ELD Fleet Mandate: What’s It All About?

Trucks line up for ELD fleet mandate

At the close of 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) deadline came due for implementing certain changes to trucking industry standards and practices announced in 2015. The Electronic Logging Device or ELD Fleet Mandate affects hundreds of thousands of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) owners and operators across the United States, Canada and Mexico. The ELD fleet mandate is mentioned in section 32301 of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act, and calls for the Secretary of Transportation to adopt regulations requiring electronic logging devices be used in CMVs involved in interstate commerce when operated by drivers who are required to keep records of duty status (RODS). These RODS not only capture the hours worked by the operator, but whatever else the fleet management requires for recordkeeping purposes such as company name, truck or tractor/trailer number, location and hours on-duty but not driving, location and hours driving, hours and location of sleeping while on the road (sleeper berth), etc.

What exactly does all of that mean to the trucking industry and why is this happening? These, as well as many other questions, have arisen from the ELD fleet mandate that affect motor carrier safety enforcement and compliance.

The ELD fleet mandate and loss of sleep

two semis collide, leading to ELD fleet mandate

First, let’s take a look at how this ELD fleet mandate situation got started: sleep deprivation. It has long been known that lack of sleep leads to fatigue, which causes diminished cognitive ability, stress and irritability. Studies from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) to the National Sleep Foundation and beyond all show the effects on our body’s vital signs varying from minor distractedness and drowsiness to death. Arianna Huffington has written a book on the need for sleep and has turned her attention to supporting rest related programs, and actor Jeff Bridges has added ”sleep guru” to his list of talents.

Getting appropriate rest plays heavily in the ELD fleet mandate. It is shown that those who drive for a living are among the most at risk group for sleep related issues and, consequently, road accidents due to the lack thereof. Operators of passenger and property-carrying automobiles over long distances tend to work far beyond the usual 8-hour a day/40-hour a week schedule with very fast turnarounds. These commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers have what are called hours-of-service (HOS) parameters. This means there are specific numbers of HOS that CMVs can operate within a set period of time before they are required to rest before getting back behind the wheel. Freight and passengers, however, are commerce and that means there’s a need to deliver both to their destinations in a timely manner in order to ensure payment. Happy customers make a business, unhappy customers destroy one. The process of recording duty status by logging on-duty hours has, in the past, been easily manipulated. This happens when CMV operators don’t even realize they’ve gone past their HOS or fleet managers push the truck drivers to fudge the information to ensure delivery schedules are met. This, then, leads to working far longer on much less sleep than is legally allowed and healthy, which, in turn, causes accidents.

ELD fleet mandate supporting stats

Graph outlining the number of hours driven and incidents of crashes involving truck drivers

Paper logs and ledgers were the only forms of tracking available to motor carriers for generations. With the advent of digital tools and the use of telematics, electronic logging via automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) was added. These electronic logs capture the activity of truck drivers far more effectively than paper, but can also be revised. ELD’s, however, track even more than the AOBRD and monitor driving as closely as the FMCSA requires. These electronic logs are now mandatory in all long-haul CMVs. While the ELD fleet mandate and the digital monitoring may be new, keeping a record of duty status and HOS requirements are almost as old as the industry that regulates trucking.

The rules of the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC)

1930s truck before the ELD fleet mandate

Photo by Anna Salova (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

The Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) was founded in February of 1887 to first oversee the railways and, ultimately, trucking and all CMVs. A half-a-century later, the commissioners established the HOS in response to public concerns about the safety of commercial operators on the road. Back then, truck drivers could work 12 hours in a 15-hour period. The term “work” covered everything from the driving of the vehicle to the handling of freight and all of the logistics that go into that — loading and unloading, vehicle service, etc. That 12 in 15 hours allowed for 3 hours of meals and rest breaks, all followed by 9 hours of rest before going back on-duty. For non-daily drivers, 60 hours of work over 7 days was allowed, 70 hours over 8 days for daily drivers. This has changed over the years and the ICC was abolished in 1996 with its duties now taken over by FMCSA, but a significant revision to the rules was the 34-hour restart. This means that those 60 or 70 hours can be reset to zero as long as those blocks are followed by 34-hours of uninterrupted, off-duty rest. The full rules deal with a variety of HOS regulations all meant to combat the excessive cumulative fatigue these drivers experience.

