21 Jan 21

Telematics help address driver behaviour issues in APAC

1 in 5 vehicles is involved in an accident every year and in 94%, driver error is the cause. Safer vehicles can help, but taking on driver behaviour is even more important, said several speakers at the 2021 Global Fleet Summit APAC.

“Safer vehicles alone don’t address the issue of driver behaviour,” said Paul Elliott of the Innovation Group. To the contrary, safer vehicles can even encourage bad behaviour by making the driver lazy and by allowing him to rely on the vehicle’s safety features.

Business culture can also be at the root of accidents. Putting extreme time pressure on drivers can be a direct cause of more risks and therefore accidents.

On average, the cost of an accident is six times higher than the cost of repairs to the vehicle, and that’s no different in APAC. Additional costs incurred by the company include lost sales because the employee missed meetings, additional wear & tear, a drop in residual values and more.

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” is something Geotab CEO Neil Cawse often says. In the case of driver behaviour, that means you need tools to measure how drivers perform behind the wheel.

David Brown, Channel Manager South East Asia Sales at Geotab, gave an overview of how Geotab can help companies do that. A small Geotab device can be plugged into a vehicle to extract data and send it to the Geotab platform, opening up insights about vehicle data like oil temperature and battery status but also revealing important facts about the drivers and the other occupants. It can, for instance, reveal who’s wearing a seatbelt.

No two fleets are the same and that is particularly true in the Asia Pacific region, where differences between markets can be enormous. That’s why Geotab’s platform can be modified to suit your needs. You may want to track idle time, for instance, but the threshold for idle time to be an issue may be 30 minutes in one market and only 5 in another.

Another way Geotab lets you build your own platform is by integrating third-party hardware and software solutions, much like you can download apps for your iPhone in the App Store. In this Marketplace, you will find various tools, for instance to monitor in-vehicle temperature in case you’re delivering food items.

Geotab can also analyse data and produce a report to indicate which vehicles in your fleet can be replaced by electrified vehicles without making a loss. As a vehicle’s TCO is determined by many local factors, and even more so for an EV, this is done on a per-country basis.

Road safety and driver behaviour can be challenging in APAC. The investment in connectivity and telematics will most definitely pay for itself.

Image copyright: Geotab

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck