Together with FleetConnect, Future Mind has had an opportunity to work on an ambitious project that aims to re-engineer fleet management software.
FleetConnect is an online fleet management system, mobile work monitoring solution and multilevel analytical tool. It offers support for business management that works perfectly in the field, where the crucial activities of many businesses take place.
FleetConnect is an experienced team specialized in vehicle fleet management, whose goal is to introduce a new approach to the sector by using the latest technologies and data.
The founders of FleetConnect wanted to create a platform that “serves as a tool for effective management and supporting the employees working in the field”. All of that requires a unique connection of different software, including:
Various layers of data presentation
Online fleet management system, that enables the access to various information such as detailed data about all the trips, accurate map, technical condition of the cars, fleet costs, and more.
Much more than just vehicle tracking
A mobile solution that monitors and reports the work of sales representatives, service technicians and any other fleet vehicle users.
Unique and automated conclusions
Business Intelligence analysis tools with data visualization that allows creating flexible and regularly generated reports in the areas of customers’ interest.
To achieve the above mentioned goals, we needed to implement a new approach to fleet management, in fact, even to re-engineer it. The main challenges were:
Designing modern highly scalable architecture based on microservices.
Security and data queuing to power the web panel and mobile applications with reliable data.
Developing a web dashboard that shows the data in a smart way and enables the generation of custom reports and analyzes.
We started to get to know the requirements and the devices (telematics) that were going to be used by FleetConnect. Despite the Agile approach, we decided to spend the first month on deep analysis and creating specifications.
FleetConnect’s team has a vast knowledge about the domain and technologies they use and it was crucial that Future Mind’s team deeply understands the business aspects of the project. At the same time, the client was open to our suggestions, which allowed us to work on the foundation of trust and good cooperation for over a year.
The first stage of work brought high-level documentation which was later supplemented and updated during implementation and which included the following elements:
High-level architecture diagram
A series of descriptive documents, including those describing the role and operation of individual system components
An approach to the architecture of the authorization system and responsibility of individual system components, such as Postgres, Redis and MongoDB databases
Server-side architecture, API specification and mock - a communication layer specification thanks to which it’s possible to run a server and create web and mobile applications at the same time.
A document structure in the MongoDB database for the journeys, stops and other key aggregates
Diagrams for key microservices, such as data gateway and data collector
We used to develop IoT solutions for our clients before and usually, we recommended using the microservice architecture, which makes it easier to separate the services and to create structured and efficient information flow between them. It was also a natural choice for FleetConnect, which now has 30 microservices. We also kept it in mind that it’s crucial to manage and collect data in a highly secure way, especially in IoT-related projects.
* Simplified for this presentation purpose and security reasons
In terms of the architecture design, we knew that the system must be bullet-proof. To ensure data security and to keep it in order, we used a Distributed Streaming Platform Apache Kafka®, which is used for building real-time data pipelines and streaming apps.
For the back-end, we decided to use Node.js, which is the perfect choice for IoT solutions based on WebSockets, micro-services, event queues, and jobs, with real-time push capability. It helps to get the most out of applications that are data-intensive and run across
Kafka is horizontally scalable, fast and fault-tolerant, which makes it a perfect solution for FleetConnect. Besides, the solution needs numerous mechanisms that automatically scale traffic in case of any malfunction to prevent server overload. For that, we use Azure Insights monitoring to gradually handle the traffic queue in order not to process too much data at the same time after a malfunction.
For the front-end, we’ve chosen Angular 8, the framework that provides comprehensive, fully-functioning and regularly updated solutions, suitable for applications that are complex and rich in data. Its simplicity and scalability make it the best fit for FleetConnect.
All of the abovementioned solutions require top-notch infrastructure and servers. After analyzing the leading cloud service providers, we’ve chosen Microsoft Azure, which focuses on enterprise applications and is considered one of the fastest cloud solutions available. On top of Azure cloud VM-s, besides various Azure PaaS-es like SQL Server or Azure Cache, we use our own docker infrastructure with auto-creating docker images.
The result of our cooperation has been an innovative solution for fleet management, a comprehensive web panel and a mobile application.
Manage a fleet online thanks to the access to various vehicle information such as detailed data about all the trips (both business and private), driving style monitoring (consumption and speeding time) the number of visits (based on geofencing), accurate routes with a detailed and accurate map, vehicle location, ability to diagnose the technical condition of the cars remotely, and more.
Supervise the work in the field in real-time thanks to its visualization on maps and dashboards. It’s also possible to analyze the visits at customers’ and performance of delivery and services in relation to KPIs
Make accurate decisions based on advanced data analysis, implement norms and KPIs in terms of the company’s mobile resources and their automatic verification, indicate and analyze any deviations that may happen. Our nested drill-down information architecture allows going from the most general information and metrics to the most details, like popups or drawers when each has a unique URL that even includes the parameters of the filters used.
On top of that, FleetConnect makes it possible to reward drivers for eco-friendly driving and to send them a message after entering a specific zone (based on geofencing technology). Besides, it lets to set up notifications based on individual needs, for example, when a salesperson reaches a client in less than 2 minutes.
The FleetConnect mobile application offers a package of functionalities, including:
History of rides, customer visits, refuelling, etc
Marking business and private trips
Sending your location along with the estimated time of arrival to the customer
Reporting work statuses, recording visits regardless of vehicle location
Assessment of driving style, speeding, registration of dangerous road behaviour
FleetConnect is a game-changer in fleet management,
and at Future Mind, we’re glad to be involved in making it happen.
Providing a wide range of technical knowledge and experience, Future Mind has developed a product that stakeholders are extremely pleased with. The team is focused on high-quality development with minimal errors.
Back-end developers & devops
1 UX / UI designer (client’s team)
Product Owner & CTO (client’s team)
Months of work