverage the value of it.
To turn data into insights and actions, you need to be able to easily build pipelines from all of these different telematic technologies and combine the data sources.
Our customer is a fleet owner operating in the delivery sector, based in Europe, running more than 5,000 vehicles. With their trucks covering 76.500 kilometers annually on average, concerns include fuel management, out of route miles, accident prevention, traffic flow and the impact of delays. Fleet maintenance and driver job satisfaction are also key. The annual operations related maintenance costs amount to more than 8 million USD per year.
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More than 2 million USD per year were attributed to driver error which the team was confident removing with their activities and further reducing operational costs. Also, their insurance provider was requiring more detailed data insight to provide them an offer to renew coverage on the fleet.
With the clear objective of driving down maintenance and insurance costs whilst improving driver safety, our customer has decided to digitize their fleet by connecting 5000+ vehicles to their internal systems, such as their Transportation Management Systems (TMS) and Route Optimization Software. The fleet includes vehicles of different sizes, manufacturers and production years, and is being fitted with telematics solutions in order to send data in real time.
“One of our biggest challenges is to reduce the complexity of working with different data sources and technologies. Some of our vehicles have already existing telematics dongles. This setup is very complex, hard to maintain and offers limited value.” - Senior Product Owner
Ultimately, it was required to integrate three different telematics sources and two other tracking solutions, all with various data formats and standards. To turn data into insights and actions, they needed to build pipelines from all of these different telematic technologies, combine the data sources into a unified data set, standardizing and harmonizing the data manually for further use.
Two options were on the table; the first, to assign an in-house team to the project—a team of five developers already running other projects in parallel. The second option was to outsource the project, running the risks associated with being dependent on a third party to maintain and develop the system into the future.
“I knew I couldn’t rely on an external company to build this infrastructure. But I couldn’t devote three of my team members to work on this full time for almost a year. I didn’t even have the tools to evaluate how complex this project really would be on an on-going on basis.” — Senior Product Owner
Our approach to our customer’s need to leverage and standardize relevant telematics data for their business integrated three telematics data sources, normalizing the data into one harmonized format.
We unified the data and enabled its distribution to internal and external platforms, accommodating added privacy and security layers so as to protect both the data and its owners.
Importantly, in order to ensure that the solution we arrived at was the right one, we worked through other options for our customer.
New companies are starting to change this industry by rethinking how to approach the market, by delivering pure self-service solutions being much more widely open for everyone to integrate with. Xapix is changing the way in which hardware and software works and improves the seamlessness of the experience. Everything is accessible over an open API - just integrate, extend and build on top of Xapix.
Having worked through our customer’s priorities and examined the alternatives together—our customer made the decision to work with Xapix because of the scalability of our offer, the RoI, our industry-specific knowledge and our transparent approach to working with our customers, and awareness and concern for issues of data standardization, harmonization, privacy and confidentiality.
The automotive data types and integrations our expertise encompassed in working with our customer on this project included telematics data coming from two OBD dongles suppliers and one OEM telematics API. Our expertise took into account IoT Cargo Tracking devices and Dispatch and Tracking Solutions (DTS) as well as Transportation Management Systems (TMS), all of which were integrated so as to allow our customer seamless access to relevant data sets.
Xapix offers the only data integration platform built for the specifics of the automotive and mobility world, in that it is able to integrate, harmonize and orchestrate telematics data. With Xapix, our customer had quick access to fleet data from a variety of telematics units, easily managed the data and distributed the data to other systems securely.
Additionally, the team could not only create APIs with Xapix, but take immediate action based on aggregated data, and was able to build additional use cases around events that are triggered in real time from the stream of telematics data. All scenarios had the common objective of having a direct impact on the return on investment of the company:
Using our predefined data pipelines and low code user interface, our customer was able to connect the fleet to their existing platforms in just two weeks—a project that, initially, was estimated to take nine months. All this was accomplished by a team that had limited prior experience using and building APIs. In addition, using our platform, our customer was able to leverage Xapix’s data privacy and security features to ensure they comply with the highest data standards.
Xapix’s platform features multiple data sources and outputs (including REST JSON/XML, SOAP XML, SQL, CSV, JSON, and Kafka and Azure event streams). Working with Xapix, our customers enjoy harmonized data; at the same time, we employ data governance templates so as to ensure privacy, security, seamless user management and industry-specific standards compliance. Our advanced transformation features ensure rigorous data normalization. Working with this customer, as with many of our other projects, we approached the problems of leveraging and standardizing telematics data from a low code perspective—our customers know that they do not need deeper expertise to build effective and accountable data streams.
Our customer launched their connected system almost one year earlier than originally estimated, freeing their team to focus on the actual applications. By reducing dramatically the project duration, the customer lowered development costs by $300,000. The results from improved operations and lowered driver-induced repairs are still being gathered, but the fleet managers are satisfied with the decrease - and even the worker’s council was onboard after realizing the benefits to driver safety. Furthermore, the company was able to keep their current insurance rate and the insurance who had previously considered backing away from the policy expanded the coverage.
Additional benefits include increased security and data privacy compliance, better performance and reduced risk of system and API failures.