Commercial vehicle makers woo fleet operators
Tata Motors, India’s biggest commercial vehicle manufacturer and Ashok Leyland, the second-largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in the country, are providing new technologies which will help fleet operators improve operational efficiency.
The service that Tata Motors, which has a market share of 50 per cent in truck and bus sales, has launched allows operators to track their fleet on a real-time basis, using a variety of technologies including global positioning system(GPS).
“Fleet Telematics combines IT, telecom, GPS and analytics to monitor operational parameters of commercial vehicle fleets in real-time. With the help of Fleet Telematics, fleet owners can track all the vehicles in their fleet, individually and collectively on a real-time basis,” Tata Motors said in a statement.
Fuel and maintenance costs account for 70 per cent of the total cost of running a fleet of trucks. Any savings in these two areas directly has a significant impact on profitability.
“As lifecycle cost is a major determinant of commercial vehicles buying decisions, the aforementioned savings have direct implications for Tata Motors. Transport and logistics companies in developed markets have adopted Fleet Telematics in a big way and derived substantial benefits,” Tata Motors added.
The technology provides better fleet control through real-time, map-based tracking of fleets, allowing more effective route planning and scheduling. This leads to savings in fuel consumption and driver assessment and retraining.
On the safety front, it provides better control on risky and unsafe driving practices such as overspeeding and night driving and emergency messaging system.
For Tata Motors, fleet operators pay in the range Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for the hardware unit and Rs 250 to Rs 500 a month towards subscription charges. Savings on operations will directly impact freight rates and the profitability of truck owners.
Meanwhile, Chennai-based Ashok Leyland has formed a special group within the company that looks into making the telematics simpler and more cost-effective and affordable to suit Indian consumers.
The other companies are not far behind. Volkswagen group company Scania has already armed its new-generation inter-state luxury buses with GPS. The company says it is ready to deploy technology that will be similar in nature to the black boxes seen on commercial aircraft. Volvo, one of Europe’s largest truck makers, has also launched telematics in India, called WirelessCar.