Fleet News

Privacy concerns hinder telematics adoption

Concerns over staff privacy are preventing businesses from introducing vehicle telematics, according to new research from RAC Business.

The survey of 500 UK firms which run business vehicles found that 40% reported staff concerns about the perceived intrusion into their privacy associated with 24/7 tracking systems. One-in-five have not installed telematics as a result of those concerns - despite the technology delivering proven savings in fuel costs, wear and tear and insurance.

In addition, just around half (52%) of firms which do have telematics in their vehicles also said their employees did not have the option to switch it off, although there are systems on the market that offer a 'privacy button'.

In response to these concerns RAC Telematics has now launched a Bluetooth-enabled personal ID fob called MyDrive, which gives the driver the option of turning the telematics unit off when they are not making business-related journeys and using the vehicle outside of their agreed working hours.

RAC MyDrive works in conjunction with RAC Telematics devices but requires no hard wiring or complicated installation as it connects with the telematics unit over Bluetooth.  It recognises the individual driver, whichever vehicle they use. For company car owners and business motorists who are part of the ever-growing ‘grey fleet’, it means they can accurately record which journeys are for business purposes and which journeys are private and so not visible to their employer.

RAC Telematics MD Nick Walker said: “We know from our research that it can be a challenge for businesses to install telematics to their fleets because of the concerns from staff drivers, especially if the vehicle they drive serves a dual purpose for work and personal journeys.

“RAC MyDrive directly addresses those concerns and should provide individual drivers with the reassurance they seek that non-work related journeys will remain 'off the radar' as it were.

“This should, in turn, make it easier for business owners and fleet managers to install telematics and access the range of benefits it delivers such as cost savings on fuel and wear and tear, as well as a reduction in accidents, speeding fines and vehicle downtime.

“It also enables employers to fulfil their duty of care obligations much more effectively as they will know exactly where their staff are during business hours. The other key benefit is for businesses which run vehicles that have multiple drivers, pool cars etc, as the device will link to the individual driver so the fleet manager knows exactly who is driving which vehicle."

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