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The Industrial Internet of Things refers to the use of sensors to connect and collect data from machines used in the manufacturing, transportation and energy industries. Fleet IoT involves using that same technology to create a connected system that streamlines commercial fleet operations.
The two have similarities, especially in the types of technology used. In many ways Fleet IoT is a subset of Industrial IoT, taking connective technology and using it to make fleets and warehouses more effective and efficient.
One of the leaders in the field is Samsara, which uses hardware, software and the cloud to provide fleet managers real-time visibility, analytics, and artificial intelligence.
What Is Industrial IoT (IIoT)?
Most people are aware of the Internet of Things (IoT) because of its uses with consumer goods and to connect systems in the home. IoT connects objects in the real world to the internet. This includes cars, televisions and home appliances.
This connectivity provides advantages to consumers. One example is the smart technology in connected cars that recognizes other objects (such as other cars) in the IoT. Another is using connected systems to automatically regulate temperature control systems in the home, which can lead to lower utility bills.
Industrial IoT (IIoT) is the same concept but used in areas such as manufacturing, supply chain, and management. IIoT involves connecting much larger machines – turbines and airplane engines, for example – and typically involves sensors with a higher level of sophistication and precision.
Both IoT and IIoT use data management, connectivity, data security, and secure clouds as part of their systems. But IIoT generates massive amounts of data, far more than an IoT system would generate.
What Is Fleet IoT?
Fleet IoT takes the concepts of IIoT and applies them exclusively to managing fleets. These fleet management systems involve collecting and transmitting data through telematics devices. Data is generated through sensors placed on vehicles.
GPS to determine real-time location is a popular use of Fleet IoT. Other areas include:
- Engine data. This is used to determine when different engine parts are behaving in a way that indicates maintenance is needed. It also monitors areas such as RPM, coolant levels and tire pressure.
- Fuel data. This is used to track the rate of fuel consumption
- Driver behavior. Systems now can monitor driver behavior and provide real-time feedback if they engage in habits such as hard braking, drifting out of their lane, etc.
Sensors can also record information from special systems on a fleet truck. For example, the coolant system on a refrigerated truck or an integrated device such as keys.
The data used in these systems makes a fleet management operation more efficient, as well as making it easier to maintain data that is used for compliance with Department of Transportation regulations. Fleet IoT is expected to transform the industry, according to IoT Business News, which lists it among the top five impacts of IoT on the business world. They note that Fleet IoT technology “could not only help improve performance but have a deeply transformative effect on your company’s culture.”