This is why the ELD fleet mandate has been initiated. As a rule, all CMV operators carry some type of ledger on-board to track their on- and off-duty hours. In the early days, it was a paper logbook — then it became the AOBRD that handles electronic logging. As mentioned, this device is considered easily manipulated in response to the needs of whatever the job is. Delivery means money and when these drivers aren’t working, neither they nor the motor carriers aren’t getting paid, because freight and/or passengers aren’t being moved. Truckers are compensated in a variety of ways — based on mileage, hourly, percentage of the freight, and variations on within all of those categories. It is to both the driver and the motor carrier’s financial benefit to rework the system outwardly so as not to be penalized for non-compliance within the context of their duty status while still pushing to drive longer hours and carry heavier freight to get property and passengers where they need to be on time.

sample of ELD for fleet mandate

AssetWorks ELD for mandate compliance, Photo By Thefleetbeat (Own Work), via Wikimedia Commons

The ELD is a more accurate and uncrackable technology that gathers a broader range of information than the AOBRD. The FMCSA has required it in order to keep the CMV’s adhering to the appropriate HOS and will penalize those who do not. Several companies have prepared products to help trucking companies and drivers adhere to the ELD mandate more efficiently and the FMCSA has prepared a list of approved suppliers and equipment.

One solution that makes charging and data collection seamless for digital devices now being touted for ELD is the IntelliSkin®, a patented case with an integrated connector molded right into its frame. The IntelliSkin® is compatible with GDS® docking stations — self-contained charging and data collector/transfer components that use the patent-pending GDS® technology to allow users to charge and manage their data directly between their device and the dock through the IntelliSkin®. These docks can be placed on a CMV operator’s dash, connect to the automobile’s engine to collect data and charge. All the driver has to do is slip his or her ELD into the appropriate IntelliSkin® sleeve, connect the port of the device to the one in the case, then place it into the GDS® dock to begin receiving/sending and charging.

As a way to better understand what all of this means, here are just a few questions that many may have about the mandate, how it affects carrier safety ratings, and more.

What are HOS (hours of service)?

Hours of service (HOS) are the working hours spent by those CMV operators — this includes the hours spent driving, loading, unloading, etc.

What operators are affected by the ELD Fleet Mandate?

All long-haul commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating in the continental United States are affected by the ELD Fleet Mandate. This includes drivers entering the U.S. from our two bordering countries — Canada and Mexico.

CMVs are basically any vehicle used to conduct business and fall into any one of the following categories (per the FMCSA website):

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combined weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

When did the mandate go into effect?

By December 18, 2017, all long-haul CMVs are required to have an ELD on their vehicle. However, if CMVs already have an AOBRD, this can be “grandfathered” in and used until December 2019. While all other drivers will be fined to varying degrees if they do not have ELDs or the devices are not shown to be compliant, they will be given a grace period until April 2018 to get everything in order.

What is the difference between the automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD) many drivers already have and the ELD?

Automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) track much of the same information the ELD monitors, but it’s more basic and allows for certain types of edits without readily displaying the history of the revision. ELDs are virtually uncrackable, display all info for DoT inspectors to see, do not allow for automatically captured information to be edited only annotated, are more accurate and capture more detailed information on HOS.

What happens to paper logs?

Paper logbooks still need to be kept in CMVs just in case the ELD breaks down. Should that happen, drivers will need to record the HOS manually and get a new device within 8 days. If they are discovered to be out of compliance by a DoT inspector, the operator will be fined.

What does this mean for independent owner operators?

In December 2015, almost as soon as the ELD fleet mandate was announced, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a legal petition opposing the mandate. It was denied. The concern from OOIDA is the loss of privacy for its driver members and that the new rule doesn’t really create a safer driving environment. Regardless, the mandate is now law and fleet managers are required to ensure all of the operators in their employ adhere to this rule — something the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association continues to fight. If owner-operators are contracted to a motor carrier, they will most likely need to install the devices fleet management favors. If they are working independently they will have to use those that are on the FMCSA’s list of certified ELD’s.

