The General Services Administration has awarded AT&T a five-year contract to offer its vehicle-leasing agency customers fleet management services using Internet of Things technology, the agency announced Tuesday.
Through the contract — a blanket purchase agreement — the 75 agencies that lease vehicles from GSA can add AT&T’s GPS tracking, vehicle monitoring and diagnostics tools to the leased vehicles, making their fleet network-connected for on-demand data transmission related to fuel efficiency, routing, vehicle condition and any need for maintenance.
These sorts of technologies, broadly referred to as telematics — which is when a remote item, like a car or a black box in a plane, transmit data back to a distant source — are growing more popular in vehicle fleets as the Internet of Things and network connectivity throughout the physical world become more prevalent.
“Over the last several years, advances in on-board vehicle diagnostics, cellular technology, and Global Positioning System receivers improved the systems used for vehicle data collection, recording, and transmitting,” Bill Toth, director of GSA’s Office of Fleet Management, wrote in a GSA blog post. “Advances in vehicle telematics are assisting fleet managers with improving operational fleet efficiency. Deploying telematics provides agencies enhanced visibility into fuel consumption, establishes vehicle use patterns at the asset level and encourages modified driving behaviors; all of which can be levers used to improve fleet performance.”
GSA’s telematics BPA comes on the heels of a recent executive order for improved federal sustainability that requires the federal fleet to reduce greenhouse emissions by at least 30 percent in the coming decade. The March 25 order instructs agencies with fleets of at least 20 vehicles to begin using telematics within two years to collect operational data that will help them improve fuel efficiency.
Mike Leff, vice president of civilian operations for AT&T Government Solutions, said in a statement, “our fleet management services can help agencies meet the new emission targets.”
The contract, while announced publicly Tuesday, was awarded Sept. 30. Through the BPA, AT&T offers two different levels of service to federal agencies: one that provides data on speed, location, idling and utilization, and another with the same data, as well as maintenance, fuel consumption, and emissions information.