Driver safety, eco-driving, and reducing insurance claims are just some of the things that are important when it comes to a company’s route vehicles. But how can companies maintain and monitor every single driver and truck? Implementing the latest technology advances in telematics can help improve a driver’s safety, boost sustainable operations, and reduce insurance claims too.
Changes in the industry
With the ongoing emergence of cloud computing solutions and online data, industry experts believe the traditional approach for vehicle routing will soon become obsolete. This new Web-based approach makes it easy for companies to seamlessly and instantly stay connected to their data.
“Instead of licensing and locally deploying software, people in the vehicle routing space are much more [open] to cloud services,” says Ken Wood, senior vice president, product strategy, at Descartes.
“These technologies are coming together to form a new approach we like to call the ‘connected fleet,’” adds Tanya Roberts, SVP of marketing at GreenRoad. “With this new trend of the connected fleet, managers now have eyes in every vehicle, and on every driver.”
Integration of fleet management systems such as fuel consumption data, routing, and maintenance information is a current trend that customers are asking for. “Businesses today are looking for one company that is completely integrated with their current operations,” says Cyndi Brandt, vice president of marketing for Roadnet Technologies. This strategy helps a company to effortlessly keep track of all of their records.
According to Will Salter, president and CEO of Paragon, a developing trend in the routing industry is a shift toward centralized routing. “Routing trends are linked to what our customers want,” says Salter.
Some of the hottest products
In order to help drivers increase their safety habits, GreenRoad implemented a vehicle feedback device that is placed on the dashboard in the vehicle, with an easy to read color display. This unit displays three colors—green, yellow, and red—in order to tell the driver when his driving patterns are good or risky. One instance of risky behavior would be slamming on the brakes. Depending on the severity of the risky behavior either the yellow light will illuminate or the red light. This information is sent to the managers as a way to monitor each of the trucker’s driving patterns.
“Managers know instantly who’s a red driver and they can focus their attention on that individual instead of being spread so thin when not everybody needs their help or attention,” says Roberts. This service improves efficiency by increasing driver performance and reducing their crash rate “at least 50 percent,” she continues. The decrease in crash rates results in reduced insurance claims.
GreenRoad also offers a service called Idling Manager, which measures and tracks a truck’s idling threshold. A company can adjust the settings and configure the proper thresholds of how long a truck can idle before that information is logged. This service improves the drivers’ MPG (miles per gallon) and is a positive impact on the environment.
“Customers report back that their MPG improved by 10 percent with GreenRoad,” says Roberts.
Another popular piece of software is Paragon’s Resource Manager, which helps to manage a fleet’s transportation. The software helps a manager keep track of the company’s trucks and their drivers’ availability. Gaining access to this information assists with properly calculating driver shift patterns along with truck maintenance patterns, which increases workflow efficiency. Paragon’s Resource Manager can also keep track of an employee’s actual work hours.
Paragon’s route optimization software, Paragon Fleet Controller, is also a useful tool in the trucking industry. This software connects a GPS tracking device along with route scheduling software. It allows a customer and fleet manager to see where the drivers are located and the amount of time the driver will take to get to the destination.