29 April, 2024

6 Key Trends to Shape the Future in the Fleet Industry

Ask anyone who’s worked with fleet vehicles over the last decade and they’re all likely to tell you the same thing: the industry today is not the same as it was ten years ago.

Technological innovation, new regulations, and an increased emphasis on sustainability have all thrown the fleet industry into a state of fast transformation that shows no sign of slowing down.

In fact, the changes we’ve seen so far are likely just the tip of the iceberg. To grasp the full extent of what’s to come, we need to cast an eye forward to the defining trends that will shape the fleet industry’s future.

So, join us as we gaze into our crystal ball – zooming in on a few examples of how new technologies may continue to refine fleet management and enhance road safety in the years to come.

A photo of a blue truck driving fast on a highway

1. The Global Expansion of DMS Sets a New Safety Standard

Despite making their way into the mainstream of passenger cars, the adoption of Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) in fleet vehicles is still in its infancy. Emerging markets and diverse sectors, including ridesharing and delivery services, are recognizing the tangible benefits of DMS, driving a surge in global demand for these solutions.

As the technology matures and becomes more accessible to all vehicles, its impact on road safety and fleet performance will extend far beyond its current boundaries. For example, Smart Eye’s AIS Driver Support System makes our world-leading DMS software available as a complete hardware and software system that’s quick and easy to install in any vehicle. A camera-based system with the option to never record or store any footage of the driver, AIS lets fleets enhance safety without ever compromising on privacy.

2. DMS Standardization Through Evolving Regulations

As governments and safety organizations continue to refine regulations related to driver safety and DMS, technology is set to evolve in tandem. Many advanced DMS solutions already prioritize compliance with these evolving regulations, and this trend is expected to intensify in the future. This could lead to a standardization of DMS features and rigorous certification processes to ensure that all vehicles on the road meet the highest safety standards. These standardized practices and norms will ensure a universal approach to safety and quality, allowing for seamless operations across borders.

3. Deepened Integration with Fleet Management Systems

The fusion of DMS with fleet management systems already opens the door to a number of benefits for fleet operators. In the future, the integration with advanced in-vehicle technologies is bound to deepen, providing fleet managers with an all-encompassing view of their operations. Safety data, such as driver behavior and alert triggers, will seamlessly integrate with logistical and maintenance information. This synergy will empower fleet managers to make even more qualified,data-driven decisions that optimize both safety and operational efficiency, resulting in cost savings and improved service delivery.

A bus driver checking his phone behind the wheel

4. Emerging Vehicle Technologies to Enhance Comfort and Wellness

As other intelligent sensing technologies, such as Affectiva’s Emotion AI, are making their way into vehicles, more importance is placed on the driving experience. These technologies go beyond monitoring drowsiness or distraction levels, giving the driver’s emotions and comfort a central role. This lets the vehicle gain a nuanced understanding of the driver’s mood and emotional state, allowing for personalized adjustments. For instance, the car could detect signs of stress or fatigue and respond by adapting the music selection or cabin temperature to create a more soothing environment. This not only enhances driver well-being but also fosters an environment where professional drivers can perform at their best.

5. Multimodal Biometric Sensing to Further Ensure Driver’s Well-Being

Future fleet vehicles may use multiple sensing technologies to gain an even more comprehensive understanding of the driver’s state. With biometric sensors integrated into vehicle systems, the vehicle can monitor vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, providing real-time health insights. In the event of anomalies, the system can alert the driver and fleet managers, addressing health-related issues that could affect safe driving. This proactive approach not only ensures the driver’s well-being but also contributes to overall road safety.

6. Paving the Way for ADAS Features and Autonomous Driving

Driver monitoring systems will play a pivotal role in the integration of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and, eventually, the transition to autonomous vehicles. Even with increasing automation, DMS will remain the critical link between technology and human intervention. These systems will continuously assess the driver’s engagement level, ensuring they are ready to assume control when required, even in fully autonomous mode. This seamless collaboration between DMS and autonomous driving technology will be instrumental in transitioning to a safer and more efficient future on the roads.

An aerial view image of a fleet of trucks on a parking lot

Driving Change: Welcoming Technological Innovation in the Fleet Industry

With the introduction of new technology, the fleet industry is able to raise the bar for safety, efficiency, and driver wellness. But the more technologically advanced our cars, buses, and trucks become, the more emphasis is put on the seamless interaction between a vehicle and its driver.

That’s where many of the technologies mentioned in this blog come in, including driver monitoring systems, multimodal biometric monitoring, Emotion AI, and advanced driver assistance systems. Technology that puts people at the center lets us envision a future where the interplay between driver and vehicle is more intuitive, adaptive, and responsive – and an industry where change is welcomed as an opportunity of improvement.

Interested in how advanced in-cabin technology can help safeguard your fleet? Download our The Ultimate Guide to Driver Monitoring Systems in the Fleet Industry here, or contact us today to schedule a demo!

Written by Fanny Lyrheden
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