Damian James, head of transport provision at Bracknell Forest Borough Council, told the Acfo conference that a system that sends data to the emergency services in the event of an incident is likely to be fitted to all new cars by 2009.
Trials in Finland between 2001 and 2003 indicated that 5% of fatalities could have been prevented by the system, known as E-Call.
But E-Call is just one of many types of telemetry being developed and James urged fleet managers to prepare themselves.
‘It’s easy to be blinded by science,’ he said. ‘Some of the suppliers of these systems don’t have much fleet experience, so it’s far more useful to speak to customers already running these systems to find out if they are beneficial.’
James presented a list of questions and points to consider when introducing telemetry.
James went on to describe the many benefits of telematics, including reduced costs and improved safety and productivity. He also sent out a plea to developers. ‘With all these different systems emerging, can we have it all built into just one black box?’