Telematics boost safety and efficiency for fleets

Telematics ‘boost safety and efficiency’ for fleets

Safety and security should always be a top priority for fleet operators, while enhancing the efficiency of your vehicles and drivers can only help to improve your bottom line.

As a result, it’s important for organisations operating any type of fleet to have full visibility into how their vehicles and trailers are being managed, stored and secured. This is where telematics could prove to be a crucial step forward for many businesses.

 

Security and peace of mind for fleet managers

Often, fleet operators will have vehicles out on the roads for a prolonged period, perhaps for days or weeks at a time. As a result, they can quickly become a target for criminals if they are not parked in highly-secure locations.

Unfortunately, vehicle theft remains a lucrative trade for criminals up and down the country, with figures from Verizon Connect showing the typical UK business has at least one vehicle stolen each year, with a resulting cost on average of £16,253.

Verizon Connect spokesperson Derek Bryan commented: “For many businesses across the UK, vehicles and the equipment inside are their livelihood – theft represents a huge cost. Fleet and business managers need to be extra vigilant.”

The ability to easily track the location and status of any vehicle within your fleet can therefore provide crucial in ensuring tighter security of loads, staff and vehicles themselves, and this is where telematics can play a crucial role.

Telematics devices can even be calibrated to immobilise a vehicle should it be targeted by criminals. In this way, people and loads can be more secure; it can also act as a significant deterrent if thieves know they won’t be going far and are more likely to be caught.

 

Improved efficiency through vehicle tracking

Knowing precisely where your vehicles are located at all times can be a great benefit that allows fleet operators to maximise the efficiency of deliveries and always be up to date with where their vehicles are at.

Whether it’s informing customers about the status of their goods and providing updated arrival times, through to tracking your vehicles to ensure members of staff are taking the most efficient route when faced with possible traffic and delays, telematics devices can be crucial in saving time and expense, both for the business and drivers themselves.

Built-in telematics can also help to monitor things like fuel consumption and driver behaviour, meaning there is always data available to help to provide best practice training to staff in terms of making their journeys as efficient as possible.

This, in turn, can lead to lower costs and safer journeys all around, making it a win-win in our eyes.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “As we’ve discussed, in-vehicle telematics can be a powerful tool for fleet managers to both boost efficiency and the safety/security of their vehicles. Have you considered the use of this technology for your vehicles?”

 

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

January poses riskiest days to drive

January poses riskiest days to drive, research finds

Half-way through January and most people have probably felt a touch of the winter blues by now, with Christmas a fading memory and party season well and truly over.

And just to add to the general air of melancholy, one firm has revealed January is also the most likely time of year to have an accident if you’re a motorist.

 

A risky time for drivers

Research by insurethebox on when people are most likely to make a motor insurance claim found five out of the ten riskiest days of the year fall this month, with January 20th proving the most dangerous.

Rounding out the top three were January 19th and January 16th, although March 1st was close behind.

Much of these findings are likely to be weather-related, with this month tending to represent the height of winter and the period when snow is typically expected. That would also explain March’s appearance, with even meteorological spring often proving unpredictable in Britain.

However, there was one particularly baffling appearance on the list, with June 8th coming in at fifth position – ahead of two dates in November – and no explanation as to why this might be.

The data also showed drivers in Scotland are 32 per cent more likely to have an accident in January than their counterparts elsewhere, followed by the north and west of England.

Boasting the smallest rise in accidents were London, the south of England and the Midlands, with eight, ten and 11 per cent increases respectively.

Spokesperson for insurethebox Gary Stewart said: “With its shorter, darker days and often freezing temperatures, January has some of the most challenging driving conditions of the year, especially the further north you go.”

He added that younger motorists may be particularly vulnerable, as driving in January could be a completely new experience for them.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “Although we seem to have got off lightly so far this winter, it’s always best to be prepared for inclement driving conditions. And answers on a postcard as to why June 8th is so dangerous, please!”

