The rollout of 5G presents fleet managers with a prime opportunity to enhance their operations and boost fleet productivity. In this article Bluedrop Services introduce 5G technology in greater detail and explore the ways in which fleet managers can harness 5G to stay a step ahead of competitors and future proof their business. Why fleet managers should be excited for 5G In development for more than a decade, 5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, and no one should be more excited by its arrival than fleet managers. Set to offer improved connectivity and record-breaking data-transfer speeds – that will eventually make 4G look as slow as dial up – 5G is set to revolutionise real time communications, and that presents fleet businesses with a wealth of opportunities to boost performance. The impact of 5G on fleet productivity When it comes to fleet efficiency, telematics and 4G have helped fleet operators to make huge gains in productivity, but this is nothing compared to what can be achieved with 5G. 5G will transmit information faster than we’ve ever experienced and this is where the biggest potential for improved fleet productivity can be made. Where 4G gave us ‘near real time’ communications, 5G makes real time communications a reality. That’s because 5G operates at speeds of up 100 times faster than 4G, offering unprecedented quality, even at peak network times. With no latency to contend with, fleet managers and drivers will be able to rely on 100% accurate data insights that are correct to the second, all of which will benefit key areas essential to fleet productivity, such as journey times, fleet diagnostics, and driver safety. Benefits of 5G for fleet managers With the functionality to send, receive, and share information faster than ever before, the introduction of 5G paves the way for fleet managers to make huge gains in operational efficiency. Here are just some of the key benefits of integrating 5G technology within your fleet: Optimised driver journeys Many fleet services rely on GPS data to map their journeys and ensure they’re following the fastest route to their destination. Fleet managers and drivers are also reliant on these services to avoid high traffic areas that can delay driver journeys and cause costly delays. While 4G has only ever been able to offer near real time updates, which means it’s sometimes too late for a driver to reroute to avoid traffic, 5G ensures that all information is being transmitted in real time, so you’ll always have access to the most accurate road and traffic conditions. Improved connectivity Even if your business already uses fleet management software to stay connected, moving on to 5G will give you greater range, coverage and communication speeds than ever before, even when mobile networks are under increased pressure from peak usage. Not only does this ensure a seamless flow of communication that can positively boost fleet collaboration, it also benefits those operating in rural communities where traditionally patchy or unreliable coverage has previously hampered fleet communications. Realtime diagnostics In recent years, fleet operators have relied on telematics to build a picture of their fleet’s health and their driver’s behaviour; information that has proven invaluable when it comes to boosting fleet productivity. The introduction of 5G will allow diagnostics from such telematics systems to be available to fleet managers in real time, reducing the potential for a vehicle breakdown or driver incident, which could negatively impact productivity across your fleet. Reduced downtime Up-to-the-minute data about your fleet also helps to reduce unplanned downtime, something that could be highly detrimental were it to occur at a peak time for your business, such as Christmas. Unplanned downtime can compromise your contracts with clients, lead to reputational damage or (in the worst cases) be a threat to public wellbeing, in the case of emergency response vehicles. 5G enables you to collect data about your fleet vehicles that allows you to schedule in preventative maintenance and repairs at a convenient time in your schedule. Improved safety Another key advantage of 5G is its potential to improve safety and reduce accidents among your fleet, which can cause costly damage and result in claims on your fleet insurance. The responsiveness of parking sensors and collision sensors will be greatly improved with 5G, helping to protect everyone, from your own fleet drivers to pedestrians and other road users, which may in turn reduce your fleet insurance premiums, given time. Are there any downsides to 5G? While there are countless productivity and cost benefits to be gained by moving to 5G, if you are making the switch there are also a couple of factors to consider. It’s not guaranteed that any existing hardware your business uses will be 5G compatible, so you may have to reinvest in new technology to replace your current systems. The other key consideration with 5G is cyber security. As with all technology that uses the mobile network, 5G runs the risk of attacks by cyber criminals, which could compromise data your business holds or infect its systems with dangerous malware. Just as with all current software applications your business uses, it’s important to take security precautions and educate your employees and drivers about phishing attacks, to prevent any breaches of your IT systems.