Fleet News

Fuel card technology ‘key to telematics evolution’

The addition of fuel card technology is among a raft of new features which aims to make a next-generation telematics system stand out from the crowd.

Motrak, devised by vehicle solutions business Motiva Group, has been a leading player in the fleet monitoring industry since it was first launched in 2008.

But after several key developments, including the capacity to integrate fuel card data which will give fleet managers precise costs per mile, it hopes to thrust the revised system to the forefront of an increasingly congested market.

Internet-based software also features mileage capture, route overlay, driver league tables, traffic warnings and excess mileage alerts that can each be tailored to individual customers.

Paul Holdcroft, head of Motrak at Stoke-on-Trent-based Motiva Group, said: “Our new system is a major step forward in terms of the benefits it can bring to customers.

“There has been a real evolution in terms of technology and performance and we think it will be an outstanding product in the competitive world of fleet telematics.

“We’ve developed the new Motrak to be far more bespoke and there are a string of features which have helped us to create the complete monitoring tool.”

The system, to be launched this month, provides fleet managers with ‘real time’ insight and control over the entire fuel, driver and mobile asset management process.

Motiva expects it to provide huge savings in time and costs, with fuel bills reduced by as much as 20% per fleet on average.

Increased productivity, reduced emissions and lower insurance premiums are further benefits, it says.

The ability to integrate fuel card data is an illustration of the significant strides made in the development of the new model, according to Holdcroft.

He said: “With bills so high these days, fleet managers are showing an increasing desire to making savings where they can and this software will help them do that.

“It enables fuel card data to be uploaded into the tracking system and will provide a report showing precise costs per mile. You can see, at a glance, where improvements in efficiency can be made.

“The system will show, in black and white, where harsh acceleration and braking is adding to the cost of journeys and therefore which are the most and least efficient drivers.

“It generates revealing data which will effectively encourage better, smoother driving and that can only be good news all round.

“It’s not a niche feature, but very few telematics systems have fuel card integration and we like to think of ourselves as market leaders in the field.”

Route overlay is another key addition to the Motrak operation – providing an easy-to-use function for generating the most efficient itineraries from any given location, with the ability to store hundreds of regular destinations. Previous journeys can be plotted on the same map to identify the most efficient route.

A new ‘drag and drop’ feature gives fleet managers the chance to see precisely which assets are nearest to a given location – ideal for customers who take service calls. The software can also provide direct information on how long the journey would take.

The Motrak data can also be formatted into special league tables recognising the most efficient drivers. Companies can then offer incentives to encourage better practice.

Mileage capture, providing precise odometer readings for expenses claims, and alerts designed to avoid ‘excess’ charges on lease agreements are among a host of other developments.

Holdcroft added: “In today’s world, most businesses are doing more with fewer staff and to make that work they have to have the most up-to-date technology.

“The new system offers our clients better intelligence about their fleet, from establishing true fuel spend and mileage verification for HMRC purposes to improving driver behaviour and supporting route planning.

“Fleet monitoring is not about big brother, it’s simply about companies trying to cut costs.

“Employee resistance has admittedly been an issue in the past and that’s something that still has to be overcome, particularly with those for whom company vehicles are a benefit in kind.

“But it is something we have addressed with the introduction of incentivised league tables and the provision of a Dallas Key, which can restrict the broadcast of information.

“For companies running fleets of any size, the benefits of telematics have become too great to ignore and we think our new Motrak system ticks all the right boxes.”

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