 

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

 

Highways England uses robot to reduce roadworks

Highways England uses robot to reduce roadworks

Highways England has devised an ingenious and futuristic method of reducing roadworks: using a robot to do some of its jobs.

The organisation revealed it has been testing an autonomous device called the WJ Robotic PreMarker to provide support in painting new or resurfaced roads across the country.

 

Marking out lines to reduce human involvement

Equipped with state-of-the-art positioning technology, the device can mark out where white lines need to be painted, saving human workers a significant amount of time.

Indeed, Highways England says the WJ Robotic PreMarker was able to mark eight miles of the M6 in Staffordshire in just four hours, a task that would have taken two engineers more than a week.

Other successful trials have taken place in Warwickshire, Berkshire, Leicestershire and Manchester, with the robot now set to work on the £1.5 billion A14 Cambridge-to-Huntingdon improvement.

Not only could the device save hundreds of hours of workers’ time, but it could also offer other benefits in terms of safety.

For instance, 250 motorists a month illegally drive into roadworks, which can put lives in danger. If there are fewer human beings and more robots there, it is likely to significantly reduce the risk of loss of life.

There is also the potential to lessen the likelihood of back injuries that occur when workers repeatedly bend down to pre-mark roads by hand if robots are doing it for them.

Julian Lamb, a construction director on one of the roads where the WJ Robotic PreMarker has been used, said: “With safety our top priority, the time savings the robot can provide, coupled with removing our operatives from a potentially hazardous situation, make it a great solution.”

Highways England has also revealed it is completing a pilot project involving a self-driving dump truck to transport excavated soil to fill large areas.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “This is the type of innovation that could really make a difference to the everyday lives of drivers. It might sound like something out of Star Wars, but here’s hoping we could be used to robots on our roads in the not-too-distant future.”

 

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

 

How effective route management could help to streamline your fleets operations

How effective route management could help to streamline your fleet’s operations

Managing a fleet can be an expensive business. If drivers and their vehicles aren’t managed as efficiently as possible, productivity can suffer, operating margins may be reduced and customers might end up unhappy – which isn’t likely to result in repeat business.

When we talk to fleet owners, managing routes for maximum efficiency is always one of their biggest areas of concern.But how can efficiency be made to work at street level, particularly with roads now so busy and traffic unpredictable? One potential solution could come in the form of telematics and route management software.

 

What is route management software?

Fleet management tools make the most of sophisticated computers onboard each vehicle in a fleet to collect and transmit driver and vehicle data. Their managers can then access an online information portal connected to the software to glean access to reports and analytics.

The best examples provide real-time GPS tracking capabilities, advanced reporting features and a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model for frequent updates.

With real-time tracking, it’s possible to ensure drivers are using routes that minimise the distance travelled, the amount of fuel used and, ultimately, the time taken to do their jobs. As a result, this is a core benefit of telematics systems that companies will want to make use of.

 

The benefits of route management

Many fleets have reported significant improvements in their efficiency after implementing route management solutions. Indeed, previous research from ABI suggests profitability could increase to the tune of 12 per cent, while travel time may be slashed by 15 per cent with such technology in place.

So, how exactly does it work to deliver benefits? The answer is in a number of ways:

1- Mapping

Since route management software uses the most up-to-date GIS-based modelling data, it is able to perform high-density routing and analytics for any fleet.

This means it is capable of carrying out tasks such as working out why particular routes might have become slower lately – for instance, perhaps persistent roadworks are hindering travel times.

Importantly, the software can then make improvements and reroute drivers using a new set of maps. It can also assist with plotting times and locations for breaks, customer stops and refuelling to make sure drivers are on the road as much as possible.

This building of long-term schedules – yet with the additional ability to fine-tune on the go – could make a real difference to fleet owners keen to streamline their operations.

2- Driver behaviour

Everyone wants to think they have a responsible and safe team of drivers in place, but even the best set of individuals can make mistakes or poor calls from time to time.

