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Accelerating AI Adoption for Fleet Management

Since artificial intelligence (AI) went mainstream, executives across industries have sought to understand how the technology can help transform operations, drive efficiencies, automate repetitive tasks, bridge talent gaps, uncover new insights and everything in between. With the need for efficiency at the core of transportation, AI presents the opportunity to revolutionize the industry.

A new executive survey, The Transportation Leaders Survey: A Road to AI Adoption, identified priority challenges that leaders across the transportation and logistics industries are facing and uncovered areas of opportunity for AI adoption. The survey asked leaders to assess barriers to current business priorities. Top challenges that organizations are currently facing include:

  • 1.Rising costs – 60%
  • 2.Supply chain disruptions – 36%
  • 3.Fleet management and operations – 30%
  • 4.Economic volatility – 29%
  • 5.Talent shortages – 27%

State of AI in Transportation

While the transportation industry has been slower to adopt AI, 93% of transportation and supply chain executives agree that investing in the latest technologies will be critical to address supply chain challenges.

Executives are optimistic about the potential impact of AI on their organizations. According to the research, 92% of leaders believe that AI will be important to improve resiliency and agility of supply chains and fleets to adapt to sudden shifts in the market. Furthermore, 90% say organizations that adopt AI will be better positioned for future growth.

Across supply chain functions, elements of fleet management were identified as particular areas that will improve with the incorporation of AI solutions. Respondents believe that AI solutions will have the most impact on the following functions:

  • 1. Route optimization – 30%
  • 2. Improved operational efficiencies – 28%
  • 3. Improved driver safety – 23%
  • 4. Fleet planning – 21%
  • 5. Fuel savings – 18%

While there is a clear opportunity to bolster fleet efficiencies with AI, only 53% percent of respondents have adopted AI solutions in some capacity. As a result, many organizations still rely on traditional processes for reporting or decision-making when expanding their fleets.

The survey further found that 77% of transportation professionals rely on traditional annual forecasting and industry reporting to inform their planning and procurement decisions for their organizations’ fleets. These statistics are often cobbled together from a variety of sources including trade groups, suppliers, and general industry benchmark reports that are often not holistically comparable to their specific fleets.

Bar graph on the transportation professionals relying on traditional processes

Today, organizations rely on manual decisioning and comparisons to inform fleet expansion – a process that typically takes 1-3 weeks, according to majority (56%) of industry leaders. AI has the power to streamline the decision-making process by analyzing thousands of variables and empowering fleet managers with actionable intelligence to optimize fleet performance in a matter of minutes compared to weeks.

The Benefits of AI for Fleet Management

AI is poised to revolutionize fleet management. Early adopters of AI solutions across the industry reported that their organizations have seen benefits across key performance areas, including improved operational efficiency (31%), improved adaptability (26%) and improved visibility across the supply chain (26%).

Emerging technologies, such as Catalyst AI™, are ushering in a new era of fleet management by leveraging AI to address the industry need for dynamic comparative data. Catalyst AI compares a fleet’s performance to similar fleets across Penske’s live database of hundreds of thousands of vehicles in real-time, bringing new opportunities to optimize fleets and business performance using targeted insights.

Bar graph representing the Top Ten benefits for implementing AI

Accelerating AI Adoption

This is only the beginning of AI in transportation. Forty percent of executives are planning to adopt AI solutions with 22% currently in the process of integrating the technology. In fact, three-quarters of respondents (72%) say their organizations increased spending on emerging technologies such as AI in the past 12 months to improve operational efficiencies.

As fleet managers navigate ongoing supply chain disruptions, there is a critical need for connected technology to bolster fleet optimization. Organizations that adopt solutions that enable data-driven intelligence are better positioned to navigate future volatility and stay ahead of the ever-evolving industry.

Survey Methodology

The Transportation Leaders Survey: A Road to AI Adoption was conducted online by Big Village among a sample of 259 US Transportation and Logistics executives involved in truck fleet management-related decisions at their business/organizations. This survey was live from March 13-20, 2024.