https://hdfleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/fleet-trends-2021.jpgThe COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerated the drive to digital-first across most industries. Working and learning from home became the new normal overnight, shining a glaring light on gaps in corporate technology and infrastructure.The pandemic fast-forwarded digital adoption by five years in just two months, according to McKinsey. If there is one positive aspect of the coronavirus, it’s that many businesses discovered that leveraging technology would help them stay afloat in these uncertain times.Here are some fleet management technology trends to watch for in 2021: Sophisticated Remote Fleet Management Fleet managers are experienced in overseeing a dispersed workforce of drivers, but remotely handling all office processes has been new territory. What many companies found, however, is that the shift to digital was far easier than originally feared. It turns out that having real-time visibility across operations is the most effective way to ensure the success of remote fleet management.The pandemic forced fleet owners to quickly replace outdated functions and communications systems. The right fleet management software solution gave companies the ability to track fleet data in real-time and stay connected to the team regardless of geographic barriers. Telematics and Data Harmonization From electronic logging devices (ELD) to dual dash cams, fleet technology is constantly evolving and improving. As data becomes increasingly relied on to solve inefficiencies, it will become more important for fleet managers to leverage the latest technology.The integration of telematics and fleet management software centralizes and automates your fleet data. Data harmonization pulls all information being collected into a single data set, regardless of varying file formats.Further, that data can be strategically extracted to help fleet managers better analyze operations and make more informed decisions. Data can also help guide managers to help them find more ways to boost efficiency and return on investment (ROI). Advanced Safety and Sanitation The pandemic advanced health and safety protocols, something that will be further prioritized in 2021 in the name of protecting drivers and the public. There will be a push for expanding sanitization protocols and ensuring drivers have the right personal protection equipment (PPE). More companies will also start using devices to gain deeper insight into fleet maintenance needs, which makes for safer vehicles and less downtime. The Artificial Intelligence of Things and Machine Learning The artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) — artificial intelligence (AI) applied to the internet of things (IoT) — is driving rapid innovation in just about every industry. The IoT ecosystem is like a digital nervous system; AI is the brain that enables a set of tasks and learns from the data. AIoT applications, solutions and services can scrutinize data and execute decisions without human input. AIoT has afforded the fleet management industry advanced monitoring capabilities that are becoming smarter and more valuable. Solutions for analyzing unstructured data are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, which will bring about even more actionable information. This type of advanced technology is already forming the backbone of fleet safety, efficiency and productivity. As fleet managers expand their technology footprint and adopt even more advanced tools for driver assistance, they will be able to glean insights and spot common trends.