What’s the penalty for non-compliance?

truck stopped on road ELD fleet mandate

The fines for ELD non-compliance range and can be rather steep. Per J. J. Kelly & Associates, a well-known provider of safety and compliance equipment and tools for agencies and companies focused on Transportation, Workplace Safety and Human Resources, penalties can be levied in the following ways:

  • An out-of-service or shut down penalty can be handed down on the road by a law enforcement officer, which means the driver will not be able to operate the CMV until he or she has accrued enough off-duty time to be back in compliance
  • Local law enforcement can assess its own fines and penalties
  • Driver and carrier scores that are recorded in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement program may be lowered, leading to additional penalties and enforcement
  • Civil penalties ranging from $1,000 to $11,000 per violation can be imposed upon a driver or motor carrier by the FMCSA, depending on the severity of the non-compliance
  • Chronic non-compliance can lead to a carrier’s safety rating being downgraded
  • Carriers who “knowingly and willingly allow or require hours-of-service violations” can find themselves facing criminal charges. This last comes under “harassment” and is heavily enforced by the FMCSA.

As a note to penalties, for all those operators who had AOBRDs on their vehicles before the December 18, 2017 deadline, they have until December 2019 to shift to an ELD. In addition, out-of-service fines will not necessarily be imposed upon those who are found to be out of compliance until after April 2018. Smartphones and tablets can be used to collect the data from ELD’s and AOBRD’s as long as they adhere to the technical requirements as set down for ELD’s by the FMCSA.

Informing and enforcing

This new mandate has as many detractors as it does proponents. There is concern from those opposing the ruling that the training on the electronic logging devices isn’t clear and that the companies the FMCSA has designated as providers are self-certifying the devices they are providing as opposed to an objective oversight group. In addition, those motor carriers and drivers who are against the mandate don’t believe this will do anything to help with safety and feel it will unduly burden both fleet management and operators financially — being taken out of service will cause customer dissatisfaction and loss of wages.

The groups supporting the ELD fleet mandate see it as a chance to lower motor carrier harassment and abuse of CMV operators — there have been issues with fleet managers pushing truck drivers to work beyond their comfort level. These advocates for the new ruling believe it will make the roads safer by affording operators to get more actual rest, thereby sharpening their cognitive awareness and ability to appropriately react to any situation on the road. Conversely, by providing more ways to gain the rest needed to operate effectively, those in favor of the mandate see this as a way to ensure more timely and efficient delivery of goods and passengers.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is well aware this is causing confusion and displeasure for some, but the department also sees this as a smart move forward for the commercial transportation industry. It has prepared a site to address a broad range of questions about the ELD fleet mandate on its website. Protecting the drivers, fleet management, motor carriers, customers and the public is the goal with this new ruling. It is worth watching how it progresses to see how more stringent electronic logging will change the CMV industry as a whole, and whether this will move the needle in the right direction in regards to accidents, safety and more in the months and even years to come.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Telematics: The Bridge to Your Connected Car

Telematics enables screen in carFrom automatic crash notification (ACN) to fleet management, Telematics is the “connection” that makes the connected car a wireless marvel of the automotive world.

Telematics is a hot topic these days. With the current focus on self-driving vehicles, connected cars, cyber security, and especially, rising levels of traffic fatalities, the communication network that makes it possible for your automobile to move and react on its own is rapidly innovating. Telematic solutions are more readily available for all vehicles and even mandated as standard in some countries. The technology’s origin is oddly similar to that of the Jeep, and its integration into day-to-day life has been as seamless as that ubiquitous, stalwart vehicle.  But what exactly is telematics?

The term “telematics” is a translation of “telematique.” This was coined by two French scientists in a 1978 report to the French government on the computerization of society. They combined “telecommunications” with “informatique.” Per the Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as “the branch of information technology which deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.” And this brings us to its origins.

U.S. armed forces initiative goes globally civilian

The United States Navy began experimenting with satellite navigation to track its nuclear submarines in the early 1960s. By using the “Doppler Effect”–shifts in the satellite’s radio signal–captains could accurately find a sub’s location in minutes. The Department of Defense (DoD) then took what naval scientists had learned and launched its first Navigation System with Timing and Ranging (NAVSTAR) satellite in 1978. By 1993, it included 24 satellites and became the Global Positioning System (GPS).

Today, GPS is owned by the U.S. Government and run by the United States Air Force (USAF). It operates on two different levels to accommodate the separation between military/government use and worldwide access: Precise Positioning Service (PPS) and Standard Positioning Service (SPS). PPS is accessible to U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. Federal agencies, and selected allied armed forces and governments. SPS is globally available to any and everyone free of charge.

