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Geotab to Provide Fleet Management Tech to Ohio State Agencies

More than 40 state agencies in Ohio will begin using fleet management technology by Geotab to improve operational efficiencies in areas like fuel consumption, route design, idling and the application of materials like sand and salt.

A garbage truck with a plow attached to the front driving through snow.
Technology and data analytics is propelling fleet management in Ohio toward a more sustainable and efficient future.

The state’s Department of Administrative Services has partnered with Geotab to provide connected vehicle technology across hundreds of vehicles in more than 40 state agencies. Geotab, a transportation technology firm working in IoT and telematics, will deploy a full suite of fleet management services allowing the state to better track fuel usage, idling, keyless operations, and overall operations to analyze use cases ideal for electric vehicle conversions.

“Telematics can benefit many public works operations like winter operations, waste management and recycling, water, utilities and road maintenance, and parks and recreation, all requiring different vehicles to perform their vocation,” said Neil Garrett, the company’s associate vice president for public-sector business development.

Telematics, a shorthand for technology that brings together communications, vehicle operations and digital analysis, is increasingly being embraced by public fleets hoping to work more efficiently, as well as leverage other data collection streams beyond the general nature of the vehicles themselves. In other words, a snowplow or garbage truck can gather up road quality data as well as rubbish.

But perhaps the real benefit of fleet management technology lies in its ability to better track and understand routes — like those used by garbage trucks — as well as better manage the operations of vehicles to reduce idling time, or extend the range of electric vehicles.

“We see telematics as a part of the larger effort to create a leaner and greener state fleet,” said Melissa Vince, communications director for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. “The DAS Office of Fleet Management will use the data to reassign, retire and even reroute our customers’ vehicles, saving them money in vehicle acquisition and fuel cost, while keeping their drivers and other Ohio drivers safer on the roads.”

Geotab will provide a “telematics database” offering DAS a look into numerous data points which can be analyzed to shape decisions around using the fleet more effectively and efficiently.

“Agency fleet coordinators will have access to a wide range of data through a telematic database,” said Vance. “Each coordinator may have different needs and use it in different ways but the new tool will allow tracking of mileage, utilization, maintenance and other metrics to ensure fleets are operating at peak efficiency.”

Some of the features offered include a public works solution that is specially designed for public works fleets, particularly when it comes to applying and controlling materials like salt and sand. The keyless feature enables a vehicle to be used by multiple drivers, without the need for physically handing off the keys from one staffer to another. Fleet managers can also manage these operations remotely.

And the electric vehicle suitability assessment (EVSA) feature examines the operations and driving habits of a vehicle to determine how suited it may be for replacement by an electrified version.

“It offers a personalized recommendation considering EV availability in the local market, EV performance in extreme weather conditions and finances related to procuring an EV,” said Garrett.
Skip Descant writes about smart cities, the Internet of Things, transportation and other areas. He spent more than 12 years reporting for daily newspapers in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. He lives in downtown Yreka, Calif.


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