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Telematics - Buzz word or reality?

The motoring industry has been inundated in recent years with technological advancements and innovations aimed at helping drivers, riders and fleet managers alike to get the best out of their vehicles, their journey and their staff. Telematics systems are without a doubt the most positive innovation in the last couple of years, with many professional drivers and companies installing these gadgets along with other prioritised forms of tech including satellite navigation and dash cams.

Unlike a lot of other motoring gadgets, telematics systems are far more than just a new form of technology that has a short-term impact before ending up stacked up in the back of a warehouse because the manufacturers can’t sell them.

Utilising some of the very latest innovations without actually proving to be overly expensive (compared to a lot of other forms of technology), telematics systems can help to provide a highly beneficial return on investment over time. Yes, there is the initial outlay associated with buying a new telematics system or installing them across a fleet, but their benefits are so wide ranging that they can save significant sums of money over time.

Who are telematics systems for?

While they are useful for everyday driving in terms of analysing your own driving style and performance, telematics systems are primarily designed for professional drivers and haulage companies. In a similar way to how satellite navigation systems direct you towards a destination, telematics feed data back to a central system that is usually located back at the depot for fleet managers to interpret, analyse and act upon.

The data can be looked at in a number of different ways. For instance, it can be used to identify areas where drivers could be performing better in terms of the harshness of their braking and their fuel efficiency. If the statistics show that drivers are accelerating quickly and then slamming on their brakes, it may be that the driver needs to be educated on a better way to control the vehicle as the regular acceleration, deceleration and gear changes can affect fuel economy which – of course – costs the company money.

Related to this, the telematics data can be used to generate tailored training programmes for drivers with some kind of incentive for them to improve. If drivers can see their own statistics now, and aim to reach a certain level within a timeframe, it encourages them to improve their overall driving and performance which benefits their own progression (and perhaps salaries) and the reputation of the business.

Are they beneficial and should we invest?

Above all else, telematics systems can benefit transport businesses in terms of their overall performance and driver health – and what better reasons are there to invest in these systems from a business perspective?

Data from vehicle trackers can be analysed, along with real-time traffic updates, to divert drivers around potential hold-ups so that they reach their destination on time – or even early – which is great for customers and the reputation of the business.

It can also be used to ensure that drivers are not exceeding their driving hours by working out when they are driving, how far they’ve driven and their capacity. In the past drivers have been overloaded with work leading to a drop in motivation and a decline in their overall health and fitness forcing many to leave the industry due to “burn out” and stress. The new data analysis can help to ensure that drivers are physically and mentally well, and enjoying their jobs again.

How do we get started?

The most common question we get asked is "how much does vehicle tracking cost?". Unfortunately there is no single or easy number to this question as the cost of telematics fleet systems depend on the number of vehicles tracked. The best way to find out how much vehicle tracking costs and also how much it could save you every week, is to speak to our team directly.

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