With route management tools in place, fleet managers can perform tasks like monitoring vehicle speeds in relation to speed limits and checking locations of any potentially alarming circumstances.

This is likely to have the preventative effect of ensuring safer driving practices. Furthermore, should repeat instances of questionable behaviour occur, the manager can pull up individual drivers’ routes to reconstruct what happened and take them to task on it.

Another benefit of this is that it could mean less time performing dull debriefing sessions if drivers are consistently performing well – managers only need deliver them when necessary.

3- Flexibility

We’ve already talked about the ability to reroute fleets should unforeseen circumstances occur on the roads, but another advantage is that, from seeing the bigger picture, it’s also possible to spot where expansion can take place.

For example, should a potential new job come in while drivers are already on the road, managers can look at their real-time data to see if a member of staff is close enough to be able to complete it without deviating too much from their route.

If they are, that’s greater productivity without too much more effort – with a new level of insight, hundreds of new jobs could be added each year without having to calculate many more routes.

 

What to look for in good route management software

There are many route management tools out there, but not all are created equal. To ensure you get what you need for your business, seek out software that has as a minimum:

  • Tailored pricing
  • No integration charges
  • Affordability
  • Verifiable results

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “We have many years of experience working with the automotive industry and so we understand the issues for businesses of any size in managing a fleet day-to-day, particularly smaller organisations. Through using telematics in the ways detailed above, you could significantly improve safety, efficiency and reduce costs – and what’s not to like about that?”

 

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com

Final call for TDAP funding to-boost-emissions reduction innovation

Final call for TDAP funding to boost emissions reduction innovation

A final call has been made to businesses interested in developing the next generation of innovations in car design, with a focus on supporting new technologies to help reduce emissions.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) – a joint venture between the UK government and the automotive industry – is seeking entrants into its latest round of funding as part of the Technology Developer Accelerator Programme (TDAP).

 

Still time for innovators to take action

Applicants now have until January 15th 2020 to showcase their ideas for new systems, tools and technology that could receive an investment of up to £100,000 if they prove successful in their bid.

TDAP manager Josh Denne commented: “With just a few weeks left until the wave closes, we want to make sure innovators don’t miss out on their opportunity to get the support they need. If you’re an innovator with a great idea – there is still time for you to get in touch.”

Now in its fourth instalment (or wave), the scheme will operate in a phased format over 18 months and help technology developers to move their ideas from concept to fully-fledged products ready for launch.

It will support innovators in the refinement of their concepts and designs, as well as facilitating potential routes to market to ensure these innovative new technologies are made use of right across the automotive sector.

 

The power of investment for start-ups

One firm to have benefited greatly by its involvement in the TDAP to date is previous winning applicant FeTu.

The company took part in Wave One of the initiative and its plans to develop a novel ‘roticulating’ combustion engine saw the gift of thousands of pounds of investment, as well as expert guidance.

Due to complications around the initial project, however, a shift in focus was undertaken and the firm has now successfully created an innovative oil-free compressor instead.

Jon Fenton, managing director at FeTu, stated: “To a start-up organisation, operating in this sector, the TDAP process is custom-made.

“It has supported us through both technical development and securing our intellectual property, but also thanks to the APC’s endorsement of our technology it has opened the door to capital investment.”

Established in 2013, the APC successfully helped hundreds of businesses to thrive and develop their ideas. Moving forward, a commitment has been made by the government and its industry partners to provide a further £1 billion of investment into new products, technologies and innovations over the next ten years.

Jenny Smith, general manager for Tele-Gence, commented: “The UK automotive industry is always on the lookout for the next groundbreaking innovation that will help in the drive to develop cleaner, greener vehicles in the years ahead. As such, some fantastic new products have come out of the TDAP to date and more are expected in this latest wave of funding.”

 

Your business can benefit from affordable telematics with no hidden start-up fees or long-term commitments. Find out how at www.tele-gence.com