A global collaboration

While GPS was being created in the United States, the European Parliament was seeking systems to achieve better road safety. They established a resolution in 1984 to investigate solutions, inviting the European Commission–a body representing the interests of all European countries as a whole–to suggest appropriate research. Studies began around current and future innovations in telecommunications and informatics to discover what, if any, possible application there may be. One of these was the GPS. Over the next several years, telematics evolved as a way to improve the following: road and vehicle safety, environmental impact, and transportation efficiency.

The European telematics solutions expanded upon the U.S. based GPS technology to create something wholly unique–a vehicle tracking and support system beyond turn-by-turn navigation. It took the information gathered via satellite and interfaced with the electronic control unit (ECU) in a car. This made it possible for the system to digitally sense not only where automobiles traveled, but how they behaved and the different situations they may encounter.

The first car company to propose driver assistance technology for its customers was General Motors (GM) and it wasn’t OnStar.

A 30 year-old vision realized 20 years ago

some auto brands with OEM telematics

OnStar was unveiled at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show and first offered to customers in the production models of 1997 Cadillacs. The system was the first time vehicle embedded telematics was broadly available on the market, but it wasn’t the first time GM pursued driver assistance technology.

Driver Aid, Information and Routing (DAIR) is a system that GM engineers designed in 1966 that was then installed in two prototype vehicles and used punch cards to aid with turn-by-turn navigation. The gaps on the cards represented the basic directions needed on a specific route. This made it possible to drive to a pre-chosen destination without a map. But DAIR didn’t stop there. It also proposed restructuring America’s roadways by burying magnetic sensors beneath the pavement. These sensors would receive communications on highway conditions and accident reports from relay stations set-up all over the country. This information would be sent to drivers via a Visual Sign Minder–a basic heads-up display–mounted on their dashboard. It was recommended as a response to the rapid highway expansion of the era.

Per the DAIR brief, “Today’s complex roadways, increased vehicle speeds and heavy traffic intensify the driver’s need for frequent directions and information. DAIR meets this need for increased safety and driving enjoyment with a simple, low-cost communications system.” Because of the extensive infrastructure overhaul that was required to bring the idea to life, however, DAIR never got beyond prototype. GM kept working and activated its 1960s vision 30 years later with OnStar.

Telematics OEMs and stand-alones

where OEM telematics are installed

The initial OnStar was a classic case of telematics original equipment manufacturer (OEM) implementation. An OEM is usually defined as parts from one manufacturer used to create an overall product sold by another. In the case of transportation it reflects vehicles coming off the factory floor with the automaker’s proprietary technology already installed. Per The Global Automotive OEM Telematics Market, a study conducted by Berg Insight, the number of OEM embedded systems will hit 159 million globally by 2020.

The reason for this push is primarily safety and many of the rooted systems will be rudimentary “first responder” based, such as the ACN telematics of Europe’s eCall and Russia’s ERA-GLONASS. By 2018, all cars in those two regions are mandated to come off the assembly line equipped with a telematic system built to react to accidents in two ways. The first is by automatically sending a signal to E112–Europe’s 911–when a connected car is involved in a crash. The second is by a motorist pushing a button on the telematics enabled dashboard to alert E112 of a collision or incident they’ve just witnessed. It’s a way of ensuring all drivers are protected–whether they have telematics or not.

 

In 2012, GM decided to make OnStar’s basic features available to everyone and created OnStar FMV (For My Vehicle). This dongle-based solution joined other systems– such as Verizon’s hum–that work through a car’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) portal. These standalones allow you to plug the telematic device into your OBD port and upload software into your car’s ECU to gain such benefits as navigation, hands-free calling and automatic crash notification (ACN). What it doesn’t give you that OEMs provide are more advanced features like unlocking your car via satellite.

The new world of usage-based insurance (UBI)

This telematic solution is also the brain behind usage-based insurance (UBI). UBI means exactly what the acronym stands for–usage-based insurance policies and premiums. Instead of crafting policies and charging motorists through statistics and analytics, UBI calculates based on how someone actually operates his or her car. Because the device is plugged into the car’s OBD, it gathers and sends driver behavior data back to insurance carriers. This has made it possible for policy flexibility and leads to charging more accurate rates and lowering costs for drivers who are at less risk.

