As fuel, maintenance and vehicle insurance prices climb, there aren’t many ways to cut costs when it comes to fleet management. But a new generation of tech-savvy fleet drivers are using new tech tools to help pinch pennies, according to an in-depth report by Automotive Fleet’s Mike Antich.

Antich interviewed experts from seven fleet management companies to compile a list of emerging technologies that will help managers contain the spiraling cost of fleet management:

Purchasing made easy with next-gen technologies

Advanced applications like virtual test driving and 360 virtual tours will provide a break from a one-size-fits-all approach and make it easier for companies to purchase vehicles specifically tailored to their needs.

Gadgets boost employee productivity

From Smartphones and GPSs to cloud-based software, the influx of new technological solutions will continue to trend in the coming years. These tools will keep drivers connected, increase efficiency and reduce the amount of money spent on fueling and repairing fleets.

Social media allows greater control

“Instead of logging in to a website and selecting the work that needs to be done, such as ordering a vehicle or maintaining driver information, it will come as a request or invitation,” Brian Kirchner, chief technology officer for GE Capital Fleet Services, told Automotive Fleet. Like TSIA’s John Ragsdale, Kirchner predicts that the new advancements will lead to “less ‘pulling’ of information and more ‘pushing’ of event-based workflows and exception-based analytics.”

Fleets gain greater mobility

Real-time information at your fingertips will allow field service techs to address repair issues and questions from the road. Proliferating Android, iPad and iPhone applications such as the mobile payment solutions offered by Square and Intuit mean that techs can practically turn their service vans into roving offices.

Savings at the pump with fuel management technology

GPS will help cut costs by finding the nearest, most cost-effective fueling stations, and telematics will save fuel by eliminating speeding and reducing idle time.

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ABOUT Sara Suddes

San Francisco-based contributor Sara Suddes writes frequently about small business, the economy and technology.