AI Asset Tracking

The Benefits of AI Asset Tracking

Once relegated to science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are now hot topics in the world of fleet technology and more specifically, asset tracking. It’s easy to see why; both innovations are making their way into every facet of our daily lives, from the way we drive our cars to the way we do our shopping. 

It’s not just consumer-facing applications that are benefiting from AI. Businesses in a wide range of industries are beginning to adopt AI technology in order to improve their operations. 

One such industry is transport and commercial fleets, where AI asset tracking tools are giving fleet managers greater visibility and control over their assets. 

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the ways AI asset tracking can benefit your business.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

AI is a branch of computer science focused on mimicking human-like intelligence in machines. AI research deals with the question of how to create computers that are capable of behaviour such as decision-making, natural communication, and problem-solving.

A great example of this technology in present use would be virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa, which answer questions and perform tasks based on user requests.

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning (ML) is a subset of AI. ML also emulates human intelligence in computer systems, only with a specific focus on pattern recognition.

This means that, rather than being explicitly programmed with a set of rules and regulations to follow, machine learning algorithms are “trained” on data sets. The more data the algorithm is exposed to, the better it becomes at generalizing from that data and making predictions.

It’s very likely that you’ve encountered ML in your day-to-day life; common examples include spam filters on your email and product recommendations on sites such as Amazon.

The Role of AI Asset Tracking

AI and ML are increasingly commonplace in modern devices and products. Asset tracking tools are no exception, and use the technology to enhance and automate work processes.

Automated Tracking

AI asset tracking provides an enhanced level of automation without the need for human input. This is done through a combination of sensors and RFID tags, which are able to collect data on the location, movement, and status of a given asset.

This data is then fed into an AI system which uses predictive modeling to generate real-time updates on the location of each asset. This is an extremely valuable capability as it frees up resources that would otherwise be dedicated to manual tracking, and reduces the potential for human error.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is another key area where AI asset tracking can streamline work processes.

AI asset tracking systems can automatically keep track of inventory levels, and notify relevant personnel when stock is running low. This eliminates the need for manual checks and helps to ensure that inventory is always kept at optimum levels.

Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance refers to the proactive maintenance of equipment and devices. The goal is to prevent issues before they happen by using data to identify potential problems and schedule maintenance accordingly.

This is accomplished by training machine learning algorithms on data sets that include information on past failures. By detecting patterns in this data, the algorithm is able to make predictions on whether or not a particular asset is likely to experience an issue, and when. This information can then be used to plan maintenance and avoid costly downtime.

Product Quality Inspections

Product quality inspections are another common use for AI asset tracking. By using machine learning algorithms to analyze data from sensors and cameras, it’s possible to automatically detect defects in products. This information can then be used to trigger quality control measures or stop production altogether if necessary.

Optimized Routes

Asset tracking systems often need to plan routes for commercial vehicles. This can be a time-consuming and challenging task, particularly when dealing with a large number of assets.

By taking into account a variety of factors such as traffic, weather, and the current location of assets, AI asset tracking systems are able to generate optimized routes much more efficiently. This not only saves time, but also reduces fuel costs and carbon emissions while improving driver safety.

As you can see, AI and ML have a major impact on asset tracking. Businesses can improve efficiency, save time and money, and prevent issues before they cause problems. If you’re not already using these technologies in your asset tracking system, now is the time to start.

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How To Talk To Your Drivers About The Benefits Of AI Dashcams

As a fleet manager, you’re aware that installing commercial AI dashcams will greatly improve your business; eliminating inefficiencies, reducing accidents and offering incentives for positive driving behaviours.


Why then, are many drivers resistant to, or in some cases outright rejecting, the implementation of dashcams? Back in March, a driver for Amazon tendered his notice after it was announced that the online retailer would be implementing AI dashcams in their delivery vehicles, citing the move was “both a privacy violation, and a breach of trust.”


Sadly, many drivers feel the same. Fleet managers are facing a large percentage of dissatisfied drivers, and even reporting scenarios where a driver will place a sticker over the camera lens to ensure their face can’t be tracked. There is a general perception that dashcams create an almost dystopian ecosystem of distrust, when in reality, the opposite is true. In this post, we discuss how to create messaging that overcomes the most common objections, so you too can foster goodwill among your drivers and create an environment of trust.