Mobile telematics data gathering

The future of telematics has to do with mobile data gathering. Your smartphone is now able to collect the same information that was only available via OEM or dongles. Verizon’s hum is an example of a three-way system–speaker, OBD reader and cell phone. The speaker works like OnStar, which allows you to contact live emergency services with the touch of a button.

Drivewell from Cambridge Mobile Telematics, on the other hand, is testing mobile telematics technology that tracks your driving behavior with or without a “wireless tag device.” The optional  attachment fits on your windshield and sends the telematics data captured by your smartphone to either the company for diagnostic purposes or to your insurance carrier. The company has also added a unique gaming aspect to their telematic service by creating safe driving competitions and incorporating leaderboards. A recent trial in South Africa–where the traffic fatality rate is among the highest in the world–showed a 30 percent increase in better driving due to the play factor. It’s one of many data gathering software options showing more expansive ways the technology can be used in the non-commercial space. But telematics has long been an invaluable tool in commercial fleet use.

Fleet vehicle tracking with telematics

fleet of trucksVehicle telematics play an essential role for fleet management. The systems keep costs down, productivity up and drive the overall efficiency of commercial transportation by tracking vehicle movement, its status–does it need gas? Is it time for maintenance?–driver behavior and more. By attaching a telematic unit to each truck that wirelessly connects to a central hub in the fleet’s business office, managers can track the vehicle’s location, manage performance and monitor conditions for driver safety and protection. Incorporating the technology in the commercial vehicle industry has modernized it and made it a more efficient business.

These telematic devices are excellent commercial partners and have also been embraced by the U.S. government to help it manage the vast fleet of the General Services Administration (GSA).

Example of connecting cars to government with GSA

The GSA offers workspace to over 1 million federal employees, manages the preservation of 480+ historic buildings and handles the purchase and distribution of goods and services used by the federal government. Part of this agency includes GSA Fleet, which has been providing motor vehicles to 75+ participating agencies since 1954.

As of 2016, all GSA Fleet vehicles available for purchase have OEM telematics while lessees can choose installing a non-OEM telematic device. To better streamline this technology, GSA shifted from working with two different providers and awarded AT&T Mobility the Blanket Purchase Agreement (BPA). AT&T’s two-tiered solution–simple GPS vehicle tracking and full diagnostics–enables the federal government to keep tabs and maintain their spread out automobile inventory more efficiently and consistently.

Flexible and expansive path to safer, more efficient driving

Telematics are capable of everything from sending information back to auto insurance carriers to affect your premiums to automatically alerting emergency services when you’re in need of roadside assistance. What began, basically, as the GPS has grown to include such things as infotainment, hands-free calling and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. Companies all over the globe are embracing the technology in strategic and actionable ways.

In June, Visiongain released a report on the Top 20 OEM and Non-OEM connected car companies entitled Top 20 Connected Car Companies 2016: Leading Suppliers of Automotive In Vehicle Telematics By Service Provider Featuring Technologies For Safety, Security, Infotainment, Remote Diagnostics & Vehicle to Everything Communications. The 181-page report outlines the different strategies, strengths and futures of each company. Per the report, the companies to watch in both categories are as follows:

Top 10 Telematics OEMS

BMW AG

Daimler AG

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA)

Ford Motor Company

General Motors

Honda Motor Company

Tesla

Toyota Motor Corporation

Volkswagen Group

Volvo

Top 10 Telematics Non-OEMs

Apple Inc.

AT&T Inc.

Broadcom Corporation

Google Inc. (Android)

Qualcomm Inc.

Samsung

Sierra Wireless

Tech Mahindra Ltd.

Verizon Telematics

Visteon Corporation

Outlook for the future

As automobiles become more autonomous, the technology that enables their interaction with infrastructure and each other will continue to innovate. Moving forward, more governments will continue flexing auto legislation muscles to ensure vehicles driving on their country’s roads are the safest and most efficient–for the environment, motorists, pedestrians, cyclists and economy. This means expanding, innovating and pushing telematics even further as cars become smarter. It is the bridge that puts a zero fatality, eco-friendly future within our grasp.

 

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Telematics: An Efficiency Boost for Fleet Tracking Systems

Fleet management just got a bit easier thanks to technological advances in fleet tracking systems. These advances come courtesy of an interdisciplinary IT field known as telematics.

