What can telematics do for you?
From accident reduction to huge cost savings, it's easy to see why there is more and more fleet uptake
1. What exactly is telematics?
Telematics is a general term for devices that are able to transmit data wirelessly – it is believed that the phrase was coined by merging the French words ‘telecommunications’ and ‘informatique’. In our industry this means anything from GPS-based navigation systems and vehicle tracking, to automated safety systems (e-Call) and insurance products. It is essentially a range of different features, options and devices that are brought together by a single principle – data and communication.
Telematics is now used heavily in fleet management, and its adoption is leading to huge savings.
Benefits aren’t just economic but include automated and accurate mileage capture that meets HMRC guidelines, mitigating risks such as driving without a break or driving for long periods each day, and reducing erratic driving behaviours.
Other advantages of using telematics include managing prolonged instances of engine idling, reporting quickly and easily on CO2 output to meet CSR requirements and the ability to pinpoint vehicles when needed to allocate resource effectively.
2.How long will a vehicle be off-road while the telematics system is fitted?
It really depends on the complexity of the system being adopted; it can range from a few minutes if it’s a driver ‘self-install’ plug-and-play device to several hours for complicated ‘hard-wired’ devices that draw data directly from the engine sensors. Only qualified technicians can install these types of device.
Our ProFleet2 technology is a plug-and-play solution that takes about 30 minutes to install.
3. Don’t smartphone apps deliver the same information as ‘black boxes’?
The number of companies offering smartphone mileage capture apps is vast but not all employers provide drivers with a smartphone. Also, the app may not work on all operating systems. An in-vehicle telematics system such as ProFleet2 automatically records every journey without the driver needing to activate it.
4. How can telematics help to reduce fuel bills?
Having accurate, reliable mileage data ensures that businesses reimburse their employees at the correct rate and avoid the risk of paying ‘inflated’ costs calculated from ‘guesstimated’ or ‘ghost’ journeys. Even assuming a 10% error in business mileage claims would result in an added cost to a business of £450 per driver over a typical three-year contract (15,000 business miles pa @ 10ppm); over a fleet of 100 cars this equates to £45,000 over a three-year period.
5. How can telematics help to cut the cost of accidents and insurance?
With the help of GPS technology, and the necessary consent controls in place with byTELEMATICSdrivers, telematics can track vehicles real time and pinpoint their location. This enables customers to negotiate additional discounts with their insurers and can reduce costs associated with replacement of stolen vehicles. ProFleet2 has aided
in the recovery of more than £3 million worth of vehicles.
As part of the ProFleet2 Premium package, the Fleet Risk Index allows fleets to identify where they can reduce risk by improving driver behaviour. Highlighting incidents of harsh acceleration and braking, excessive speed, and so on, can identify areas for a potential reduction in risk and detect trends over the fleet. By benchmarking performance within the fleet, customers can also see how they can improve their risk management and reduce the number of accidents that occur. Consequently, it is highly likely that fleets equipped with telematics will be able to negotiate cheaper premiums.
6. How does an employer avoid driver unrest from installing a system that tracks their every move?
We take the privacy of driver’s data very seriously; they hold all vehicle and journey data on their own exclusive password-protected website. ProFleet2 data is only shared with the fleet manager when the driver consents, either for business trips only or all journeys – it’s up to the driver. It is only right and proper that non-work journeys remain private.
7. How does a fleet manager avoid being overwhelmed by the volume of data generated by a telematics system?
We’re sinking in a sea of data as it is! It’s the bane of our lives nowadays and the challenge is identifying the key information we need to do our jobs well from all the dross we get on a daily basis. Online, soft copy or hard copy – it should be the customer’s choice. With our ProFleet2 system, if you don’t want it, change the settings and you won’t get it; the good news is that all the information will still be there if and when you do.
By adding telematics data into traditional total cost of ownership (TCO) methodology, fleets can find the optimal solution for all methods of transport.
8. What degree of savings are achievable through the successful implementation of a telematics system?
An understandable and valid question. Putting a figure on it however is extremely difficult. Firstly it assumes you know your costs inside out in the first place, i.e. you have a starting point, which many fleets don’t, hence the need for better measurement!
Research by Frost & Sullivan reports fuel savings of 15% from businesses that have successfully implemented a telematics solution. Other research suggests this could be as high as 20%. ALD customers using ProFleet2 have reported reductions of up to 26% in business mileage simply by asking drivers to add mileage reports to their expenses claims.
Zurich Insurance estimate telematics could reduce collisions by 20% as well as help the recovery of stolen vehicles. One self-insured customer of ALD saved more than £350,000 from the recovery of 13 vehicles in an 18-month period alone.
As our own findings report thereis definitely a positive ROI. I guess it depends upon price too, and you don’t need to pay a lot for a solution. Ours, for instance, costs from as little as a few pounds per month.
With vehicle technology advancing at such a pace, our ProFleet2 product offering will continue to evolve and improve too.