GUEST BLOG – Telematics: Improving the safety of fleet drivers

Running a business is a challenging task, running a business that operates a fleet of vehicles is an even more challenging task. No matter the amount of cars in the fleet, as soon as vehicles enter the fray, a business operation becomes infinitely more complex. Prompt delivery of goods and services require well organised route planning, maintenance schedules and fuel management in a fleet. These are only a few of the processes that are required to improve the efficiency of the business and to improve customer satisfaction.

Until the last decade, companies had to rely on old-fashioned solutions such as walkie-talkies, satellite phones and rudimentary computer software to oversee their operation. Fortunately for the business owners, we live in an era that technological innovations pave the way for advanced systems like telematics. Telematics systems have been a revolutionary development for fleet businesses. From a dot-on-a-map generation, we have evolved into connected cars that communicate with each other, predict collisions and avoid high-traffic routes. With the potential to save tremendous amounts of money on fuel expenses and maintenance fees, improving the safety of the drivers and ensuring the vehicle security; telematics solutions have been nothing short of a miracle for the fleet businesses.

Telematics and GPS data is essential to improve and transform a business. Fleet operations become seamless, more secure and safer with a telematics system in place. Not only field managers will be able to easily figure out where their drivers are, managers will have extensive data about their drivers’ driving habits, engine wear and tear on the vehicle and fuel usage. GPS tracking and telematics systems can be used to provide additional security throughout a fleet and to make sure drivers arrive at their destinations unharmed as well as preventing any opportunistic thieves from getting away with the shipment or the vehicle itself.

The statistics show that there were over 180,000 accidents on the roads of the UK in 2016. Thousands of people were killed and tens of thousands were injured in these accidents as the number of road deaths in Britain reaches a five year high.

The number of accidents are on the rise and given that companies with a vehicle fleet have dozens, sometimes hundreds of vehicles traveling on the roads at the same time, it is important for them to take the necessary precautions. Company drivers travel long distances to deliver their payload, every fleet has a number of different vehicles for various purposes and fleet drivers may display reckless driving habits such as speeding and harsh braking that can endanger themselves and the people around them. For this very reason, fleet companies have to go the extra mile and provide their vehicles and drivers with effective security measures.

Luckily for the business owners, telematics devices onboard the vehicles gather and transmit detailed information about how a driver behaves behind the wheel. Fleet managers can analyse and identify the speeding and harsh-cornering incidents as well as the responsible drivers. Encouraging safer driving habits and eliminating unwanted behaviour such as speeding and harsh cornering will increase the overall safety of the drivers. When the drivers know they are being monitored, they perform according to company standards which will reduce the number of accidents.

Large fleet companies have expensive equipment and vehicles spread out over wide areas and securing them against theft and tampering can be quite a challenge. Telematics technology allows the asset managers to place sophisticated safeguards such as movement alert, shock sensor, and geofence zones. These advanced tools make sure no one can so much as move an asset or a vehicle without authorisation. If a thief tries to break into a company vehicle or steal an equipment, the telematics device alerts the responsible parties so they can inform the law enforcement officers about the incident and ask for an immediate backup to the site. Even if an adept criminal manages to get past all the security measures and steal a company asset, it can be recovered by tracking its exact location in real-time and alerting the police. Fleet companies have a lot of reasons to adopt telematics systems into their infrastructure but the security aspect of telematics is unmatched by any other system out there. For companies that want the best safety and security, telematics systems are the obvious choice.

Fleet telematics is going to keep growing at an exponential rate as telematics and GPS-based applications are developed to take advantage of the rapidly advancing of GPS technology and widespread use of mobile devices. The growth of telematics technology since the last decade has been phenomenal as more fleet companies recognise the benefits of monitoring fleet activity closely to reduce costs and ensure the safety of their personnel.

The future of telematics is bright and it will be one of the technologies to keep an eye on. If you have a fleet business and looking for ways to cut costs, improve productivity and protect your fleet, telematics systems are the best solution on the market.

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