Imagine if commercial fleets were able to deploy a sophisticated driver behavior scoring solution without the cost barriers of buying and installing costly devices in the vehicle to capture that information.
Now imagine if these fleets were able to understand not only who their poor drivers are, but also who their best drivers are as well, with a simple score. And thereby being able to implement programs to assist the needed drivers and recognize and reward the optimal drivers.
Now also imagine being able to focus on improving driver performance in an effort to continually improve safety, reduce risk, and therefore reduce costs associated with accidents.
And finally, imagine being able to do it all from the driver’s Smart Phone and do it with superior accuracy.
Mobile App Reduces Telematics Barriers
Fleet managers already know driver safety equates to vehicle efficiency and driver productivity. Today, most well-implemented, proactive fleet safety programs are employed via a telematics device-based solution. Unfortunately, this traditional model is far from perfect. These systems require the production and distribution of a physical device, resulting in higher startup and hardware costs. This variety can be expensive for fleets to maintain, driving down the potential profits reaped from such a program. In addition to the cost of the OBD device, there are costs involved with transmitting and translating the data into meaningful intelligence. Now using superior technology applied to data collection via smartphones, the perfect tool to manage and understand your drivers and how they affect the wear and tear on your vehicles, and how each driver contributes to the overall accident risk for your fleet, is here. Unlike OBD device systems, smartphones or mobile telematics solutions are equipped to gather driving intelligence seamlessly without the need for driver interaction or additional equipment.
Today in U.S. only 30% of fleets have deployed telematics devices in their vehicles. Those devices are predominately installed in larger fleets. Most of the smaller fleets of 50 or less vehicles do not utilize telematics. A driver behavior scoring system must be very easy to deploy, manage and come at a very reasonable price point to achieve any adoption. The monthly cost will either be absorbed by the insurance company or by the fleet if there are value added telematics services associated with the application. Using the smartphone for collecting data removes the burden of device inventory management and replacement due to wear and tear. Safer drivers are more efficient and productive drivers.
With smart phones reducing telematics cost barriers, mobile telematics gives fleet managers insights at an affordable price making a powerful shift in the ability to implement a well-run vehicle telematics program for fleets of all sizes. As a fleet manager looking for a resource for ensuring safety, the ideal smart phone app would provide these following elements:
- Understand how the vehicles are driven – Insight to where the vehicles are driven; when they are driven; and how much wear and tear are they incurring. Overall benefits to fleets of safer driving—repair costs, community reputation, insurance cost, loss of use of vehicles/employees, workman’s comp claims from accidents, improvements in fuel efficiency, tire wear, brakes, etc.
- Understand which drivers are at a higher risk of getting into an accident – Every driver in the fleet would be scored accurately. The score would be broken down into multiple levels and then summarized as aggression, distraction and total score. A driver’s Aggression Score is an indicator of at-will behavior. A poor aggression score generally leads to significant wear and tear on the vehicle and higher gas consumption while also being correlated with driving risk, while a poor Distraction Score indicates a higher propensity of getting into an at fault accident. The distraction score indicates a propensity to need to aggressively correct the vehicle’s position/momentum based on the driving situation.
- Improve everybody in the fleet – By knowing the performance of every single driver and providing feedback for every single driver, the system will improve all drivers, even the best drivers, and achieve a safer fleet across the board. The ideal solution is not just looking for the worst drivers with the worst driving events, but scoring and ranking all drivers. With a properly managed system, and the ability to provide feedback for all drivers, the entire fleet will improve.
- A CLEAR DEFINITION OF THE DESIRED LEVEL OF SAFETY – To create movement towards a desired level of safety, the ideal smart phone app would provide a simple strategy to set goals and measure where you’re at.
- All Employees are Actively engaged in safety initiatives – Mobile telematics allows every employee to be actively engaged in safety, producing tangible results.
- a Standardized driver score normalizedand weighted – All drivers, despite differences in driving responsibilities, types of vehicle, speeds driven, etc., must ultimately yield a standardized and comparable score. Just like you can trust a credit score of 750 to mean the same thing to different mortgage lenders, the ideal app world could use that same concept of uniformity to rank drivers and assess risk exposure based on a uniform scoring system.
- Negotiate a better insurance rate – By having defendable numbers and the improvement over time, the fleet may be able to take these numbers to their insurance carrier and negotiate a better rate. For the self insured, financial benefits of accident loss improvements accrue directly to the bottom line.
Once these elements are known, the fleet is able to actively manage and improve the driver behavior and hence improve the safety of their entire fleet. This can be achieved through driver specific coaching right on the smart phone that addresses the exact deficiencies that a particular driver has. Because the ideal system would have such detailed knowledge, the system can generate recommended coaching elements in a targeted manner that applies to a particular driver, and not wasting time with coaching material that is not relevant. With the ability to know which drivers need improvement, and corrective training, a very simple reward-based system for good and improved driving can be implemented.
Staying Ahead Of Safety
Fleet safety begins with safety managers and fleet owners recognizing the tremendous impact that vehicle accidents have on workplace safety, their reputation and their bottom line. A mobile telematics solution should provide all drivers with effective feedback and coaching, allowing employers to take the necessary steps to retain good drivers. Creating positive incentives motivates even the best of drivers. Even drivers with impeccable records need feedback and coaching on an ongoing basis. The ability to recognize and reward good behavior will motivate continued safety performance.