Building on Vehicle Rental and Fleet Management Software
Procuring and managing the appropriate vehicles and equipment for a contract is one of the main challenges for any construction firm. Workloads vary from job to job, along with the equipment needed, often presenting a problem for smaller or medium sized companies who can’t realistically maintain a wide range of vehicles. Large contracts may demand more vehicles than an existing fleet can offer, and, conversely, smaller jobs may leave company vehicles standing unused for days or weeks, just eating up money.
Commercial vehicle rental presents companies with a useful alternative, turning vehicles in to a commodity rather than a costly investment. Vehicles can be rented for specific jobs as and when they’re needed, which can make it a much more financially efficient option.
This could be as simple as hiring a car to ferry consultants around different sites, or hiring on-site equipment such as tipper trucks and welfare vans, or even modifying a vehicle with a bespoke adaptation such as a tail lift or tow bar. As the construction industry picks up again, the need to maintain such financial efficiency and flexibility is surely high on everyone’s priorities.
Reducing paperwork and increasing efficiency
Efficient and responsive rental software is starting to make an impact on the construction industry, allowing fleet managers to quickly source and take delivery of the vehicles they need. IRIS is one such system from Nexus Rental, providing a mobile platform that allows you to quickly get hold of any vehicle needed, often within just a couple of hours.
The other major concern for construction companies is the effective management of vehicle fleets, from keeping track of fuel consumption and mileage, to staying in touch with drivers. Traditionally this had to be done through inefficient paperwork and spreadsheets, but the rise of fleet management software has begun to streamline this process too.
A fleet management software package, such as Nexus Rental’s free NEXFLEET system, can take over much of the organisational work of keeping track of your company’s fleet, as well as provide many extra benefits such as alerts on upcoming MOTs and license renewals, and driver license checking and vehicle servicing. The ability to keep track of things so easily, particularly on the go, can make a huge difference to the efficiency of a project, as well as freeing up time and resources to allow the company to grow as a whole.
Fleet management software on mobile devices presents an even more significant opportunity, allowing managers to stay connected to their vehicles and drivers when on-site or in the office. Mobile software also allows for much more efficient communication with drivers, both from the manager’s and driver’s perspective. The NEXFLEET system allows drivers to log in to the software from their own devices in order to update their vehicle data and information, reducing a lot of the workload for the fleet manager.
The best online management systems are also browser-based, allowing access from anywhere at any time, and along with cloud storage means that all the information is centralised and kept up to date without any extra tedious admin work.
The future of fleet management
Combined with a flexible approach to vehicle rental, fleet management software can make a huge difference to growing construction companies needing to maximise their efficiency. The move to mobile software also makes it an even better system for construction companies, as vehicles can be easily ordered and managed on-site, quickly meeting demands for extra equipment and transportation.
SafeAI attracts $21m funding as SmartMix AI tool launches
SafeAI is driving the transformation of the mining and construction industries through connected, autonomous sites. With chronic labour shortages, unsafe working conditions and frequent project delays, these industries are in a unique position to benefit from autonomy.
Unlike on-road applications of the technology, autonomous heavy equipment operates in controlled environments, which means companies can create smarter, safer, more productive project sites today that create meaningful, near-term impact.
“We are at a tipping point for autonomous heavy equipment,” said Bibhrajit Halder, founder and CEO at SafeAI. “We’ve proven that autonomy makes work sites significantly safer and more productive; now, we are on the cusp of mass adoption. Together with our valued partners, customers and investors, we’re poised to deploy autonomy in off-road industries like construction and mining, at scale, to rethink the way heavy industry operates.”
Heavy industry is a large, growing global market, ripe for disruption. The construction equipment market alone is valued at $140 billion, and expected to increase to $175 billion by 2025; construction-related spending accounts for a staggering 13% of global GDP, or $11.5 trillion.
But there remains significant room for growth; in construction alone, higher productivity could create an estimated $1.6 trillion in additional value. With just 25% of the infrastructure needed by 2050 in existence today, autonomy can bridge this productivity gap with greater efficiency and 24/7 operations. SafeAI is at the forefront of this transformation.
“There’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the autonomy space today; but it’s clear the biggest opportunity for this technology is off-road,” said Mark Blackwell, General Partner at Builders VC. “With its industry-leading autonomous software, scalable retrofit approach and partner ecosystem, SafeAI is uniquely poised to capitalize on this opportunity. We’re proud to support the company in its next chapter of growth as demand for autonomous heavy equipment continues to skyrocket.”
New investors LTC, DG Ventures, MACA and Vimson Group, and existing investors Autotech Ventures, Brick and Mortar Ventures, Embark Ventures, Monta Vista Capital and Obayashi Corporation, also participated in the round. The funding comes on the heels of a year of rapid growth for SafeAI, including new partnerships with Obayashi, Goodyear and Macnica, and expansion into Australia’s booming mining market.
A pilot program with Obayashi Corporation last November saw a Caterpillar 725 articulated dump truck autonomously complete a vital on-site function and carry out load-haul-dump cycles.
Giatec debuts SmartMix AI tool
Giatec has debuted what it claims is the world's first concrete AI tool for producers, SmartMix. The web-based AI tool allows producers to optimise concrete ingredient proportions, reduce cement usage, and predict the performance of their mixes while still meeting project specifications.
Giatec believes this tool will lower Greenhouse Gas emissions resulting from concrete production by 400 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 110 million cars off the road.
SmartMix builds on Giatec's first AI software program Roxi, which has collected millions of data points from the company's SmartRock wireless concrete sensors across 8,000 projects and 80 countries.
Giatec's head of research and development, Andrew Fahim, said the new technologies are going to pave the path forward for the industry to meet increasing infrastructure demands.