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Interview with LocoNav co-founders: “The role of the driver is better aided, not transformed”

Shridhar Gupta and Vidit Jain, co-founders of LocoNav, a software solutions provider for fleets, have expressed their thoughts over a series of questions, including the digitalisation process of the fleet management industry, the changes in the role of the vehicle driver due to new technology systems and the role that fleet management technology can play in the port congestion issues worldwide.

  • What is the next step in the digitalisation process of the fleet management industry?

Digitalisation has been at the core of driving operational efficiency for industries, especially legacy-driven, with rudimentary technologies in place. The fleet management industry is no exception. For an industry that manages billions of dollars worth of goods, coordination systems have been very rudimentary leading to a need for adoption of the digitalisation process. Internet of Things (IoT)-based and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven fleet management solutions help in digitally transforming tedious manual operations. With enhanced access to high-speed internet, businesses can benefit through multiple avenues using fleet management technology.

The next step in digitalisation for fleet tech is greater adoption and innovation given that Fleet Management powered by modern technology has use cases in a variety of industries. At LocoNav, we are seeing manufacturers and shippers increasingly realise that the best way to have a competitive advantage is to adopt AI and IoT-backed innovations to run a sustainable business.

LocoNav’s full-stack fleet management solutions in addition to real-time vehicle tracking also alert fleet owners and help them optimise the cargo movement with its route optimisation feature that offers real-time updates and notifications in case there’s any deviation in the route. Driver Scorecards generated on our platform instill a sense of accountability amongst drivers and motivate them to perform better, leading to a safer experience while driving the vehicle. Usage of IoT through sensors inside commercial vehicles has opened up newer opportunities for safety - our e-Lock offering designed to protect cargo, door sensors and more take safety to the next level.

Further, our AI-driven video safety and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are helping in the overall security and efficiency of businesses.

  • How AI technology can improve the efficiency of the fleet management industry?

The use of AI & IoT is the future of fleet management and has the power to revolutionise the fleet management industry. It helps in transforming the tedious manual operations. This, in turn, ensures the safety of the driver, vehicle, and the freight it is carrying, along with improving business efficiency for the fleet owner.

At LocoNav, we believe that each commercial vehicle is a business in itself with its own P&L. The commercial vehicle is the atom of LocoNav and we leverage the power of IoT and AI to centre all our efforts around this atom to bring enormous amounts of data generated from the vehicle onto a single platform. We achieve this by installing different kinds of sensors onto the vehicle, which then collect data and transfer it directly to our secure cloud servers.

Also, we use advanced AI and Machine Learning (ML) to create visibility for the vehicle movement via location tracing & geofencing; save operational costs with fuel monitoring and maintenance costs with on-board diagnostics and more.

  • Has the role of the vehicle/truck driver changed over the last years due to the addition of new technology and digital systems?

Fleet Management technology, today, is aiding fleet drivers to become more efficient, improve their performance and above all help them be safer on the road. Choosing technological solutions for fleet management has continued to prove its importance by helping fleet owner and driver ecosystems to become more efficient and cost-effective.

Hence, the role of the driver is better aided, not transformed with the help of technology.

To give an example, LocoNav’s driver scorecard helps build trust and transparency between the driver and fleet owner. Our route optimisation feature helps drivers map their routes better. To further aid the fleet drivers, LocoNav ADAS – an Advanced Video Telematics & driver safety solution bundled with hardware into a one-stop offering helps lower operational costs, prevent and protect against false claims, and ensure safety for drivers, fleet and the business.

With all of the above and more, we have seen technology not just help businesses be more profitable but even drivers are able to unlock more opportunities which are enabling them to prosper and grow.

  • In the last months, there is a continuing port congestion problem in major port regions in the world, such as California, US, and China. How can fleet management technology assist in port congestion issues?

There is a growing need for shippers and carriers to modernise operations with the help of technology across the supply chain which will help companies through port congestion issues.

A full-stack fleet management solution like that of LocoNav solves for end-to-end movement of a consignment, right from the cargo’s point of origination to its ultimate destination while it’s on the road. The prevailing port congestion in some of the key international ports is having an adverse impact on business.

Our state-of-the-art technologies leveraging AI across Vehicle and Video Telematics can help consigners get end-to-end visibility and security while the cargo is outside of the port. The LocoNav Fleet Management System when integrated with our easy API to the port’s system and the shipping fleet’s system allows the consigner not only to solve for visibility from origin to destination across road, port, and sea but also help optimise the routes, the scheduling, etc using features like route optimisation and trip schedulling.

Antonis Karamalegkos
Managing Editor

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