Fleet decision-makers across the UK’s largest fleets are anticipating a rise in expenditure on telematics products in the next 12 months, according to research by Fleet News sister brand Sewells.
Demand will mainly be driven within the van fleet sector, where there is greater acceptance of the benefits of telematics technology, but there is growing interest in using the technology to effectively manage car fleets.
The Sewells research shows the increase in demand for products to monitor driver behaviour is most evident within NHS Trusts and the Bluelight sectors, where 88% of those questioned expect to spend more in 2015, despite most managers saying they are trying to reduce spending in all other areas.
The strategy highlights the role telematics can play in reducing overall fleet costs through closer vehicle management to minimise spending and also improve driver safety.
Equally, nearly two-thirds (64%) of those in the utilities sector are also looking to put up spending on telematics as they look to maintain high service levels and improve the efficiency of their field service teams.
The only sector where there is little interest in the benefits of telematics is in the perk car-dominated banking and finance sector, where vehicles are less extensively used for business purposes.
Demand for telematics technology has rocketed in the fleet market in the past decade, driven by commercial vehicle fleets which have used the systems to give them a detailed understanding of how their vehicles are being used.
This in turn helps them to improve utilisation, reduce accidents by focusing on dangerous driving and combat fraud through initiatives such as automated mileage and working-hours claims.
Drivers are also recognising that vehicle tracking can benefit them; by providing evidence to combat unfair fines or fraudulent insurance claims, or by providing remote assistance in the event of an incident.
Their acceptance of the technology is also driven by their growing use of connected technology elsewhere, such as mobile phone apps that track and report on a user’s location and activity for anything from fitness to social networking.
“The biggest impact of telematics is in the wallet of the fleet operator,” explained a spokesman at Sewells Research and Insight. “The technology can aid fuel efficiency and produce overall lower driving costs as drivers take greater care on the road with less sharp braking and hard acceleration.
“Cost will continue to be one of the primary motivators for the increase in demand for telematics products in the next 12 months.
“This remains a fast growing industry with huge potential and our results show it is only going to get bigger as we head into 2015 and beyond.”