Safety vs. Surveillance


According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks are only at fault about 26% of the time in the event of light vehicle/truck accidents, yet trucks get far more blame — closer to 80% to be exact. In this light, it is key to position dashcams to your drivers as an opportunity, rather than a hindrance, to performance and safety. AI dashcams can upload high-resolution video footage automatically and within minutes, allowing you to exonerate your drivers from false claims or no-fault incidents, bypass insurance claims and avoid costly payouts.


Rather than being perceived as “Big Brother”, you might position yourself as someone who is looking out for your drivers, someone who can protect and support the fleet in the event of a collision. Click here to see dashcam footage that could exonerate the driver.

Collisions are incredibly expensive (the average collision costs a company upwards of $91K) and can affect a drivers’ Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores, as well as your bottom line. Having access to video evidence in real-time can save you money while protecting your drivers.


Coaching vs. Complaining


Coaching can tend to be reactive, the result of a ticket, accident or bad driving behaviours. AI dashcams can actually make coaching a proactive experience. With automatically-uploaded video footage, managers can coach drivers with accuracy, increasing accountability and consistent driving behaviour.

Because  dashcams offer incident detection in real-time, drivers can adjust their driving with in-cab alerts and prevent accidents before they happen. The dashcam platform you select should provide safety workflows, online tools and efficiencies to keep you drivers safe and accountable.


Reward vs. Reproach


Did you know that a well-placed rewards program can help you retain drivers while incentivizing good driving habits? Do your drivers know? Efficient coaching should follow with robust incentives that will not only encourage your drivers to tolerate dashcams, but to actively engage with them.


According to the ATA, driver turnover was at 92% in 2020, and reported the cost of replacing a driver to average $12K. From digital driver safety scorecards to gift cards, gamifying your rewards program can help you lower turnover and associated hiring costs. Driver reward programs also bolster training, improve your fleet culture, and improve driver behaviour, morale and motivation.

The best safety incentive programs are merit-based systems that help develop better relationships between fleets and drivers. To best assign rewards and recognition, we recommend the following:


Develop goals


Start small. The basic goals of any rewards program is to improve fleet safety and increase revenue. Identify small goals to improve, such as adhering to schedules, avoiding idling, limiting phone use, following speed limits or reducing harsh braking. Make the steps digestible, realistic and attainable.


You should also ensure that there’s a way to measure and track behaviours over time, so as to reward your drivers consistently and fairly. Ideally, telematics data from your dashcams would provide the content required to measure these goals accurately. Incentivizing good driving is a process, so be sure to reward your drivers not only for continued excellence, but for continued improvement as well. 


Communicate your expectations


Goals, rules and benefits should be clearly explained up front and reiterated consistently. A leaderboard (either digital or physical) or scorecard is a great way to show drivers where they are and what they need to do to reach the next level.


Get driver feedback


Transparency and engagement are key to any rewards program. Driver feedback connects your drivers to the business and creates an environment of trust. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their thoughts concerning your incentive program. Just as your drivers continue to improve, so too can your rewards program.


Use gamification


Gamification can improve driver behaviour and increase retention. Make safe driving fun and competitive while building team spirit and fostering a better safety culture by encouraging your drivers to play, compete and win!


The rewards themselves should be appropriate to your corporate ecosystem. Some organizations use a points system that can result in cash bonuses or gift cards, while others prefer flex hours or a physical item such as a plaque or pin to recognize safe driving behaviour. This would be a great opportunity to ask drivers for their input and find out what they would like to have as a reward.


Use positive feedback


Aside from cash bonuses and financial rewards, positive feedback and encouragement can be equally motivating. Make sure that your safety rewards platform includes a strong driver recognition program. This can be achieved through email newsletters, internal communications, certificates or a “Driver of the Month” program.


Dashcams present a unique opportunity for partnership between you and your drivers, offering transparency and accountability on both sides. The right telematics solution will provide accurate, real-time metrics by which you can weigh and evaluate performance while encouraging improvement.


Your drivers want to know that you have their safety and best interests at heart. They want to feel encouraged and appreciated. Provided you’ve given your drivers adequate time to train and prepare for the transition, they too will come to see dashcams less as something to work around, and more of a benefit — possibly even an asset — to their work on the road.

