Telematics has firmly established itself as an integral component of fleet management. Firms operating large fleets and small alike have embraced vehicle telematics technology with gusto over the last decade-and-a-half, with these systems becoming something of an industry standard among fleet operators. Of course, the benefits telematics systems deliver in terms of enhancing efficiency and boosting the bottom line are well documented - but that's not all they have to offer.
HOW CAN TELEMATICS SIMPLIFY DRIVERS' ROUTINES?
Telematics systems do a great deal to cut out unnecessary hassle for drivers. Perhaps the most obvious area in which telematics helps drivers is routing. Telematics systems combine real time data with GPS navigation technology, enabling planners to optimise routes based on environmental and scheduling changes, and instantly communicate these changes to their drivers. This dynamic approach enables drivers to stay focussed on the job in hand.
The availability of routing and scheduling information in the office also enables them to keep in contact with customers, notifying them of any schedule changes or delays. This should help prevent drivers having to handle angry clients on arrival.
HOW CAN TELEMATICS SUPPORT DRIVERS’ PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
Telematics data provides drivers with valuable feedback about their on road behaviour. This information is a great way for drivers to look at what they can change in there driving style to reduce on road risk, their impact on the environment and cost to the business they work for.
The information gathered from telematics systems is often shared between Fleet Manager and Driver to support the implementation of personalised training and development programmes, tailored to the needs of the individual. This process makes any time investment in training high impact and valuable to the drivers.
CAN TELEMATICS MAKES DRIVING LESS STRESSFUL?
Yes. Stress is a significant contributor to road rage and accidents. Research found that 71 per cent of drivers reported losing concentration while on the road due to stress and annoyance, with 39 per cent citing work related stress as a key factor. As noted earlier telematics systems can be a great way to remove work related distractions from a driver’s routine by providing reactive schedules and managing client expectations. Taking this responsibility away from a driver is a great way to help reduce stress levels behind the wheel.
In addition telematics software can also help keep schedules running smoothly – there are few things more frustrating for drivers than getting to a job site only to find that the people on-site weren't prepared for them. Geofencing, a key feature of telematics systems, enables automatic alerts to be sent to job sites notifying them of an impending arrival, giving the on-site team time to prepare in advance.
HOW IS TELEMATICS HELPING TO ADDRESS ROAD SAFETY?
As well as providing key data to inform safe driving programmes, fleet telematics is helping to generate a culture of road safety in businesses across the UK and beyond. According to the 2016 Fleet Barometer from Arval, 46 per cent of British businesses had implemented a telematics solution - an increase of two per cent on the year before. Given that nearly half of UK fleets have already adopted fleet telematics and more are continuing to do so, this amounts to a significant impact on road safety. Making the UK roads a safer is a great benefit for all drivers, commercial and personal.
HOW CAN TELEMATICS HELP TO CUT OUT UNEXPECTED VEHICLE DOWNTIME?
One of the major bugbears of any driver's working life is unexpected vehicle downtime. Of course, fleet vehicles are put through a great deal of stresses and strains over time, so breakdowns can become commonplace unless appropriate preventative measures are taken. Telematics systems can help nip mechanical problems in the bud by assisting with preventative maintenance. They provide easily comprehensible reports and automated scheduling based on odometer readings and engine run time. They can also provide instant notifications to alert fleet managers to upcoming maintenance needs as well as overdue tasks. This enables managers to create detailed and rigorous maintenance schedules, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns giving drivers one less thing to worry about.