TomTom's Routing API helps ease range anxiety for fleet management companies by incorporating battery size, vehicle efficiency and range into routing calculations.
Matrix routing for large fleets
Routing APIs offer many ways to lower fuel consumption and emissions for individual vehicles. But transport companies with large fleets miss out on significant efficiency improvements when solely considering route efficiency on a per-vehicle basis. With thousands of vehicles traveling among thousands of ports, factories and warehouses, it can be challenging to determine which to use to fulfill shipments between various locations.
Advanced routing APIs like TomTom’s Matrix Routing API consider the location and capabilities of each vehicle in a commercial fleet and compares them to the origin, destination and size of each upcoming delivery. Using this information, the API can determine precisely which vehicle should pick up and deliver each shipment. This ultimately reduces the total miles traveled and the amount of fuel consumed.
Geofencing drives efficiency
While routing APIs like those we’ve discussed provide the most obvious path to an API-driven cleaner future, we shouldn’t forget about geofencing. Geofencing is a set of services for defining an area with a virtual "fence" boundary. There are many ways geofencing can be used to benefit individuals and businesses, such as tracking fleet vehicle assets, targeting ad content to a specific area of town or letting customers know when a delivery is almost at their house.
In fleet management, Geofencing APIs let developers define contiguous geographic regions and then trigger alerts when a vehicle enters or leaves a geofenced area.
Geofences improve commercial transportation efficiency in several ways. The most prominent is by defining point-source geofences around delivery locations. Transport and logistics companies can then automatically alert customers when a delivery vehicle is approaching.
It might seem counterintuitive, but early or unexpected deliveries can be efficiency killers. A tractor trailer load of goods won’t unload itself. Personnel working for the company receiving the shipment are usually responsible for unloading it – not the delivery driver. If a truck shows up very early (or very late), there’s no guarantee anyone will be available to unload it. When this happens, the vehicle will often sit idling for hours awaiting unloading, leading to unnecessary fuel consumption and emissions.
However, if your client receives a geofence-triggered alert indicating that a shipment will arrive in 30 or 60 minutes, they can often reassign staff to ensure unloading can begin immediately. The net result is less pollution and a cleaner environment (and happier truck drivers!)