Telematics, In Vehicle Monitoring Systems, On Board Computers – How fleet managers can gain full visibility of a fleet with these technologies
Powerful technology is useless if a fleet manager is unable to comprehend and use the data. Ensuring that a software provider can give easy to read reports on an automatic basis is the only way to ensure improvements in fleet performance is tracked and optimized.
Technology can make drivers happier, according to a study conducted by Fleet Management Systems and Technologies (FMS Tech). The study revealed that driver moral increased by 73% across clients that installed an IVMS or telematics device. The reason for the change is in the ‘Driver Merit System’ which gives feedback on a regular basis to drivers in an SMS format, and on a point based system. Once drivers have accumulated a certain amount of points, they can redeem for prizes, or even cash.
With technology playing an increasingly significant role in modern society, FMS Tech aims to promote smart driving with on board computers, in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS), and telematics, all of which can be referred to as fleet management technology. In order to educate fleet management companies about the finer details of telematics, FMS Tech has published a white paper on the subject, elaborating on problems that can be solved with fleet management technology and its additional benefits.
The most commonly known problem solved with a fleet management technology is: Where are my vehicles? But in today’s market, technology offers much more than just a GPS location of a fleet manager’s vehicle. Other fleet problems that are being solved today with technology include the following major topics:
- Managers do not know if safety policies are being followed
- Unauthorised use of company vehicles
- Asset usage policies are not being followed
- Vehicles being used in restricted areas
- Drivers are not being rewarded for good behaviour
- Theft of cargo and/or fuel
- Containers and trailers are being used for illegal activity
- Unauthorized drivers in the driver seat
- Roads are unsafe and have high accident rates
All of these topics are addressed and solved with a comprehensive fleet management technology, but what is often overlooked is how the data is delivered, displayed, and reported. The fact about data is that it is not easily accessible or hard to interpret
Powerful technology is useless if a fleet manager is unable to comprehend and use the data. Ensuring that a software provider can give easy to read reports on an automatic basis is the only way to ensure improvements in fleet performance is tracked and optimized. Customised reports developed free of charge is the most efficient way to keep data organized, in line, and provide results.
If fleet managers invest in a new technology, they are most likely satisfied if that technology solves their main or largest fleet problem. However, managers should be aware about the following top of the line benefits that keep paying off long after the fees are paid.
Safety: vehicles installed with a fleet management technology have a 79% less chance of being in an accident. Not only does that reduce the accident related costs a fleet manager occurs, it also supports corporate-wide goals, make drivers feel more safe, and overall improves the community.
Transparency of fuel efficiency due to driving performance: there are many driving habits that poorly effect the fuel efficiency of a vehicle including long idling times, harsh acceleration and breaking, and over speeding. These behaviours can lower gas mileage by 15% to 30% at highway speeds, and 10% to 40% in high traffic areas. A good fleet management technology will provide the data in an easy- to read format to help fleet managers identify drivers and behaviours that are impeding on their fleet efficacy goals. A realistic goal is a system that will help reduce fuel consumption by 15 to 25%.
Decreased vehicle maintenance: similar to the concept of increased fuel efficiency- the bad habits that drivers tend to develop can increase the need for vehicle to be maintained. According to feedback collected from a sample of FMS-Tech users during 2016-2017, fleet managers can expect a decrease of 24% of their maintenance costs if a fleet management technology is installed in their vehicle. These technologies also offer an 84% decrease in over speeding violations which is one of the common driving mistakes that can cause vehicles the most damage.
Hardware and software integration: most fleet management technology companies develop either the hardware or software and outsource the other, but rarely do they develop both hardware and software in house. The advantage to finding a provider that develops both under the same roof is seamless integration and easy access to updates, support, and customization. These providers have hardware and software engineers working together on a daily basis to develop reliable solutions and decrease the fleet manager’s need to manual check on individual vehicles or drivers.
Approvals and certifications: some fleet management technology companies have worked hard to achieve local certifications to ensure high quality standard for their clients. Approvals are required by the government and specific industries specific such as oil and gas. For example, a technology company that has been approved to transport dangerous substances such as oil can be highly relied upon for all other industries as well. This will give fleet managers a peace of mind in regards to the quality and reliability of the products.
Tachograph: understanding what happened in an accident is important for many reasons including insurance claims and improving systems to ensure such accidents do not occur again in the future. Installing a tachograph is a technical, and very accurate way to re-create an accident and see the root cause clearly.
Fleet Management Technology has come a long way from simply knowing the location of vehicles. Today Fleet Management Technology can provide information about the driver, reward drivers for good performances, prevent against theft, control the operating areas of vehicles, keep goods secure, and most importantly keep roads safe.
Some of the technologies that can provide such benefits include:
- Video surveillance
- Electric seal for cargo containers or trailers
- Face recognition
- RFID enabled driving
- Ignition relay
- SIM card and Iridium satellite option for data transmittal.
GPS has become a common term globally and is normally the first go-to feature fleet managers have in mind when looking for technology to install in fleet vehicles, but in today’s market, GPS is the most fundamental and basic feature installed in today’s vehicles. The next level of technology, often referred to as telematics is the software solution to providing information about the vehicle and driving behaviour such as seatbelt status, harsh breaking, harsh acceleration, and fuel consumption. With such advanced technology, fleet managers have access to a much wider range of data points in which to draw from their vehicles, thus providing more transparency.