Fleet News

Global goes European

Global Telematics, a supplier of fleet management solutions including vehicle tracking systems, plans to target European fleets as part of a major expansion plan.

Although full details of its European aspirations are under wraps, company executives expect to make an announcement over the coming weeks.

Global Telematics is the latest in a wave of hi-tech service providers to attack the European fleet market. Providers say the role of the pan-European fleet manager will be transformed by telematics technology.

'We have business operations in the UK, America and South Africa and have major plans for Europe,' said chief executive officer Edward Belgeonne.

Global Telematics has recently launched a new version of its Orchid fleet system which it says demonstrates the company's ongoing development programme and offers 'new enhanced functionality including mobile exception reporting and fleet scheduling features'.

The software allows fleet operators to track their vehicles 'within a couple of metres of their location'.

Belgeonne says it is this type of precision that makes the systems cost-effective and gives the operator 'total control' over the fleet.

'Our systems allow the operator to manage his fleet of vehicles in terms of planning, routing and scheduling, basically controlling the cost of the fleet. This makes the systems cost-effective — the payback is very quick.

'Companies invest very heavily in plant and machinery but they now need to invest and have control of their mobile workforce.'

Belgeonne said the systems allow operators to track vehicles and choose routes that avoid traffic congestion hotspots - saving money on fuel consumption and driver's time.

The system can inform the operator via a mobile phone text message of any congestion problems that may hold the driver up. This gives the operator the option of either rerouting the original driver or deploying another one.

Data is collected by a 24-hour response centre and fleet operators can access the range of information either via an internet connection or a GSM link directly to their own PC.

Security is also a key part of Global Telematics' products and the new Orchid system has what is called an 'advanced motion sensor technology', which means security zones can be set around a vehicle to protect it when the ignition is switched off.

The vehicle will alert a 24-hour response centre in the event of any 'unauthorised movement'.

Global Telematics also claims its Orchid tracking software can help fleet operators implement environmentally-friendly policies.

'Cost savings such as those achieved by lower mileage, decreased fuel costs and increased vehicle utilisation will ultimately reduce emissions, fuel usage and congestion,' Belgeonne said. 'The end result will be to lessen the damaging environmental impact of road vehicles.

'Understandably, most fleet managers would probably rate cost reduction and increased productivity as their key motivators, but many fail to realise that any improvement in fleet operating efficiency has an immediate effect on the environment,' Belgeonne added. (December 2001)

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