In case you haven’t noticed, over the last few years an unmistakable trend has been happening in the mobile fleet tracking industry. As mobile consumer devices have become a commonly accepted part of almost everyone’s life, mobile fleet management systems have begun to adopt a similar strategy.
The reason for this trend seems simple enough. Shippers and truck drivers are now using any number of different devices on their trucks. From cell phones to lane departure warnings, these devices all hold valuable information, which, if integrated, can enhance visibility and increase efficiency throughout the supply chain. By creating solutions engineered to openly integrate with these “outside” systems, mobile fleet management companies are giving their customers the freedom to quickly adopt new technology, without worrying about how that information will get shared.
The Future Is Bright for Plug-and-Play Fleet Tracking Integration
It is important to note, most of these fleet management systems still do not operate on a completely open platform. Unlike a mobile device built with an android operating system, linking these devices together is not as simple as installing a new app or plugging into a USB device.
But, the good news is that those integrations are not that far off in the future. Many trucking fleets have already made the switch to an android platform. The prediction is that, as this demand grows, companies like Google and Microsoft will continue to add the device drivers needed to make all of these integrations possible. The next step becomes evolving the fleet management system to integrate with them all.
Of course, even then the plug-and-play functionality may not be quite as all-inclusive as the end-user might want. Many are predicting that, while these systems will be much more inclusive than they are today, there will be limits placed on the types of apps and software capable of integrating with them. For instance, there will still be a need to encourage the adoption of any proprietary software or partnership technology. In addition, some providers may limit the types of technology their platform integrates with based on the ability to deliver value and a quality user experience.
And so, in truth, the future plug-and-play fleet tracking system will probably resemble a hybrid of today’s current systems and a completely open platform. Think about how your smartphone serves as the central access point for any number of apps and devices in your life. Your phone can’t connect to everything, but the network of items it does integrate with makes your life immeasurably easier.