Overview

Fleet Telematics Solutions

 

What Do Fleet Telematics Do?

Today’s fleet telematics systems have evolved from simple vehicle location information to a pipeline of data that provide a wealth of information about both the vehicle and its operator—all traveling over high-speed wireless or cellular connections. Frequently, the information contains clues for a broad range of improvements, from increasing fuel efficiency and fleet tracking optimizing routes to reducing collisions and saving lives. It’s no surprise, then, that fleet managers and operators have started to invest heavily in modern telematics systems, particularly video telematics, to protect their assets, both human and physical, while gaining a competitive advantage in their markets.

This article will explain the meaning of fleet telematics and how it works today, and how it is used in a variety of sectors to improve safety, operational efficiency, and customer service. Among the most significant developments in the field involve video telematics and the ability to harness images with video, machine vision, data mining and predictive analytics to drive further improvements. We’ll also cover trends in telematics that are likely to play a major role in the near future.

Components of Vehicle Telematics Systems

At its simplest, telematics is a way to collect and use vehicle data to achieve any number of tasks, such as locating a vehicle using signals from GPS telematics. Today, companies can collect a wide variety of telematics data. This table shows a sampling of the major telematics technologies and the types of data each collects:

Lytx Components of Telematics

What is Video Telematics?

Among the fastest and most promising developments in field is the development of video telematics. In recent years, the simple addition of a camera has opened the field to a vast number of new uses. Prior to the use of video, telematics data provided basic information on where and when an incident occurred, but not why it happened. Video provided a way for companies to understand why something occurred so they can prevent it from happening again.

What is Video Telematics?

Simply put, video telematics combines video data, computer vision technology, and vehicle data to deliver insights that telematics alone cannot. Traditional driver telematics, for example, can provide fuel data, as well as information about erratic driving events such as hard braking, swerving, or collisions. Video telematics provides the critical context required to create long-term solutions. Because of its power to lead to lasting change, the global market for video telematics is expected to grow 23 percent every year through 2023 as more companies adopt the technology.*

Benefits & Use Cases for Telematics

Telematics technology is used to help tackle a wide array of important tasks that help keep fleets running smoothly and safely. Together, the benefits of telematics broadly fall into three main categories: operations, safety, and compliance. Improvements in these areas can help companies focused on fleet productivity to save millions of dollars while helping to improve brand perception.

 

OPERATIONAL BENEFITS

Companies use telematics to optimize key aspects of their business, including:

  • Fuel management and reporting
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Delivery tracking
  • Route optimization
  • Cargo integrity and tracking
  • Real-time fleet tracking
  • Customer satisfaction through faster response
  • Driver exoneration
USE CASE:

Descrescente Distributing Co. used telematics to exonerate drivers after collisions, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars. The company also significantly reduced maintenance costs by coaching its drivers on ways to avoid aggressive driving, which accelerates wear and tear on vehicles.

 

SAFETY BENEFITS

Organizations use telematics to measurably improve their safety metrics. Improving the safety profile of an organization can help reduce insurance premiums and claims costs, enhance the perceived reliability of its brand, and boost employee morale. In the realm of safety, fleets typically use telematics to:

  • Reduce rates of collision
  • Increase use of seat belts
  • Reduce distracted and drowsy driving
  • Reduce aggressive driving behaviors, such as speeding or following too closely
USE CASE:

Performance Food Group used telematics to improve its safety record and, as a result, cut its cost per claim by 40 percent. The Richmond, Va., company saw a 12 percent decrease in near collisions and a 24 percent increase in seat-belt use after deploying video telematics to coach its drivers and help improve their skills.

 

COMPLIANCE BENEFITS

Companies use telematics to comply with a host of policies and regulations including:

  • Electronic logging of hours of service (Federal ELD Mandate)
  • Company policies such as seat-belt use and speed limits
  • Geofencing to ensure vehicles stay within authorized areas
  • Tracking collision rates and other metrics to calculate Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) scores
USE CASE:

One Lytx client leveraged telematics to support a safety program that yielded 42 percent improvement in its CSA score, a key indicator of safety and quality.

Trends in Telematics

Recent advances in telematics have increased the technology’s flexibility and functionality. Video telematics in particular has come a long way in the past two decades, it has become more useful and versatile with every mile. Here are four of the most recent telematics trends:

Custom Triggers

Fleet operators have the flexibility to create custom triggers and configure parameters that are particular to their fleet--because no two companies are the same. Modern algorithms can now track specific risks and help managers optimize resources to respond to shifting challenges within their operations. Waste management companies can confirm service through video tagged for each time a bin is lifted. Transit organizations can focus on passenger safety by reviewing footage of when doors open to let people on or off. Trucking and distribution firms can ensure drivers are following the "three points of contact" safety rule each time the driver door is opened.

Live Streaming

Access to live video of outside lens lets managers see what's happening in real time so they can respond faster to changing conditions or troubleshoot issues in the field. Live streaming can also be used to more efficiently coach drivers through "virtual ride-alongs."

Visual Analytics

Machine vision algorithms can help detect drowsy or distracted driving, two major collisions. Improvements in vision-based machine learning will bring even more sophisticated analytical tools to bear on safety and operational efficiencies.

360-Degree Visibility

Telematics can now be enhanced with a dozen or more cameras to cover every angle of a vehicle. Cameras are now cheaper and more capable, making multiple high-resolution camera views a reality. Companies are combining traditional telematics with multiple cameras to not only eliminate operational blind spots but also provide such things as confirmation of service, proof of cargo integrity, accurate accounts of events to resolve claims, and deeper context for more effective driver coaching.

Deeper Data Integration

Organizations are increasingly using application programming interfaces to integrate and analyze data from multiple telematics devices and equipment to create a more complete view of what's happening with a vehicle, the driver, and the entire fleet. Some combine data about driving behavior with fuel consumption, for example, to see which driver habits affect fuel economy. Others layer employee data onto telematics data to build a more detailed understanding of individual drivers as well as a more holistic view of how they perform as a group.

 

How Lytx Video Telematics Solutions Can Help

Lytx DriveCam combines video-based coaching with predictive analytics to help you take action before a collision happens. Lytx Video Services extends your video telematics further, using livestream video of the outside view and on-demand continual video to expose operational blind spots and show you more critical moments in the field. We also offer a suite of enhancements designed to help companies reduce costs, manage fleet risk, optimize productivity, and improve driver performance. Our programs are proven to change driver behavior and deliver rapid return on your investment to save you time, money—and most importantly, lives.

Learn more about how Lytx can help you leverage the most out of your fleet telematics systems. Start your free trial today.

 

*Frost & Sullivan, “Global Truck Video Safety Solutions Market Forecast,” September 2017.

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