24 Feb 19

How Technology is making Fleet Safer

Safety is perhaps the single most important factor for any fleet manager and technology is driving new ways to improve safety for fleet drivers.

Telematics has been the backbone of fleet monitoring for some time and continues to provide the fleet manager with valuable insights. Australia’s Toyota Fleet Management (TFM), with over 110,000 vehicles under management, promote their ForceField telematics as a valuable addition to fleet management safety initiatives.

Telematics is Still the Key

Ed Stanistreet, TFM’s General Manager says that “Telematics and connected vehicles plays a major role in safety.” He explains that the wide variety of information available, including conditions such as speeding, harsh braking, major G-Force events and similar items, can’t just be provided as data. They need to be interpreted. “We take this data and analyse it to understand what the vehicle is telling us.” He says, “it gives TFM the ability to understand patterns and behaviours allowing for accurate recommendations on how to improve driver safety tailored for each client.”

Safety initiatives can often be split into proactive and reactive, with both aspects playing an important part in the overall safety culture of an organisation. Post fact reporting and accident investigations are good examples of reactive initiatives, but OviDrive’s Ron Sullivan says there are proactive options becoming available too.

Reactive and Proactive Solutions work together

Sullivan uses the example of tyres and acknowledges the difficulty in ensuring that a large fleet of vehicles is always fitted with the right tyre. He says that “tyre changeovers are often prompted at service or due to an event such as a puncture.” But that may see events where a vehicle is being driven on unsafe rubber.

“Predictive tyre replacement schedules prompt drivers to replace their tyres based on actual usage and consumption rates. We’re using AI to understand the patterns of wear within the lifecycle of a tyre, the impact of differing drivers, maintenance events, accidents and other data inputs on the rates of consumption.”

He notes too that this sort of safety initiative affects more than just the fleet driver as safer cars mean safer roads for all drivers.

Gamification and Making Safety Fun

Belgian based software provider Sofico has also taken some technology based initiatives to safety, using the new Miles.Next platform to integrate and aggregate data with connected car data to drive insights into the fleet usage. Sofico is even working toward “gamification” of safety, using concepts usually found in games (points scored, status levels, competition, etc) to encourage safer behaviour in fleets.

Technology continues to play a vital role in the delivery of next-generation fleet management, delivering connectivity and mobility initiatives. It can also ensure that your drivers are safer.

Article authored by Shane Curran