Connected vehicles and the Internet of Things are becoming an integral part of the entire automobile industry. This includes the fleet industry too, as they are also in the transition mode and are changing rapidly. Be it managing a whole fleet or tracking a vehicle, the trend is slowly taking over the need for human intervention. As there is a growing need for all the fleet owners to efficiently manage and optimise their operations, they are using newer technologies to reshape in all aspects including, cost reduction, risk management, better efficiency, and safety.
Chennai-based WebNMS, the IoT division of Zoho Corporation, provides fleet management software and tracking systems to help fleet owners manage their business. In the process of taking it to the next level, the company is looking at the possibility to integrate the software with AI and machine learning systems.
Karen Ravindranath: "We want to help customers more by cutting down the revenue leaks, and give them opportunities to optimise better with the data we have collected."
Speaking to Autocar Professional, Karen Ravindranath, director, WebNMS, said, “We are looking to integrate the fleet management solution and expand it. This will be done by adding value in terms of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning data. So far, things like predictive maintenance and route optimisation, are already part of the solution. But we want to add more value to the customers. There is analytics that needs to be applied to ensure the customer a better cost-saving solution. We want to help customers more, on cutting down the revenue leaks, give them opportunities to optimise better with the data we have collected. So, with the use of AI, we want to provide better value to them. We are also working on image processing and Virtual Reality to help simplify the day-to-day activity.”
WebNMS has a wide range of customers across the globe. And, every solution is custom-made for both local and international markets. Some of its customers for the fleet management solution include a fleet leasing service provider, a large oil and gas service company in the Middle East. WebNMS has tried to implement a few learnings from the global market to the Indian market and vice-versa.
“One of the key elements that we had to address in the international market was data security and safety standards. European countries have mandated the number of working hours and the condition of the assets is very important. We have taken these and implemented it for the Indian customers in our software. Also, the safety requirements like camera were also being added for the local market here. From the Indian market, we learned to bring out low-cost quality devices. We have partnered with many device manufacturers here to bring out the best competitive solution,” the director said.
According to the director, a midsized fleet with 25-50 vehicles can benefit from 10-15 percent fuel savings by using its products. The software helps its customers to lose a lot of paperwork by digitising the entire operation and also allows fleet managers to pre-schedule. This, in turn, saves considerable time. “Each and every step will be notified on their mobile. The customer will know everything about the vehicle and the driver's behaviour just by sitting at his office. The software can also predict failure in advance,” she mentioned.
Data collection and safety
Given the massive data collected, WebNMS is using it to improve its software. AI or machine learning can never ‘walk’ with one set of data. The data accumulated across domains and different assets are utilised to add more value to its software. Analysing this data helps them to add more intelligence to their system, where the software can predict failure and help them with predictive maintenance. As a part of Zoho Corporation, the company’s data security is never an issue. Data security of all personal information is secured, encrypted and stored. In certain cases, WebNMS also has the option of deploying the information on the cloud, where data can be accessed only by the customer.
“We are looking to expand on our system integration and distributor partnerships in India. And, we also want to integrate a lot more devices, where we do not just be part of the logistics, but also be a part inside the warehouses in tracking the products. This helps in making the logistics service quick and efficient," Karen signed off.
Already working with Indian bikemaker, EV charging station vendors
WebNMS has collaborated with one of the leading bike manufacturers in India to monitor and manage their test vehicles. The location, condition, and other safety factors are being tracked, reported and analysed by the company to minimise operational costs and improve product quality in the long run.
WebNMS is also working with a couple of vendors in the energy management space for setting up charging stations across the country. The software company is helping them on the IoT side which includes the number of units discharged and monitoring the charging stations. The data will be collected and the company will work on to bring a better solution.