It was in the army that the co-founders of Fleetonomy – Israel Duanis and Lior Gerenstein – first met. One day the two discussed the emerging mobility market and why there was so much attention regarding the car itself and not enough focus on automating the fleet management aspect. The idea for Fleetonomy swam into view.
“We realized that was the missing piece of the puzzle we wanted to solve. By combining Lior’s experience in leading the development of advanced data-driven technologies and my own knowledge in complex system engineering and unmanned vehicles, we could create an efficient management system that automates and optimizes management operations for entire fleets,” Fleetonomy’s CEO Israel Duanis tell Auto Futures.
The two co-founders (Gerenstein is CTO) started working on building the system from a family member’s apartment.
The Tel Aviv-based start-up’s system leverages artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and machine learning to analyze data and deliver insights that help maximise fleet utilization and minimise maintenance.
Duanis tells us that the software now has the ability to help mobility service providers improve efficiency by automatically synchronising riders, vehicles and drivers according to supply, demand and maintenance constraints. It also takes into account external data that can affect driving such as the weather and major events.
He says: “Fleet operators need to decide in real-time when and how to re-balance the fleet across different geographies, services, maintenance tasks or customers – complicated tasks that are affected by multiple dynamic parameters and data sources that are performed today mostly by humans – and can be automated for better results with lower operating costs.”
Collaborating with Audi
Fleetonomy recently announced a successful collaboration with Audi Business Innovation GmbH to manage fleet optimization using its advanced platform.
“Automakers all over the globe are positioning themselves in the new mobility space and Audi is no exception,” says Duanis.
He told us: “We focused on enhancing ‘Audi on Demand’ in the areas of fleet efficiency and vehicle utilization in order to enhance overall efficiency for these services (by predicting demand, operating according to fleet constraints and re-balancing vehicles between locations in real-time). It’s crucial for new mobility services to be able to predict demand and justify themselves financially to continue growing, and it’s exciting to be able to make that possible.”
Preparing for the Age of Autonomy
Duanis tells us that Fleetonomy is gearing up for the driverless revolution. Its next next-generation solutions are designed to operate fleets of human-driven and autonomous vehicles.
“Autonomous is not just the autonomous vehicle, and not only the autonomous fleet either. It’s an entirely automated fleet-based service. For that you need some sort of ‘operations center’ that will make decisions in real-time regarding where to position vehicles, when to maintain them, when to charge them, when to buy more assets and many more decision that rely on multiple data sources and correlated features.”
Duanis believes that autonomous driving will accelerate the trend way from vehicles ownership and towards shared mobility services.
“If you imagine a world where cars drive themselves and are owned by large fleet operators, then you need a smart management system that can handle all these variables. The system needs to be demand-responsive, personalized, real-time and flexible enough to support multiple business models.”
He adds: “We offer mobility operators an easy way to prepare for the autonomous era by providing an end-to-end platform that is ready to operate fleets of autonomous vehicles as well as human-driven cars, which they are operating today, and that allows our customers to simulate and plan operations before even deploying a single car on the road or spending a single dollar.”
Finally, Duanis offered up his vision of what urban mobility will look like in the middle of this century.
“In 30 years imagine that autonomous vehicles will take care of all of the day-to-day mobility related errands that today we have to do ourselves. These are things like getting to work, delivering our groceries, even picking up our kids from school. Each different type of task (deliveries or transportation) will most likely be handled by a designated type of vehicle. But, sometimes the same vehicle that might take us to work in the morning will be allocated to deliver our lunch to the office later in the day, so some cars might be multi-purpose.”
He concludes: “In order to efficiently manage these huge fleets of autonomous vehicles, you need a smart operating system that will manage which cars are taking care of transportation, deliveries, errands, logistics, etc., and assign them to different tasks throughout the day.”
And this is where Fleetonomy comes in.