5G is one of the newest technologies to emerge in the world of mobile networking, with the recent all-digital CES 2021 expo showcasing how 5G could benefit many businesses and the wider world.
5G enables average speeds of around 150-200Mbps, with one-off peak speeds that can exceed 1Gbps. This is approximately 10 times faster than 4G.
It is already being utilised in several areas, such as healthcare and hospitality (smart hotels). 5G has the potential to transform many industries and businesses, including the world of fleet management.
5G will enable real-time communication between fleet managers and drivers. The incredibly fast connections will work in urban and rural areas and will be reliable and immediate. Fleet management software will be able to communicate important information, such as traffic, accidents and weather conditions, to drivers in real-time. This can reduce ‘idle’ time and help to make journeys more efficient.
5G will also improve so-called ‘smart maintenance’, as the condition/diagnostics data will be able to be transferred faster and repairs can be arranged at the very first sign that something may be wrong. Some data can also be used to predict future performance and issues.
5G will enable fleet managers to track and monitor every vehicle in their fleet in real-time, giving them increased options in terms of deployment, diversions and boosting efficiency. More than 100 times more devices can be connected simultaneously with 5G compared with 4G, enabling fleet managers to build a complete ‘live’ picture no matter what the size of their fleet. In turn, this means that they can assess the demand and supply at any point and react accordingly.
Fleet management software can help fleet managers to analyse driver behaviour, avoid hazards, ensure route compliance, and even guide new/inexperienced drivers. The accuracy and speed of these systems will improve as 5G is rolled out across wider areas.
As it can transmit real-time location data, 5G can also help in terms of providing more accurate estimated times of arrival for commercial deliveries.
5G has significant potential to improve driver safety. As 5G has such low latency, driver safety features such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and assisted parking will work much better. Messages warning about any potential dangers/safety issues can be disseminated instantaneously, thus reducing accidents.
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In the future, 5G is likely to be one of the main elements that will enable the concept of autonomous vehicles to become a reality. This will be through communication with other vehicles and a central system, alongside the ability to receive and react to live traffic and weather data. This will potentially help fleet managers when driverless cars become part of their fleets.