Telematics represents the marriage of two technologies: telecommunications and informatics. In simplest terms, it involves the combined use of mobile devices, satellite technology and the internet to track, compile and analyze data about remote objects such as vehicles.

Telematics and fleet tracking systems

Fleet tracking systems integrate a special type of management software that includes GPS (Global Positioning System) technology. The typical system consists of three components:

  • a vehicle-fitted tracking device
  • a server where tracking data is stored
  • a user interface that displays data

Fleet managers can then conveniently view the collective data and take any corrective action necessary to rectify problems.

Types of interface data

The GPS component of the system gives managers instant data about each vehicle’s whereabouts. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Telematics fleet management systems monitor much more:

  • Fuel consumption. Fleet managers can track things like idling times in order to plan more efficient routes that reduce overall mileage and conserve fuel expenditures.
  • Vehicle conditions. Diagnostic data about tire pressure, battery status and engine temperature are conveyed in real time, resulting in greater efficiency on the road, reduced costs and higher resale values.
  • Delivery schedules. Up-to-the-minute information about driver status allows managers to predict the timeliness of deliveries. If a driver is going to be late, for example, the manager may have time to reroute a different truck to the delivery site, resulting in a happier customer.
  • Risky driver behaviors. Managers can detect and correct problematic speeding, aggressive braking, harsh cornering and more. Some insurance companies even grant premium reductions to companies that monitor this data through telematics.
  • Unauthorized vehicle use. Managers who rely on employee-generated time cards get a clearer picture of vehicle start and stop times. Those who don’t deal with time cards also benefit from information about off-hour use.

Managers access data about their fleets either via a mobile app or the cloud. Some fleet tracking software is mainly used for the collection of information in real time; others store it passively for future retrieval. While passive storage typically costs less, real-time information dashboards provide managers with up-to-the-minute telematics data about what’s happening in their business.

Fleet tracking system benefits

One of the most significant benefits of fleet vehicle telematics is a psychological one: when employees know they’re being monitored, they gravitate toward better behavior.

For example, a 2013 study by Andrew McAfee of MIT, Daniel Snow of Brigham Young University and Lamar Pierce of Washington University showed that restaurant profits grew by up to seven percent after the installation of employee-monitoring software.

Pierce stated things succinctly: “The same people who are stealing from you can be set up to succeed.”

And so it is with the use of fleet vehicle telematics. But increased driver accountability is not the only perk. Others advantages are:

  • Enhanced safety on the road. This pertains to both intentional and accidental driver behavior, ranging from speeding and aggressive driving to nodding off at the wheel. Some software packages sound a “wake-up” alarm when the system detects erratic or unsafe behaviors.
  • Increased satisfaction. Customers are happier when they have a better idea of when to expect deliveries. Delivery drivers are happier when they feel safe on the road and can enjoy working for a company with upstanding business practices.
  • Asset tracking and lone-worker tracking. By tracking employee behaviors (including lone-worker behaviors), driving conditions, and the vehicles themselves, managers feel more in control of their assets—because they are more in control.

Due to this vehicle tracking, companies enjoy better route planning, improved vehicular maintenance and shortened emergency response times.

V2Gov Integrations

Telematics helps individual fleet vehicles perform more efficiently, but that’s not the only good news for fleet owners. The emergence of V2Gov communication will also benefit business by optimizing on-road activity. Some examples include:

  • Fleets that subscribe to state-run electronic toll collection (ETC) platforms can cruise through toll collection points within their state without stopping. For now, the benefits of this system remain available on a state-by-state basis; however, the eventual establishment of a national ETC standard is under discussion and would further streamline fleet travel.
  • Both fleet managers and governmental agencies can use an automated vehicle identification (AVI) system to track and trace vehicles. For example, some weighing bridges use AVI to identify and screen trucks before allowing them to proceed. This saves time and helps businesses and law enforcement work more efficiently.

The typical fleet vehicle travels an average of 20,000 to 30,000 miles per year. When you add an entire fleet’s fuel costs to other expenditures—maintenance, insurance, licensing, equipment, staffing and others—it comes as no surprise that the operation of these vehicles is a multi-million dollar industry. With so much at stake, it only makes sense to maximize efficiency in this sector whenever possible. The inclusion of telematics is therefore a factor that fleet managers will want to carefully considered.

,