25 years later, what has changed in terms of Fleet Management? A lot!
Frotcom was created in 1997. This means that in 2022 our product turns 25!
I thought it would be interesting to check what changed in these 25 years concerning fleet management.
First of all, the idea of using telematics to manage your fleet was something rather innovative in 1997. If you were already managing a fleet back then, you might recall that not a lot of companies used GPS tracking to locate their vehicles.
The main reason was cost. In 1997 most telematic systems used satellite communications – or SMS messaging, at best – to establish communication between the computer in the office and the GPS trackers aboard their vehicles. So, every time a user needed to know the whereabouts of a vehicle, its position would have to be requested explicitly and then wait for the reply, in the form of a mark on the map. The cost? Something between 0.50-0.80€ per position. Clearly, you would need to keep the number of requests as low as possible.
Not only was this expensive, but it was also not very efficient. Today you have online communication with all your vehicles and know where they are all the step of the way, of course. In 1997, you would not have other services either, such as driving behavior or route execution monitoring. Nor could you create most of the reports and alarms currently available in Frotcom.
The fact is, back in 1997, we found it necessary to evangelize the market. It was not easy for customers to see the benefits of a fleet management system. Only almost a decade later, the market really took off when a much more affordable packet communication system (GPRS) made it viable to get the most of a fleet management platform.
Nowadays, most companies, especially in industries such as road transportation and logistics, have the absolute need to optimize their fleets, which simply cannot be done without knowing the vehicles' whereabouts, routes, and estimated times of arrival.
What about the future?
It would be hard to imagine, back in 1997, what a fleet management system would look like in 25 years. Likewise, it is quite difficult – maybe even pointless – to predict where Frotcom will be 25 years from now. But we can, nevertheless, see where it is heading.
For instance, in 2021, a new tracking mode called Real-time Tracking was added to Frotcom. This already allows you to get information from your vehicles approximately every second. In 2022, Frotcom is adding another service, Extended CANBus Collection, which reads a lot more parameters from your vehicles.
Equipped with this massive information (more data, every second), you will be able to see exactly how each vehicle is being driven, in real-time or for any route in the past. This new feature allows you to train your drivers, pinpointing the exact maneuvers that need improvement. And the best thing is that all this can happen on-the-job. That’s a huge benefit for our customers, in terms of productivity, eco-driving, and security.
Nobel prize winner Dennis Gabor wrote, “The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented.”
That is exactly what Frotcom has been doing for 25 years. Looking forward to the next 25!
CEO at Frotcom International
- Celebrating 25 years
- GPS tracking
- SMS messaging
- GPS trackers
- Route execution monitoring
- Real-time tracking
- Extended CANBus Collection