Learning how to make ChatGPT work for your fleet can help translate ideas into a solid plan for future fleet projects. - Photo: Canva.com

Learning how to make ChatGPT work for your fleet can help translate ideas into a solid plan for future fleet projects. 

Photo: Canva.com

It may seem more in line with writing code or helping college students write essays, but ChatGPT could become a useful tool in your fleet management arsenal. And if you haven’t tried out the artificial intelligence chatbot, this is your sign to do so. 

If you’re familiar with the 60s/70s American sitcom television series I Dream of Jeannie, which followed a literal genie and her wacky escapades with U.S. astronaut Major Anthony Nelson, you might be familiar with the episode “The Girl Who Never Had a Birthday” — season 2, episode 10 if you’re wondering. In the episode, Jeannie tells Tony she has never had a birthday but doesn’t know the exact day.

All she knows is that Neptune was in Scorpio the day she was born. Tony tries to find out her birthday through a NASA computer. The computer could be fed information and essentially find any answer. Of course, in the episode, the answer the computer spits out gets taken away and silliness ensues. The point of relaying this part of an episode is that at the time, having something like an all-knowing machine seemed only plausible enough for TV.

Today, it’s a reality with AI like ChatGPT. 

Developed by OpenAI and released in November 2022, ChatGPT has revolutionized the question-answer game. Users can input a prompt, such as a question, or provide instructions to elicit a response or answer. If you haven’t already, check it out at then come back. 

What did you think? Was the answer too vague? Maybe you got too much information. Whatever your initial thoughts of ChatGPT, keep reading for a full breakdown of how to best use this platform to benefit you and your fleet

Filling in the Technological Gap for Fleet

With the way digital is moving, fleets have had to make big adjustments to accommodate the evolving technology to manage fleets. With everything already on you’re plate it may not make sense to add another “piece of tech” to your wheelhouse. But incorporating the chatbot into your daily operations presents a compelling case where the positives outweigh the negatives. 

According to a report by Accenture, virtual assistants and chatbots can help organizations save up to 80% in customer service costs.

Samsara, in partnership with research and advisory institute The Center for Digital Government (CDG), published research on why government agencies are accelerating digital transformation and the barriers that stand in the way of progress. 

Only 13% of respondents believed they have made substantial investments in modernizing operations. However, more than half (56%) planned to upgrade their technology solutions by 2025. Technologies like artificial intelligence and automation will be adopted by 49% of respondents by 2025, according to the report. As the demands of the workforce evolve, 52% of respondents cited a need to invest in communication and collaboration tools, 48% in mobile devices or apps to support remote work, and 43% to expand access to data and analytics.

Taking on AI: Burden or Benefit?

Let’s start at the basic level: time and cost savings. ChatGPT can be used as a type of “office assistant” by automating routine and repetitive tasks. This could include providing employees with information about fleet services, scheduling appointments, or even handling basic administrative queries. 

If you have a meeting scheduled with a telematics provider, you can ask ChatGPT to get you background info on the person you’re meeting with and key points to discuss. 

Too much information in a document? Copy and paste what’s in your document after using the prompt: “Give me key takeaways from this.” You’ll be awarded with a neat bulleted list summarizing and highlighting important information. This was tested on a section of the Government Fleet article, titled ‘What You Need to Know About Renewable Diesel.’ ChatGPT responded with eight takeaways from the piece. 

Because ChatGPT adheres to predefined standards and guidelines, risk of human error or variations in response are minimized. A study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that chatbots achieved high accuracy levels in providing correct information and responses to user queries.

Scalability and efficiency also come into play with the AI’s ability to handle multiple conversations simultaneously, which in turn allows government fleets to manage a larger volume of inquiries and service requests. This scalability can eliminate wait times and enables faster response rates.

Furthermore, a significant advantage of ChatGPT is its ability to provide round-the-clock responses — take note, however, that as of writing, a free ChatGPT plan is available when demand is low while a $20-per-month plan allows for availability even when demand is high. Government fleets operating outside regular business hours or during emergencies can benefit from this accessibility. 

Understanding the Prompt You Need

First things first is to word your prompts to get the best answer. A good place to start is with an “I want” followed by the outlined goal. An example of this would be: 

“I want to [action/plan] for [goal] in my fleet” followed by “Make a list of challenges, requirements, and constraints.”

If you use the prompt “I want to save fuel to stay within my fleet budget. Make a list of challenges, requirements, and constraints to do this,” ChatGPT responds the following way: 

“When aiming to save fuel and stay within your fleet budget, there are several challenges, requirements, and constraints to consider.”

