Telematics survey shows driver behavior a top metric


Telematics survey shows driver behavior a top metric

Source: FleetAnswers Telematics and GPS fleet tracking is becoming increasingly important as fleets move forward in a tech-savvy world. Both fleet mangers and those companies who produce and market telematics systems can benefit from understanding how those products are being best used.

FleetAnswers recently surveyed a total of 103 fleet professionals with fleet sizes averaging between 1,000 and 5,000 units to determine how telematics systems were being used. The information gathered from this survey can help fleet and telematics professionals make informed decisions as they move forward into the future.

The Majority Indicate the Use of Telematics

Of the 103 fleet professionals surveyed, 77 percent indicated they had telematics or GPS devices in the fleets they worked with. The remaining 23 percent who were not currently using these systems indicated a strong consideration for the devices, with 83 percent indicating they were currently looking to implement the technology. Only 4 percent indicated they had once used, and stopped using, the technology.

What this shows is that telematics is not a new addition to the modern fleet, and it is being embraced across industries and fleet sizes. Those fleets who are not benefiting from telematics and GPS solutions are in the minority. It also shows that the majority of fleet professionals prefer to own the devices they use, rather than leasing them.

Driver Behavior Rated As Most Important Reason for Use and Benefit

By far, the top reason that fleet managers chose to use telematics systems was to monitor and improve driver behavior. Driver behavior, however, included a number of different areas, including reduced idling, reducing miles driven, reducing speeding and reducing unauthorized use of vehicles. Each of these behaviors add up to unnecessary expenses for the fleet, so fleet professionals were interested in changing them.

Interestingly, the key performance indicators listed in the survey lined up with this as well. Those who were using the systems were asked to rank their most important performance metrics they were monitoring. The top metrics were idle time (75 percent), miles driven (66 percent), speeding (57 percent) and hard braking (56 percent). Each of these performance indicators were directly related to driver behavior and its effect on the overall fleet.

Fleet managers reported positive results in this regard as well. A full 70 percent indicated they had experienced an improvement in driver behavior as a result of their efforts.

Driver behavior problems increase the cost of doing business. Idle time, for instance, drives up fuel expenses, as do unnecessary miles driven. Controlling costs is a constant concern for fleet managers, which may be why this is such an important metric.

Mixed Return on Data Use

Drive behavior is just one potential benefit of telematics systems. When used well, these systems can help fleets make informed, data-driven decisions about fleet operations. The latest FleetAnswers survey indicates fleets still may be struggling to tap into all of the data in their telematics systems.

In the report, 61 percent of the fleet leaders indicated they had no dedicated resource or employee who analyzes their telematics data within their companies. Only 21 percent of the respondents reported using their data for decision making "almost all the time." A larger percent, 60 percent, indicated they used the data occasionally. Perhaps greater resources dedicated to analyzing that data would allow companies to make better use of the data their systems collect.

This 2016 report shows that companies are making better use of their telematics systems as they continue to embrace them, but that further improvement is possible. In the future, better analytics of the data will help companies find new ways to benefit from the telematics they use as well as improve satisfaction with telematics or GPS systems. 

Download the Full Survey Report: 2016 Telematics Pattern, Trends, and Challenges

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