May 2015

Fleet Management News & Business Info | Commercial Carrier Journal

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64 COMMERCIAL CARRIER JOURNAL | MAY 2015 I f you want to get a heavy-truck designer excited today, ask him or her about vehicle telematics, sit back and try to keep up while they talk you through trucking's next big revolution. We're all familiar with vehicle telematics today, thanks to consumer versions such as GM's OnStar system. These systems, oriented toward everyday vehicle use, focus on logical services such as GPS routing, directions to that swanky new downtown restau- rant and – perhaps most importantly – the immediate summoning of help in the event of an accident. All those features are fine, and they also have some benefits to truck fleets and drivers alike in commercial vehicle applications. But the real benefit, experts say, is when trucks begin to self- diagnose maintenance and repair issues in a way that allows fleets to cut vehicle downtime dramatically. In some cases, new telematics vehicle systems may prevent vehicle breakdowns altogether by alert- ing fleet directors and drivers that a failure is imminent, prompting a managed repair before a downtime event occurs. Truck OEMs already are offering increasingly sophisticated

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