Telematics: the new oil rush

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Big data will fuel the future of fleet.

Big data will be the “oil of the 21st century”, transforming businesses and revolutionising fleet management control, according to a leading futurologist.

Dr James Bellini warned delegates at the Future of LCV Fleets conference in Birmingham, UK, that “any organisation that ignores big data does so at its peril.”

Capitalising on the risk management opportunities presented by telematics data, HDI Global, the German insurer, insists its UK fleet clients install telemetry before it will underwrite a policy.

“Managing a fleet is not about managing vehicles but about managing drivers,” said Michael Gwilt, fleet risk manager, HDI Global.

Telematics data helps the fleet and insurer understand driver attitudes and how vehicles are being driven, he added, citing the example of how a driver who flouts a fleet policy about engine idling might represent a higher risk.

“We measure idling to spot patterns and see whether drivers obey the rules or think the rules only apply to others,” said Gwilt. Drivers with this type of mindset might have similar attitudes to phone use behind the wheel or exceeding the speed limit.

The application of telematics also goes well beyond safety programmes, said George de Boer, international alliance manager, TomTom Telematics. He suggested the mobility manager of the future will be able to use this data in numerous ways, including, for example, to ascertain the most appropriate powertrain for business needs, identifying vehicles that could potentially be electric due to their limited urban mileage, and those vehicles best served by diesel due to their high mileage.

Worldwide textile hygiene safety company, Berendsen, has recently installed a telematics system across 200 vans and 480 HGVs in a bid to drive down TCOs, improve fleet safety and enhance its environmental performance. Key to the project was collating data from telematics and leasing suppliers into a single, actionable screen, that would highlight exceptions, said Robert Hitchcock, group procurement category manager.

Berendsen selected a TomTom telematics system and then employed the firm Telematics Data Services to generate reports on the data. When the system triggers notification of an incident of harsh braking or acceleration, the data and accompanying video film are used by managers to investigate the event and debrief drivers. Within 18 weeks the fleet has achieved not only a remarkable improvement in its fuel economy,  but also seen the number of ‘driving events’ decline.

"It’s increasing the safety of our fleet, saving us money, and reducing wear and tear on tyres and brakes,” said Robert Hitchcock.

Picture: TomTom Telematics

Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 12:00Jonathan ManningLCV ManagementEurope