Telematics can now change corporate culture in very positive ways. Sound intriguing? Perhaps those techies who believe cellular technology will save their lives are correct in their assessments at least somewhat. Although conventional cell phone ownership means having access to Google, E911, and other major location services, owning a fleet of vehicles with telematics devices provides more security than relying on drivers’ mobile devices. Some reasons are obvious, and others are not.
Telematics can help protect the driver, the business, and the safety of others on the roadways.
Many newer production vehicles have some form of telematics technology installed. The best telematics systems are current third party systems that are incredibly powerful telematics technologies with a multitude of service options, accessories, and solutions.
Trucking companies used Qualcomm “boxes” to disburse load schedules, track downtime, and even govern vehicle speed in some cases. Telematics does so much more today and has the potential to go further. Let’s look at what areas need further development to connect diagnostics and safety with the burgeoning telematics technology. Imagine a day where your drivers driving habits, not just their whereabouts, are tracked. The drivers receive real-time feedback, and their driving stats are logged in a gamification console. This feedback allows for driving contests, full customization, and audit records to aide accident claims, customer claims, and Good Samaritan complaints.
Deeper Understanding of Data Trends
Leveraging data becomes increasingly important during unforeseen situations. For example, drivers may quit unannounced, speed because they are late, or exhibit road rage because they are having a bad day. Utilizing telematics will control such examples and ensure they do not rise to the level of a business risk.
Telematics have the ability to change the culture of fleet driving because drivers can be surveyed. Everyone performs at a different caliber when they are under supervision. Unfortunately, when drivers are not under surveillance, they are more likely to speed, drive aggressively, accelerate too fast, weave, and ultimately endanger the company. New telematics offer solutions that shift the corporate culture to focus on safety and performance.
- Find quicker routes
- Diagnose early engine issues
- Understand how downtime is spent
- Be warned of traffic accidents
- Note who your risky drivers are
The best telematics systems are inherently upgradeable with accessories – key fob access for multiple drivers, camera systems, speakers, GPS integration, and much more!
Using Data to Enhance Safety
It is incredibly difficult to get to assistance while stuck fifty miles outside of town. When drivers’ enter dead zones without cell service or their truck is suddenly immobilized, receiving immediate attention is nearly impossible. Data-driven global positioning systems (GPS) provide fleet owners a means to commence rescue efforts because satellites are used to pinpoint the area.
One concern for fleet owners involves hacking. Advances have been made in securing fleets of vehicles wirelessly, although more work is needed to perfect this form of telematic technology. The technology is moving rapidly toward vehicle-to-vehicle communication and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology which allow vehicles to share data and the roadway infrastructure to share data related to incidents, accidents, speeds, closures, etc.
Fleet owners are slowing implementing new telematic technologies in Over-the-Road (OTR) trucks, but sweeping reform may be years away. Electronic Logging Devices (ELD’s) are the law of the land now in OTR trucks and are being implemented with 100% compliance by 2019. ELD’s not only track hours of service requirements for heavy trucks but provide a digital logbook for the Department of Transportation. This is the culture of fleet driving to come, and we want you to be prepared. Telematics gets you there but be sure to pick a robust service, not the cheapest option.
Trucking companies must realize telematics cost no more or less than OnStar or similar driver assistants but provide dramatically greater service, protection, and scalability with other technologies. It is time for companies to invest in the future of telematic technology. The time spent investigating, installing, and protecting your present and future workforce is well worth it, and you’ll see results immediately. Typical systems cost $50-$250 upfront and $15-30 per month for service depending on the service level. Happy (and safe)motoring.