Ananth Rani, Co-Founder & CEO
Managing fleets can be a complex task. Fleet managers have to constantly ensure if their on-field drivers are complying with the assigned delivery routes, adhering to the working hours, ensuring vehicle safety, and more. However, in pursuit of effectively supervising drivers with GPS-enabled vehicle tracking solutions, fleet managers often end up exercising extensive control over drivers, which can be detrimental. This is where CA-based Azuga creates an impact by transforming the traditional, authoritative fleet management approach into a driver-centric, reward-based telematics solution.
Ananth Rani, co-founder and CEO, Azuga, says, “In most blue-collar industries, the desire to command the workforce has always been executed through the use of a stick and not a carrot. The reality is over 70 percent of the drivers are doing a good job, so using an overarching tool to ‘catch’ a few bad apples is simply not popular.” Azuga’s unique proposition lies in its end-to-end fleet tracking solution that not just manages vehicles and drivers on the road, but also fosters a harmonious relationship between fleet managers and drivers. Embracing this philosophy of driver recognition, one of Azuga’s clients, Area Wide Protective—a traffic management provider in Ohio—drastically improved their drivers’ on-road accountability, which resulted in lesser fuel consumption and reduced vehicle wear and tear.
Coupled with that, Azuga recognizes the significance of route optimization for improving overall fleet efficiency. By integrating routing solutions into fleet management systems, fleet managers can continuously review a driver’s productivity. Rani expounds that routing solutions have generally been a feature-set of large fleet companies due to heavy investment requirements. Azuga is committed to changing this by democratizing routing technology, making it affordable to a large number of fleet owners who would not have implemented it otherwise. “Our route optimization feature is currently in our innovation lab and will soon be integrated with our vehicle tracking solution,” says Rani.
At the heart of Azuga’s connected vehicle solutions is their data analytics platform providing insights and automated corrective actions for fleet safety, vehicle health, and fleet efficiency
Driven to constantly innovate, Azuga’s telematics solutions also provide numerous benefits for government agencies. With the advent of electric and hybrid cars, there has been a dip in fuel tax, and thus state governments are updating the taxation policies. This has led to the concept of Road Usage Charging (RUC), where car owners would be charged based on the miles driven. While many states in the U.S. are still evaluating the veracity of RUC, the state of Oregon chose Azuga as the partner to implement the nation’s first RUC pilot. Azuga’s secure, cloud-based telematics technology has the ability to collect accurate mileage data in real time. Further, states can also use this data to understand traffic patterns and road conditions, which is useful when executing maintenance work or planning new road infrastructure.
At the heart of Azuga’s connected vehicle solutions is their data analytics and AI platform which provides insights for fleet safety, vehicle health, and fleet efficiency. “At Azuga, we turn vehicles-in-use into a stream of data that can be used to enhance product performance, improve workforce productivity, understand traffic flows and routing, and enable better risk management,” mentions Rani. The platform analyzes vehicle information to generate reports on vehicle maintenance, such as problems in the vehicle, chances of battery failure, the profile of fuel economy and other related intelligence for the benefit of fleets and OEM suppliers.
Innovation along with simplicity is what makes Azuga’s approach unique in the telematics industry. Recently, the company launched a mobile app that can track vehicle location and driver behavior using the sensors available in smartphones. “We are also looking to innovate our data science, Machine Learning and AI capabilities,” says Rani.