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How Smart Warehousing Depends on BLE Technology

The growth of globalization and e-commerce has prompted the rising need for more efficient and cost-effective inventory management solutions to improve warehouses’ operational efficiency. Asset managers across industries have concluded that the warehouse information management system is an essential pillar to effectively facilitate large-scale warehousing tasks. In fact, it’s been noted that smart warehousing is an ongoing trend that needs to be monitored. 

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed greater challenges to warehouse operations worldwide. This is because staffing issues and physical distancing rules make today’s warehouses hard to operate without adequate technologies and automation. The pandemic also has a trickle-down effect on the supply chains, which forces businesses to adopt innovative solutions to keep a close eye on inventory and stock. 

In adapting and shifting to the “New Normal”, finding and implementing a smart warehousing solution is a primary task for asset managers. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology is the perfect solution to achieve the most efficient logistics operation possible and keep track of the asset movements. 

We will show you why BLE has the leading edge over other solutions and how it can transform your businesses’ warehousing operations in the real-world. 


What’s BLE?

BLE is a simple highly-automated wireless local data network that enables informational communications between assets. There is no barcode, no paperwork and no wire needed to operate the network. It’s as easy as attaching BLE beacons to the assets, plugging in readers to the power outlet and powering on a cloud database to see all the information. 

The initial investment costs of a BLE system is very low, and the installation process is fast and simple. Best of all, because most smartphones have Bluetooth connectivity already, they can be used as a reader and mobile end device to receive and display information with compatible asset management applications installed. 

This is extremely important for smart warehousing since the workforce is constantly moving between warehouse aisles and shelves. Having all the information they need in the palm of their hands is a huge productivity booster for all employees as they can clearly see, track and monitor all assets on the go. 


Why Use BLE?

As the name suggests, low energy consumption is what makes BLE technology special. BLE beacons use low amounts of power on a battery that can last anywhere from one to five years. Because they are so reliable, it requires very little maintenance work to keep those beacons running. 

Beacons will automatically alert the asset managers in advance before the battery runs out so managers can order a replacement battery or a new unit in time. The high versatility of BLE technologies means that asset managers can use them in a wide range of settings. As BLE beacons run on its own power and can function without a SIM card or mobile signal, they can be placed anywhere. 

Some common placements of beacons are: 

  • Forklifts or other moving or stationary commodities
  • Human assets
  • Self-powered assets

Product customization is one of the top considerations for asset managers when choosing tools and solution packages for their businesses. BLE solutions satisfy business needs by offering a wide range of unique customizations. It can track temperature and humidity, perfect for cold chain inventory management or temperature-sensitive commodities tracking. Customers can choose to pack in an accelerometer into the BLE beacons, which is essential to detect drop or article orientations for high-valued or fragile commodities. From the software end, asset managers can set geofencing boundaries, which provide enhanced safety protections for critical items – an alarm will be triggered if the item enters or exits virtual boundaries. 

Additionally, the authentication feature can be built right into the BLE, allowing improvement to be made in the warehouse security management field. Many warehouses are high-traffic spots and supply chain integrity and security can be easily compromised if businesses do not value the importance of security. By implementing a BLE-based security network, warehouse managers can now keep the warehouse secure by only granting people wireless access to places where they need to enter. This could protect employees’ safety and deter theft and damages to the commodities. 


How Does BLE Come Into Play With Smart Warehousing?

When it comes to a highly localized environment like a warehouse, we believe there are four essential aspects that managers should focus on when implementing smart warehousing management techniques. Directing the focus to these four aspects can enhance employee productivity and operational efficiency – and the BLE solution plays a big part in each of these areas. 


  • Getting The Foundation Right

Creating the ideal and optimal warehouse space layout is a precondition of facilitating efficient asset management and inventory tracking. Warehouse asset managers need to identify current traffic bottlenecks in the warehouse and make every effort to reduce travel time between the commodities storage spaces and the fulfillment centre and optimize inventory placement. This analysis work could not be done without first learning the assets historical performance data and travel patterns. 

Asset managers need a reliable tool that can be easily attached to each moving asset to collect vital information that helps them gain deeper insight into potential conflict points in the warehouse that may slow down the operations. Historical data is also crucial in assessing inventory placement and seeing what kinds of improvements can be made to optimize the pick-up efficiency. 

