Published on August 22nd, 2020
While reading about telematics and the manner in which it has altered the landscape of fleet management, one is most likely to be stuck on the point of the cost efficiency that telematics solutions have to offer.
However, another major role played by simple vehicle and equipment tracking devices like GPS trackers is increasing exponentially the overall safety factor involved in the business of transporting valuables.
Not only the driver, the vehicle, and the freight, tracking devices and software predicated on Artificial Intelligence have proven to be powerful enough to ensure the safety of pedestrians and others who share the rods with the fleet.
Behind The Curtains
While the transportation industry is not a stranger to the benefits of GPS tracking, in the past five years or so, gigantic leaps within AI research and development in telematics have perfected technology, which has ushered in the dawn of smart fleet management.
Gathering vital information and statistics from the omniscient Internet of Things (IoT), AI telematics uses techniques like mechanical memory, deep learning, and natural language processing to analyze data and provide smart solutions to nagging problems like finding the shortest and quickest route to a delivery point, pin-pointing delivery addresses with hawk-eye precision, traffic density assessment and warning, among several others which progress to the stage of autonomous vehicles.
But here we’re shining the light on one of the lesser appreciated, but equally important, the benefit of a smart tracking system, and that is safety.
How Tracking Devices Promote Overall Safety
Tracking devices……well, they track, of course. But tracking devices whose functions were only limited to tracking are outdated.
They’ve been ousted by smarter, avant-garde vehicle and asset tracking technologies that are much more capable than just track.
1. Let’s You Know What’s Going On Behind the Wheel
It was observed that 4 out of 5 American drivers exhibit aggressive driving behavior. This includes changing lanes haphazardly, overtaking without warning, tailgating, and a lot more.
Speeding has its own cheap thrills, but letting your foot drop hard on the gas paddle alone became the reason of 37000 lives being lost.
Aggressive fleet drivers are a burden for all. Not only are the invaluable lives of others on the road or sidewalk jeopardized, company property, and assets of the client, too, are at great risk.
Other than that, there’s the corporate goodwill on the line, which once smeared, is hard to build again.
If such is the case, it calls for some on-the-road, remote espionage. GSP trackers are equipped with pressure and speed sensors and accelerometers nowadays and record a lot more peripheral driving data than just the time and distance traveled.
Speeding, hard braking, excessive revving, unnecessary long breaks, frequent lane changing are examples of some of this metadata.
Reduction in incidents of aggressive driving saves fleet managers form the sharp double-edged sword of insurance: As accidents occur frequently, insurance premium paid to firms rises, and since damages by road rage is not covered by insurance, the affected parties almost always take the matter to the court, which entails heavy legal costs plus settlements, if reached.
Also, it’s a known convention now that insurance companies offer discounts to fleets equipped with GPS tracking systems.
2. Driver Training
The above-mentioned feature allows fleet managers to indirectly “train” drivers, by appropriately rewarding driving free of unnecessary aggression and confronting those drivers who are regular offenders of the driving code.
It is noted that when driving under the surveillance of a vehicle tracking device, drivers manifest changes in usual driving patterns for the better.
3. Keeps The Fleet In Good Shape
GPS tracking systems are loaded with Artificial Intelligence based measurement and analytic systems. Using IoT and the myriad different sensors, a little play-and-plug GPS tracking system can draw up a comprehensive, vehicle usage-based maintenance routine.
This particular feature is widely known as Predictive Maintenance and is one of the several reasons why smart Global Positioning Systems have gained so much popularity.
Maintenance costs, especially those incurred due to unexpected vehicle damage, burn a huge hole in pockets of fleet managers and drag efficiency considerably low.
Predictive Maintenance synthesizes vehicle travel data, driver behavior, and delivery schedules to form condition-based, routine work up alerts.
It precludes waiting for the transmission to blow up in the midst of delivery and then paying a visit to the mechanic, which leads to undue delays.
However, as one says, too much of anything is bad. Predictive Maintenance also prevents fleet managers from fretting on vehicle condition and spending large amounts of time and money on unnecessary maintenance of vehicles as well, the technical term being reactive or preventive maintenance.
Vehicles that undergo regular maintenance are less likely to malfunction and cause accidents and damage to public and company property.
4. Compliance And Automated Inventory
Installing vehicle and equipment tracking systems reduces the considerable compliance burden on fleet managers.
With the advent of data laws like the Electronic Data Logging mandate, most of the work is paperless and easy to follow. Such laws are designed to prevent driver overwork and maintain sustainable schedules, which is directly related to the reduction of road accidents due to an overworked driver.
Equipment tracking devices are small, transmitter like machines, something that you might’ve seen in a Bond flick. These are designed to be compact and powerful, transmitting the exact location of your equipment.
These devices are also powered with the function of automated inventory reporting and location reporting, which lets the system know when any asset was taken out of the warehouse, and where it has been all this while. Unwanted tampering with the material can be alerted.
Better Safe Than Sorry
All in all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. These new systems can be hard to calibrate, especially for someone who’s been in the business for too long, but learning to work a computer is much less worrisome and frustrating as having a truck or equipment of yours stolen.
Such fleet risk management systems are not only important when mishaps occur but are loaded with features that make day-to-day fleet management a less burdensome task.