Top 10 fleet automations in Autofleet

Nicole Valenzuela, Sr. Director Enterprise Solutions

In today's landscape, fleet operations demand more than just basic telematics and static reports to effectively optimize. To truly manage operational costs, enhance utilization, and boost ROI, operators must streamline workflows and improve efficiency. Automated workflows must become an integral part of any fleet management optimization solution.

Too many fleet workflows rely on long, complicated and mistake-prone manual processes. But these can be easily and efficiently replaced by automated, streamlined workflows that are set in motion instantaneously, based on predetermined times, events, or key performance indicators (KPIs). 

Fleet automations can make sure vehicles are where they need to be, when they need to be there. Ensuring peak operational performance, downtime reduction, and increased fleet efficiency. 

Autofleet Platform overview
Autofleet Platform overview

Empowering automations with real-time optimization of assets (vehicles, routes, drivers, vendors, tasks, and reservations) makes fleet automations even more effective by translating insights from mere reports into actual fleet operations. 

For this blog post we dove into our platform's data, gathered from fleets and transportation operators in multiple verticals, across 5 continents and in over 20 countries, to share with you our customer’s top 10 most useful automations. 

It will allow you to discover how some of the world's most powerful fleets are harnessing automated workflows, customizing them to their fleet specific needs and KPIs. We saw over and over how fleets can slash downtime by more than  80% and increase utilization by more than 10% while keeping control and visibility in place using optimizations and automations.. 

Fleet workflow automations in action

Autofleet Automation Engine

The ability to create a hierarchy of tasks by priority, and to chain automations together, creates endless possibilities. At Autofleet, our Fleet Optimization Platform hosts a myriad of fleet automations, driving efficiency and performance daily. Below, we present a curated list of the top 10 automations our partners have created, redefining fleet management one automation at a time: 

1. Optimized cleaning task allocation to minimize service disruption

Vehicles need to be cleaned. But cleaning takes the vehicle out of the pool of available assets, and can generate significant downtime at scale. This is why this automation was created to manage cleaning operations optimally and automatically. 

Based on booking volumes (number of bookings and time booked, that can change per model) and client requests, this automation dynamically dispatches cleaning crews (internal or one operated by a vendor). 

Cleaning crew dispatch is optimized by priority and rules on where and when to clean the vehicle. This runs alongside another automation that makes sure to block the vehicle only when it is not booked, and when a cleaning crew is available. It also automatically releases the vehicle back into the pool of available vehicles as soon as the cleaning crew finishes the job. 

2. Accident and malfunction automatic vehicle blocking 

Preventing operational hiccups, this automation promptly identifies and blocks vehicles with reported issues - from accidents to malfunctions. Any existing reservations for the vehicles are automatically detached and reassigned, and no new tasks are allocated until the issue is resolved. 

It may not sound like much, but it is extremely valuable in preventing awkward situations and ‘rolling disasters’ when vehicles that are not pulled from the pool and keep getting allocated to various tasks they cannot perform. 

3. Automatic preventative maintenance  

Different vehicles have different time and distance thresholds before they require preventative service and maintenance.

Using preventative maintenance automation, Autofleet tracks each vehicle according to specific fleet policies, and when that threshold is approached, automatically triggers the required service. The priority of this task gets progressively higher the closer we get to the threshold. And if maintenance is overdue, it can even block the car and make the maintenance task urgent. 

As an added bonus, it is also integrated to the MOT, and using their API, automatically books the vehicle to its MOT test.  

4. Effortless reporting and compliance 

One of the biggest headaches facing fleet operators is the need to constantly report back to external stakeholders, or management, which is why this automation is so great.

Using custom integrations to 3rd party systems, this automated workflow communicates everything they need to ensure compliance, and has scenarios based on specific events, where non-compliance requires additional actions. 

5. Automatic ride tracking link creation   

Serving both functional, security and emotional needs, this automation generates tracking links for passengers or packages, offering real-time visibility into vehicle locations and arrival times. 

It is one of our personal favorites because it answers the needs of parents who send their kids out to school on school rides and get a link every morning tracking the ride, and allowing them the peace of mind of knowing where their kids are. 

6. Client incentives to move vehicles based on demand (shared mobility)

Vehicles are not always when you need them to be to meet demand. Which makes this automation that works together with Autofleet’s demand prediction models particularly clever. 

When the automation detects too many vehicles in low demand areas, it suggests incentivizing car-sharing clients to move the vehicles themselves by offering lower prices. If self-relocation fails, the system will dispatch drivers to optimize fleet distribution, maximizing asset utilization.

Autofleet automatic dispatching and planning
Autofleet Routing

7. Automatic planning and ride creation from manifest 

This workflow automation streamlines future ride and delivery orders. A previously time-consuming manual task that used to take hours upon hours and multiple team members to complete. And is now done from a simple email! 

This is how it works. When a client sends an email with ride requests for the next day, the automation downloads the file from the email, opens and parses it. Then, deep logic and rules are used, alongside advanced AI routing algorithms, to create a dispatching plan for the next day. A plan that meets every custom constraint and business logic requirements, and that is optimal to the fleet’s KPIs.  

8. A solution to improper parking 

Sometimes, especially in the car-sharing business, drivers leave a vehicle parked where it shouldn’t be. In order to avoid getting fines, vendors are encouraged to report whenever they see a vehicle poorly parked. This triggers an automatic workflow that dispatches a driver to move the vehicle  - and in a clever twist, it utilizes this move task (that might otherwise not take place) to rebalance the vehicle to a high demand or predicted high demand zone.   

9. Turn every field agent into a live sensor 

Using the Field Agent App, this automation gives every field agent or vendor operative the ability to report on any issue with the vehicle (such as a dent in a fender, a broken tail light or a flat tire). 

The app then triggers an automation that is sensitive to what was reported, and to the severity of the damage, and based on that will take appropriate action - blocking the vehicle, sending a mechanic or a tow truck and alerting the required personnel of the issue. 

 10. Automated Charging

Addressing the unique challenges of electric vehicle (EV) fleets, this automation optimizes charging tasks based on battery levels, charger availability, and future bookings.

Optimized Charging

This goes beyond considering just the battery level and takes into account predictive demand and future tasks. It might make sense, for example, to charge a vehicle even if it's at 60%, because it currently has no assignment, and it is predicted to be fully utilized later on. 

Charging takes time. So an optimized charging automation must also consider charger availability in the area, waiting times, charging times, and the deadhead miles required to get to the charging station. For optimal operation, it is critical vehicles are not sent to chargers where they will have to wait a long time before the charger becomes available.  

When the driver receives the charging alert, they also get routing information to guide to the best available charging station. And, once the vehicle is charged, using predictive demand, we automate the decision of where to return it to.

Automated fleet management optimization 

These examples merely scratch the surface of Autofleet's workflow automation capabilities.  

Seamlessly integrating with our Optimization Engine allows chaining optimizations and automations together, creating whole workflows that streamline operations and lower cost. Automations also provide fleets with the tools to productize their data directly—triggering actions and workflows while maintaining control with advanced technology.  

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