Defining zones and stocking rules can be an especially helpful strategy in warehouses that store multiple types of inventory with different handling and storage rules. For asset managers, you want to make sure that you are putting time-sensitive inventory and short-term storage items in an easily accessible location and place long-term non-perishable goods in the back of the warehouse. In any of these scenarios, the BLE-based inventory tracking system can help the asset manager monitor all the goods movements to make sure they are stored in the right location. This system can truly help warehouse facilities set themselves apart as a highly-efficient hub that can handle and store any kinds of goods.


  • Live Inventory Tracking

Forget about all the cumbersome manual entries work and complicated paperwork needed for inventory tracking and recording. The BLE-based warehouse management solution can record all the inventory changes and tag all received inventory. With the power of advanced computing, the system can automatically plan out the best location to store the inventory depending on the inventory types, as well as the fastest route to a destined storage zone.

Inventory counts are widely considered one of the most challenging tasks in large warehouses. The BLE system can handle it with ease as it provides real-time accurate inventory information and reports it to asset managers with an unparalleled level of detail and clarity. It streamlines and digitalizes the entire inventory tracking process and reduces the costs of paying dedicated personnel to count and record the inventory manually. With the proper configuration set up, the system can automatically alert asset managers if inventory is running low or the stock level is abnormal. 

The BLE-based system can also assist asset managers in finding free storage spaces in the warehouse. A common scene in a warehouse setting is that staff are storing inventory in the closest shelves to the loading and unloading bays for convenient access, leaving many shelves at the back of the warehouse underutilized. The BLE system accurately calculates the warehouse spaces based on the real-time inventory count to provide warehouse managers with a complete picture of the warehouse’s available storage spaces. There is a very good chance that warehouse managers will find ways to make use of the underutilized storage spaces and discover new potentials to expand warehouse capacity. 


  • Utilizing Equipment And Assets More Efficiently

Making the most out of material handling equipment and tools in the warehouse can significantly improve overall operational efficiency and reduce costs. Similar to tracking inventory, asset managers can attach BLE beacons to any kind of equipment and tools to track their usage. 

The forklift is one of the essential pieces of equipment in the warehouse, and by attaching BLE beacons to the forklifts, asset managers can track their locations and collect travel patterns of these forklifts. By analyzing the equipment usage patterns, assets managers can identify idle assets and reduce equipment idle time. 

It also helps asset managers optimize the storage location of equipment to make sure they are easily accessible by staff and workers. The BLE system presents a huge opportunity for creating an integrated operational platform that links equipment, personnel, assets, and inventory together and creates a streamlined warehouse workflow. 


  • Unlocking The Power Of Artificial Intelligence And Big Data

Artificial intelligence and the adoption of big data analytics will have fundamental impacts on warehouse operations and completely reimagines what the BLE system can do. 

By attaching BLE beacons on each moving asset, they can map out the entire warehouse path network and allow the system to utilize computational power and artificial intelligence to draw out the best routing for every trip. The system can predictively identify bottlenecks by analyzing historical trip data and patterns and reroute equipment operators to reach the destined zone. This could eliminate as many traffic conflict points as possible in the warehouse and put every vehicle and equipment on the most efficient route. 

Another crucial improvement of the AI-powered BLE system is combining multiple work orders into one trip to reduce unnecessary trips. The system can smartly identify any work orders that can be done within one trip and assign the optimal routing to operators to collect all patches along the way. 

With a BLE network in place, warehouse managers can observe a significant improvement in the facility’s capability to handle more orders because of a more streamlined inventory management solution that can automatically record every step of the inventory storage process. The data collected from equipment and inventory movement will be calculated and analyzed by the system to help warehouse managers identify equipment idle time, space availability, average travel time and a wide range of performance indicators. From there, warehouse managers can assess where there is room for further improvement and optimization.

BLE based inventory management and tracking solution is the future of smart warehousing management. Warehouse managers need a constant flow of information and data that is connected to equipment and inventory systems to effectively manage a constant flow of goods. Contact us to speak with a BLE solution expert to learn how we can leverage BLE technologies and create a customized solution package so you can achieve smart warehousing management. 



Alan Zheng, Content Writer 

David Herrington, Product Manager