It then provides the following list to help navigate this goal, summarized below:

Driver behavior: Encouraging drivers to adopt fuel-efficient practices, such as smooth acceleration and deceleration, maintaining consistent speeds, and avoiding unnecessary idling, can be challenging without proper training and monitoring.

  • Route optimization
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Requirements

Driver training: Providing comprehensive training programs to educate drivers on fuel-efficient driving techniques, vehicle technologies (e.g., eco-mode features), and the importance of reducing fuel consumption is essential.

  • Fleet monitoring and data analysis
  • Efficient vehicle selection

Budget limitations: Implementing fuel-saving initiatives may require upfront investments in driver training, technology upgrades, and vehicle replacements. Balancing these costs within your fleet budget can be a constraint.

  • Operational constraints

A final subset of the response includes a summary of what a fleet should do to follow these steps and create a successful fuel-saving strategy tailored to the fleet's specific needs.

Other prompts can be in the form of a question: 

“How should I use renewable diesel in all of my fleet's diesel-­powered equipment?”

Even social posts can easily be created through prompts. Was there a new vehicle purchase the fleet wants to highlight? Eneter a simple prompt like the following to received a fully-created social posts, emojis, hashtags, and all:

“Create a social media post on the city's purchase of a new Ford F-150 Lightning

The response is the following: 

📢 Exciting News! 🚗💨 The city has just added a cutting-edge addition to its fleet! 🎉🌇 Say hello to the new Ford F-150 Lightning, an eco-friendly powerhouse that's ready to revolutionize urban mobility! 🌿⚡️ With zero-emissions and impressive electric range, this electric beauty is leading the charge towards a greener and more sustainable future. 🌍🌱 Get ready for smoother rides, reduced environmental impact, and innovative technology at the wheel. 🌟 Buckle up, city dwellers, and get ready to experience the electrifying future of urban transportation! 🔌💡 #CityFleetUpgrade #SustainableMobility #GreenCityLiving #ElectricRevolution

But that post is a little long with too many emojis, right? 

Just follow up with “regenerate a shorter response with fewer emojis” and ChatGPT provides just that: 

📣 Exciting news! The city has just added a new Ford F-150 Lightning to its fleet, bringing cleaner and more sustainable transportation to our streets. Get ready for a greener and electrifying future! #EV #SustainableTransportation #GreenCity

These prompts will usually receive a detailed response broken down into bullets. If you’re planning to present to city leaders, then ask ChatGPT to write you an outline. Add key points you want to get across. Provide a detailed breakdown of anticipated costs, projected savings, and potential return on investment to demonstrate the value of the proposed budget. 

Tackling AI Today for a More Efficient Tomorrow

Within the realm of ChatGPT, government fleets can leverage ChatGPT and external coding assistance to create a plan for more cost savings and long-term benefits.

Start with ways to optimize route planning making ChatGPT do the work to analyze various factors such as traffic patterns, road conditions, and fuel efficiency data to provide improved route suggestions. By using this information, fleets can plan more fuel-efficient routes, reducing fuel consumption and costs.

ChatGPT can also be integrated with fleet management systems to analyze vehicle data and provide proactive maintenance recommendations. It can also assist in developing personalized training programs for drivers, providing tips on eco-driving techniques and fuel-saving strategies. Additionally, it can provide real-time feedback to drivers based on their driving patterns, encouraging fuel-efficient behaviors.

To do this, ask ChatGPT to compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of alternative fuel options like EVs and hybrid technologies against traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Prompt it to consider factors such as environmental impact, fuel efficiency, maintenance costs, infrastructure requirements, and government incentives.

To get a cost-benefit analysis, request ChatGPT to assess the financial aspects of adopting alternative fuel options. Through a prompt, ask it to analyze upfront costs, operational expenses, potential savings in fuel consumption, tax incentives, and long-term cost-effectiveness.

Take Advantage of the Available System 

There are more than enough prompts to go around when it comes to ChatGPT, but nothing beats firsthand experience. Start plugging in questions related to the fleet and find the best ways to use this technology for future benefit. 

As more reports predict that emerging technologies such as AI-powered chatbots will dominate customer interactions, government fleets that integrate ChatGPT gain a competitive advantage in the ever-evolving digital landscape. 

By embracing AI technologies early on, fleets can future-proof operations and stay at the forefront of technological advancements. This positions government fleets to adapt to evolving expectations so that when change does come, the operation can still run efficiently.

And just like a 60s TV show, nothing lasts forever and now is the time to embrace today's technology for the future of fleet.  

About the author
Nichole Osinski

Nichole Osinski

Executive Editor

Nichole Osinski is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She oversees editorial content for the magazine and the website, selects educational programming for GFX, and manages the brand's awards programs.

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