Telematics Guide

Telematics Guide

Are you looking to manage your fleet more effectively? Fleet telematics could be the key to making savings on your running costs while also enjoying advantages in terms of mileage and time management; safety and security; fuel and emissions.

Here we take a look at fleet telematics in more detail, including telematics systems and telematics insurance.

What is fleet telematics?

Fleet telematics is meant to address the fact that fleet vehicles generally run up their highest costs when on the road: and yet this is the time when fleet managers have little or no control on how they are run.

With telematics systems, a fleet manager can gain vital information about how their vehicles are run and, according to the Energy Saving Trust, some reported results include: a 40-vehicle fleet saving around £400 a month on fuel costs; a company enjoying a 30 per cent increase in staff productivity; and another recording a 60 per cent reduction in speeding and a 20 per cent fall in accidents.

How can fleet telematics benefit your business?

Broadly, there are four ways in which fleet telematics can benefit your business. These are:

- Mileage and time management: Telematics systems can provide fleet managers with information about how and when their vehicles are being driven. This can help ensure that vehicles are serviced at the optimum times; can help identify a vehicle’s location so it can be sent to the nearest appropriate job; can be used to monitor journey patterns to discover the most efficient route; and can help automate time-sheets and other paperwork to cut back on administration costs.

- Fuel and emissions: By using fleet telematics systems wisely, your fleet should be able to reduce its fuel costs and therefore cut its impact on the environment. For example, a telematics system may identify the fuel costs of drivers taking similar journeys and point to best practices: such as a more economical driving style; reducing time spent idling; and so on.

- Safety and security: You could potentially improve safety and security; while also reducing vehicle crime with a telematics system. For example, some systems will identify inappropriate driving: such as speeding or harsh braking and acceleration. Others can raise an alarm about inappropriate vehicle movements, such as if a fleet vehicle were hijacked; and personal safety can also be boosted as some systems come with panic buttons.

- Financial benefits: Perhaps the biggest attraction of telematics systems is their financial benefits. According to figures from the Energy Saving Trust, telematics systems can help reduce operating costs by around 10 per cent thanks to better scheduling, reduced fuel use, higher productivity and smarter vehicle utilisation.

Are there examples of successful fleet telematics systems?

There are actually a host of successful examples of telematics systems being used by fleets.

For example, in 2009, the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust reported that a tracking device played a huge role in helping to reduce its annual mileage by approximately 220,000miles. Telematics systems have also delivered savings for the Royal Mail: with a report of 8,000 Royal Mail vehicles being fitted with fleet telematics helping to reduce its fuel usage by more than 10 per cent and saving the company approximately £4.4million.

What about telematics insurance?

You may have heard of telematics car insurance, which is growing in popularity in the UK. According to Allied Business Intelligence, around 44million Europeans are expected to have insurance telematics systems in their cars by 2017.

Also known as “black box” car insurance, it records speed patterns as well as the types of roads you use and the distances travelled. Insurers can then use this information to calculate your insurance premiums appropriately. So if, for example, you do not travel during peak hours when accidents are statistically more likely to occur, then you may benefit from car insurance savings. In addition, it should encourage more considerate driving which could help to drive down car insurance premiums for all road users by reducing the volume of accidents.


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