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A solution to driver privacy concerns over telematics

By / 9 months ago / Comment / No Comments

RAC Telematics managing director Nick Walker looks at the issue of overcoming driver concerns to telematics.

Nick Walker, managing director of RAC Telematics

Nick Walker, managing director of RAC Telematics

We know that some businesses feel it may be a challenge to install telematics to their fleets because of the concerns from staff drivers, especially if the vehicle they drive serves a dual purpose for work and personal journeys. We found 40% of businesses reported staff concerns about the perceived intrusion into their privacy, which is associated with 24/7 tracking systems.

However this barrier in uptake is preventing businesses from taking advantage of the benefits of telematics – particularly savings in fuel costs, wear and tear and insurance. In response to these concerns we’ve recently launched a Bluetooth-enabled personal ID fob called RAC MyDrive, which gives the driver the option of turning the telematics unit off when they are not making business-related journeys.

The issue of privacy and driver data can be even more complex when vehicles are shared amongst staff. Crucially, the fob technology recognises the individual driver, whichever vehicle they use. For company car owners and business motorists who are part of the ever-growing grey fleet, it means they can accurately record which journeys are for business purposes and which journeys are private and so not visible to their employer.

By passing the power to your employees this should help alleviate their concerns and encourage them to embrace telematics in a work environment. This is a significant advancement in telematics capabilities and should help counteract this recurring issue.

But the real key to all of this is communication, it is important to talk to staff and explain to them the firm’s position as well as the advantages that the technology offers from a duty of care perspective. The benefits are abundant; it’s just a case of informing and empowering your employees.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 14 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie works across the magazine portfolio and updates the company websites with daily news, interviews and road test content.