In early 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a strategy to transform Dubai into a 'smart city'. Among various pillars of this strategy, transportation is one of the most important.
A key component in realising Dubai’s ‘smart city’ commitment, says Brodie von Berg, Head of Sales and Marketing at MiX Telematics Middle East, is fleet operators that act responsibly and adopt technology that enables them to enhance their safety and efficiency levels. “Proven fleet management systems tick this corporate social responsibility box in a big and reassuring way: helping to reduce accidents, mileage, maintenance costs and fuel consumption, which also reduces carbon emissions. As a result, businesses become more profitable and experience other benefits such as as better customer service,” adds von Berg.
As part of Dubai’s ‘smart city’ strategy, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is implementing a comprehensive plan to have a unified state-of-the-art control centre, for the management of all the city’s transportation. This will introduce local fleets and other road users to new regulations, while giving them access to a realm of benefits.
“We commend the RTA for its drive toward creating a world-class transportation system for Dubai,” says von Berg.
Telematics, which combines machines, sensors, information, software, hardware, and various communications technologies, will undoubtedly form a critical part of the ‘smart city’ infrastructure, according to MiX Telematics. In essence, telematics allows for the facilitation of real-time and reliable connectivity. It gives fleet operators the tools they need to monitor the location and performance of their vehicles and drivers, along with features like being able to assign jobs to drivers and monitor the number driving hours to prevent fatigue-related incidents.
“By implementing an effective fleet management solution – and working closely with a reputable provider to ensure your service includes strong support and reporting capability, for example – fleet operators have the potential to be ‘smarter’ than ever before,” says von Berg.
In conclusion, von Berg reports that these solutions, when implemented properly, pay for themselves within 12 months. “It’s a no-brainer that fleet management technology and services represent a solid starting point for industry players who are serious about helping to pave a smarter way.”