6 steps to better… Telematics & navigation
Monitor driver behaviour
Businesses need to closely monitor and manage driver behaviour in order to run a safe, efficient fleet and meet regulatory compliance. Performance analytic tools measure and interpret driving data gathered by in‐cab telematics units to determine individual driver performance and pinpoint areas in need of improvement.
“Safety solutions optimise driver behaviour through the integration of analytics tools,” explains John Cameron, general manager of Trimble Field Service Management. “Reports can be generated which detail individual driver scores over a week/month and who has experienced the biggest detrimental change to their driving that week, and why. This gives the management team the in‐depth knowledge they need to make quick, intelligent decisions to give individual drivers training in specific areas.”
Evidence against false claims
As well as helping to reduce insurance premiums by providing evidence of careful and safe driving, black box systems can also help to reduce accident fraud. "Using telematics, resolving issues out on the road doesn’t have to be a case of ‘my word against yours, which can be good news for businesses,” comments Caroline Coates, head of automotive at business law firm DWF.
“Telematics can help them to protect their drivers from dishonest road users (e.g. insurance fraudsters who stage an accident) as well settle commercial disputes such as queries over late deliveries. Businesses can also use this data to protect themselves from any unsafe drivers they employ, showing when they have knowingly broken their contractual obligations, or even the law.”
Address Big Brother concerns
In‐cab driving training systems can reinforce good driving behaviour by giving the driver the opportunity to correct bad driving immediately. “Using the Lightfoot in‐cab training system, the driver has two opportunities to correct any short‐term poor driving behavior the telematics system detects, indicated by warning prompts,” explains Mark Roberts, managing director of Ashwoods Lightfoot.
“When warnings are received, immediate improvement in driving style wipes the warnings and resets the gauge. If a third warning prompt is received, only then will a ‘violation’ be recorded on the fleet manager’s weekly email report. The Big Brother effect of traditional telematics can cause communications between the management and drivers to become quite negative, but with Lightfoot all communications go via the driver in real‐time, which puts the driver back in control.”
Safety of drivers in the field
GPS tracking services allow managers to keep track of a drivers location at all times, which is particularly important if they are driving alone or in an unfamiliar place. Lone worker solutions can help to safeguard the welfare of drivers in the field – services such as Panic Alarms automatically contact preset emergency numbers so monitoring teams can listen into a situation if a driver fails to check in, and automatic SMS messages with details of the driver’s exact location can be activated.
“Real‐time GPS location mapping can also aid communication between HQ and drivers, providing live updates on time of arrival, which in turn supports customer service,” adds Nick Walker, MD of RAC Telematics.
Manage Big Data
The true value of a telematics system is only unlocked when it is used in conjunction with other software, such as fleet planning, risk management, performance analysis and route optimisation. “Telematics technology is a means to an end and should not be seen as a solution in itself,” warns Simon Patel of fleet management specialist Lex Autolease.
“Instead it is purely an enabler that helps fleet managers get more accurate fleet data or pinpoint areas in need of change or improvement within their fleet. Telematics has become an invaluable tool to those who will utilise this technology fully, but investing money in telematics without any additional investment in the analysis of the resulting Big Data is likely to be a waste of capital and unlikely to realise fleet benefits.”
Benefits across the board
Modern telematics solutions can provide vital insights across an entire operation, enabling intelligent business management decisions to be made across multiple departments.
“Concerns regarding driver safety and vehicle occupants, as well as cost reduction, have increased the usage of telematics in the automotive sector and it remains one of the biggest motivations for the fleet industry,” explains Gary
Banister at fleet management specialist Hitachi Capital.
“We conducted research across 4,500 of our fuel card customers, and the top reasons cited for using telematics technology were saving fuel, improving driving behaviour, boosting productivity and enhancing driver safety,” confirms Jakes de Kock, marketing director of UK Fuels.
“Plus, 85% of those already using telematics felt they’d seen full return on investment. If that’s not an argument in favour of implementing the technology then I don’t know what is!,” Kock concludes.
Improving driver skills
Arriva Transport Solutions invested in Masternaut’s Connect ecoDrive solution across its fleet of 480 ambulances to ensure the safety and comfort of its 4,000 daily passengers. By monitoring harsh driving events using on‐board telematics, the company claims a 92% reduction in negative driving behaviours and a 70% reduction in vehicle idling.
“As a provider of patient transport services we needed to make sure that the experience we offer our poorly and often elderly patients is a high quality one,” explains Steve Law, head of fleet and estates, Arriva Transport Solutions. “Our drivers are highly skilled and, thanks to the detailed reported provided by Masternaut Connect, are now more aware than ever of their driving behaviour and how this can positively, or negatively impact patient experience.”
Thanks to evidence provided by an In Car Cleverness (ICC) tracking device, a man who crashed a hired sports car at 100mph was recently convicted of perverting the course of justice after he claimed the vehicle had been stolen. Anti‐motor fraud specialist, APU Ltd, provided tracking data from the ICC device and collected further evidence that the driver was at the scene, including CCTV footage of him refueling the car after the supposed theft.
“Not only were we able to prove the driver’s claim that the car was stolen was fraudulent, but using evidence collected by the telematics device we were also able to reconstruct events and prove exactly what happened and when,” says Neil Thomas, director of investigative services at APU Ltd.