In 2019 there were 353 New Zealanders killed on the road and thousands more hospitalised in vehicle incidents. Road safety is a major issue and technology is one way that road safety can be addressed. Telematics provides insights into the day-to-day operation of vehicles and equipment, playing a central role in both reactive and educative safety measures.
Every year, new technologies such as fatigue monitoring cameras or business intelligence are emerging to complement telematics and make a significant contribution to increased road safety.
Here are five technologies which are having a positive impact on increasing fleet safety.
- Driver scorecards
Scorecards evaluate and rank driver performance across a range of metrics, such as harsh braking and harsh cornering, drawing on data recorded by GPS-based telematics systems. Driver scorecards can be used to monitor risky behaviours and reward those drivers who either consistently meet high safety standards or make significant improvements in this area. Scorecards can also be used to form the basis of driver league tables and associated incentives to encourage road safety. In many businesses, driver scorecards have become an important tool in monitoring changes in driver performance, and in improving overall fleet safety.
- Electronic logbooks
Commercial drivers are restricted on the hours they can work, and fleet operators are legally required to ensure that the relevant working hour regulations are adhered to. Fleets that fail to ensure adequate compliance could be subject to severe penalties. An electronic logbook is an easy-to-use application which helps drivers to track and manage their work hours and rest time. Details such as location and time are automatically recorded, giving the ability to drivers to easily manage their work and rest hours. Electronic logbooks simplify compliance, significantly reducing the risk of any breaches.
- Predictive and preventative maintenance
Ensuring regular and adequate vehicle maintenance is a core responsibility for fleet operators. Managing the maintenance of all vehicles and equipment is now easier than before thanks to automated vehicle monitoring systems, which provide managers with alerts when maintenance is due, based on engine hours, time or distance travelled.
Fleet maintenance is a key health and safety issue, and as part of employers’ duty of care of their workforce, they need to ensure that vehicles and equipment are properly maintained. Preventative and predictive maintenance help to reduce the risk of unscheduled downtime, and prevent unexpected and additional costs.
- Prevention of distracted driving
Distractions are a major safety risk when driving, and those who regularly drive long distances for work are likely to be particularly susceptible to it. Driver distraction is also a massive risk to businesses, and more fleets are taking proactive steps to prevent it, rolling out driver scorecards and dash cams are among those steps.
- Forward and driver facing cameras with telematics integration
Cameras are growing in popularity within the fleet industry and have obvious advantages in providing protection against fraudulent insurance claims, and exonerating drivers in collisions with other vehicles. Driver facing cameras in particular can identify fatigue as it sets in, by monitoring driver eye-movement and correspondingly sounding an alert in cab to ensure the driver doesn’t fall asleep at the wheel. The ability to replay incidents with both front and driver facing cameras, gives further insights into driver behaviour, in effect bringing data to life and serving as a powerful training tool.
The rate at which new technologies within telematics are emerging shows no signs of slowing – and telematics technology will continue to shape fleet management in the years to come.