Taking Telematics to the Next Level: Advanced Fleet Tracking
Author: Maria Sotra, Vice President Marketing
Once your fleet has a handle on tracking vehicle location with telematics, what’s the next step? Andrew Harris, a Customer Success Specialist with Geotab, explains advanced fleet tracking and how it can help fleet managers achieve better results and improve driver safety.
Q: What is advanced fleet tracking?
A: To explain advanced fleet tracking, first let’s take it back to the basics. The first step in fleet telematics is to track vehicle location and movement, speeding, and a few other basic functionalities. Essentially, basic fleet tracking provides visibility into where the vehicle is and what it is doing.
Advanced fleet tracking provides visibility into what the driver is doing with the vehicle, specific to driving behavior. For example, this includes speeding, but then dives deeper into other types of aggressive driving, such as harsh braking, sharp cornering, or hard acceleration.
Electric vehicle (EV) tracking also falls under advanced fleet tracking, as well as looking at how fleet behavior impacts other parts of the business, like customer service, HR and finance.
Examples of advanced fleet tracking metrics:
· Unsafe or aggressive driving
· Actual engine hours and odometer
· EV driving energy used, battery charge % and charging status
Q: When a fleet is ready to take their telematics to the next level, what is a good next step beyond GPS tracking?
A: Route optimization and idling are two easy areas to tackle within MyGeotab, after GPS tracking. This helps decrease overhead fuel costs and shortens time-to-ROI.
Sometimes, a fleet might have a certain group of vehicles that need to idle as part of work. In MyGeotab, fleet managers can set up a special group for these vehicles, so they can exclude them and zero in on the places where cuts are needed, without hindering normal operations.
Q: What are some other advanced fleet tracking strategies?
A: There are so many ways to use telematics and Geotab. Here are a few advanced strategies for fleets.
Advanced driver coaching:
Fleet managers can use GO TALK technology to encourage safer driving through in-vehicle driver feedback. This creates an environment within the vehicle that allows the driver to know whether they are driving in an unsafe manner.
Using GO TALK to address speeding is a great start, because it’s one of the few metrics that is independent of vehicle type and weight, and any fleet can essentially implement the same strategy to address it. However, once speeding is addressed, GO TALK can also be used to manage other risky behaviors such as driving without a seat belt or driving excessive hours.
Fleets that need more frequent and precise location updates can look at Active Tracking. This is a premium quality tracking solution that provides vehicle location information faster and at a more granular level. Fleet managers can see the live movements on their fleet map — vehicles slowing down for traffic, accelerating, stopping at the side of the road.
This feature is especially useful for ambulance and first responder fleets, taxi companies or trucking firms.
Reduce your carbon footprint:
Making your fleet more sustainable and reducing your impact on the environment is good for business and the planet. More efficient use of vehicles and routing, restricted idling and reduced speeding decrease the amount of exhaust and CO2 created on a given day by a vehicle or fleet, letting us all breathe a bit easier.
The benefits of going green ripples out within the fleet. If vehicles are being driven less aggressively and used equally, maintenance costs will be spread out across the fleet. That means fewer oil changes, fewer new sets of tires, and fewer brake pads used annually.
Add on hardware:
The Geotab GO device is designed to accommodate integration with in-vehicle peripherals and devices. Input / Output Expanders (IOX) plug directly into a side port of the GO. Are your drivers using Geotab Drive for ELD or DVIR? Try IOX-USB to keep their tablets powered throughout the day. Do you have tools or equipment going missing? IOX-BT can help you track movable assets with Bluetooth® low energy.
Q: Is an upgrade necessary for advanced fleet tracking?
A: Some advanced tracking features are already built-in, and some require stepping up to the next fleet software plan. Active Tracking and advanced IOX integration are available on the ProPlus fleet software plan. Contact your authorized Geotab Reseller to ask about plans and device compatibility.
Q: How do drivers benefit from advanced fleet tracking?
A: Initially, there may be some resistance from drivers for having telematics devices installed in vehicles. However, we find that this resistance goes away once drivers see that most of them are well within company expectations and that telematics supports their safety.
The collision reconstruction feature using accelerometer data is also very valuable, not only to the company’s bottom line, but to the driver. Collision reconstruction data can also help a fleet exonerate a driver in some cases. Similarly, fleet records can be used for investigating complaints about driver behavior from the community. The ability to prove or disprove these complaints using Geotab data can go so far as to save someone’s job.
Q: How can a fleet manager use advanced fleet tracking without getting overwhelmed by all the data?
A: The Geotab platform allows fleets to gain a wealth of knowledge about their operations. By working with the Geotab Customer Success Team, fleet managers can refine their focus areas, learn more about the Geotab platform and where to start, avoiding data overload. Additionally, the Success Team helps fleet managers implement strategies by folding in best practices to help the success of the strategy last as long as possible.
Advanced fleet tracking is much more than only GPS vehicle tracking. It can improve fleet management in many ways, helping with everything from fuel efficiency to cost management, helping improve driver safety and build stronger customer service.
Request a demo today to learn more.