Mobile adoption and adaptation in traditional workplaces has reformed and remodeled work processes, company structures, and approaches to work. However, the revolution is taking to our roads too. Mobile technology is all about freedom of movement and work efficiency, so applying it to the industry of transportation makes perfect sense.
Mobility in transportation assists with everything from route plotting to vehicle compliance. As with traditional workplaces, these devices can be highly customized to each business, helping to improve efficiency and job satisfaction. By making work easier and more enjoyable, mobile devices also help to increase staff retention, reducing recruitment costs.
Top 10 Uses of Mobility in Transportation
There are many ways mobile devices could be adapted for transportation as technologies evolve, but here we cover the present top uses and how devices help to improve the transportation industry.
- Route Planning – Plotting the perfect route for drivers is probably the most obvious use of mobile technology in vehicles. Mobile devices are commonly used around the world to navigate journeys, factoring in traffic light delays, traffic, traffic jams and more. When used in a car for a family trip this is convenient, but when it is applied to a fleet of trucks traveling the country, it becomes a huge time and money saver. The previously wasted fuel costs alone would quickly cover mobile device rollout.
- Fleet Management and Dispatch – Having live updates and information about every vehicle in the fleet is a massive help to logistics staff. Not only can they see where drivers are, they have estimated times of arrival as well. This allows logistics organise on a new level, as most of the ‘guesswork’ is replaced by more accurate data.
- Efficiency Increases – Data not only helps logistics to operate more efficiently, but also the drivers themselves. With fleet wide information about divers’ habits, training can be implemented to resolve bad driving habit issues. Fixings things like ‘leadfoot’ or aggressive braking can save on expenses like fuel costs and maintenance. Combine this with more efficient routes, logistics, logging, and drive break schedules, the entire operation’s efficiency benefits.
- Reduced Outgoings – Lower costs are achieved through increased efficiency, motivated staff and reduced resource requirements. Everything mentioned in the section above helps save on costs. However, mobile devices can also be used to reduce the need for paperwork, pens, stamps, and more. The impact is a large reduction in expenses, and a more streamlined operation.
- Paperwork Reductions – With tablets, in many situations paper is no longer required. Compliance paperwork can be filled out and filed digitally, customer signatures can be captured, and even images for vehicle inspections and maintenance recorded. This all leads to paper only being required should the evidence on information needs to be printed.
- Safety Improvements – More accurate data allows for better driver training and management, resulting in more skilled and focussed drivers.
- Alerts for Safety and Maintenance – When a device is assigned to a specific vehicle, it can record the service requirements and alert drivers or dispatch to anything that is due in the near future. Alerts can also be set for required or optimized rest breaks, as rested drivers are safer, happier, and more efficient.
- High Rates of Job Satisfaction – Digitizing and automating tasks with telemetric systems helps staff to focus on one thing, their job. Instead of trying to record every step of a journey, each dropoff point, evey break etc., drivers instead can focus on driving while the data is digitally collected. This data can also be set with automation systems that perform routine tasks for drivers and dispatch staff. This not only allows for everyone to focus more on the task of delivering, but also reduces the man hours required to perform these tasks. The removal of the pains of paperwork and data collection results in happier employees, employees that are also more productive during the hours they work. Driver retention can also be increased, as digital devices help to make downtime and travel more enjoyable. This helps drivers to feel happier and rest better. When combined with an almost total removal of paperwork, drivers are happier.
- Data Protection – Unlike lost paperwork, a lost device can still be remotely managed. This means that should a driver leave a device somewhere, it can be remotely accessed and erased is needed. However, as devices include tracking, it is also likely that someone could be sent to collect the device, as it’s location can be checked. Encryption is another level of protection, so that if for some reason a device can’t be wiped, the data on it is not readable without correct login information. These types of systems can be applied to company devices, and also to personal devices under BYOD schemes (Bring Your Own Device), where company data and personal privacy of staff are carefully managed. A good example of how this can be achieved with personal devices is the separated Samsung Knox secure work area, that implements defence grade security on personal devices, without affecting how staff use the ‘normal’ device functions.
- Easier Compliance – This is not to say that standards are reduced, but that mobile technology can help to make running vehicle compliance checks and recording evidence of those checks much easier than traditional methods. However, it is also important that operators meet federal regulations requirements for electronic logging of truck fleets. FMCSA regulations (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) dictate that all trucks record the drivers’ hours worked (hours of service or HOS) using ELDs. For those not yet compliant, the deadline is December 16, 2019. Mobile device usage is likely to increase in requirements, as they remove the element of human error and falsified paperwork.
As technology continues to develop, the use of mobile devices and technology is only going to expand further. Self driving trucks are already in development and being tested, while drone usage for deliveries is becoming a practical reality. However, in most cases, even when transport is automated, the public will desire a human to be there for backup. Technology is going to change the way we work and travel, but humans will be driving the change.