If you really want to get an animated conversation going with truck drivers, mention dash cams. While drivers have more or less accepted road-facing cameras as part of the job, many remain skeptical or outright opposed to having one positioned within the cab, tracking their movements and driving behaviours.
Since driver-facing dash cams are becoming the norm, this is a great time to take a look at how dash cam technology can actually be a benefit, not a detriment, to your drivers and to your organization’s safety culture.
Dash cam pain points
The way in which dash cams are presented to drivers makes all the difference in impacting buy-in and engagement. Many commercial truck drivers feel that dash cams, particularly cab-facing devices, are an invasion of privacy. This sentiment rings especially true in instances where drivers use an area of the cab to sleep and eat (as an aside, sleeper berths are not considered a “home” and as such, are exempt from current privacy laws).
Furthermore, disclosure is an essential component that can make or break your work culture. Companies must let their employees know if and how dash cams will be used in their fleets, but the ways in which they do so will determine whether drivers remain within the company, or leave in droves to pursue other opportunities.
There are enough stories on the internet to affirm surveillance culture in some companies that implement dash cams (read our story here about Amazon and Netradyne), often the direct result of a lack of transparency or care for their drivers’ collective safety.
The truth is that most dash cams only transmit a short segment of data that includes time directly before and after an event is triggered. No fleet manager has the time or the desire to search through hours of continuous footage. For a great perspective on how to talk to your drivers about implementing dash cams, read here.
Demand within the dash cam market is expected to increase by 150% (from 2018), no matter what side of the fence your drivers are on. Customers are familiar with dash cams, and have more requirements — and higher expectations — than ever before.
The new ZenduCAM AD+ is an HD dual-facing camera that offers best-in-class industry features to solve your technology pain points and improve work culture within your fleet. Combining an advanced AI processor, built-in advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) and Driver Management System (DMS) capabilities, the AD+ monitors risky driver behaviour and delivers real-time incident detection to protect your drivers, reduce false positives and lower costs.
Filter out low-risk events and false alerts with ZenduIT’s industry-leading managed services. Automatically dismiss events that don’t represent an actual risk, and prioritize the most critical events to simplify compliance adherence and improve productivity.
Working synergistically with the Trax app, fleet managers have a full field view and access to location updates in real-time on a virtual map. Moreover, advanced facial recognition means you know who has been using your vehicles, and when. You can receive alerts, escalate and coach events, and view the distribution of assets on a cloud-based map instantaneously.
The fastest road to a safe, positive work environment is to show your drivers how an advanced dash cam system can keep them safe. Equip and coach them in real-time with our advanced AI and Data Analytics models, designed to monitor unsafe behaviours such as tailgating, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, and other vehicle movements to alert and coach drivers in real-time while ensuring their privacy. When your drivers get an alert from the Trax Mobile App, they know it matters.
ZenduCAM AD+ uses a tested human-machine interface to improve your drivers’ ability to react to dangers on the road. This system increases safety, protects your assets and improves workflow. Moreover, improved algorithms mean your drivers aren’t penalized for driving offences they didn’t commit, leading to an improved workplace.
Technological innovation and automation have greatly increased the popularity of dash cam systems in commercial vehicles. Don’t get left behind, improve your safety culture today!
Creating a successful dash cam program within your fleet requires a few key ingredients. Optimal installation, platform integration, driver coaching, clear company policies and rewards programs are all important factors to consider. As we’ve mentioned in this post, getting your drivers’ buy-in is the lynch pin to any successful program; this is especially true for businesses that employ union drivers.
It’s understandable that unions will have questions and concerns on behalf of their members regarding tracking technology; how it works, but more so how it will be used. That’s why the most successful dash cam programs are those that put the needs, opinions and safety of their drivers first.
John Hamill, a Business Agent at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, began studying video-based safety back in 1994, when cameras were first being used in ambulances. Since then, Hamill has helped design strategic risk-management policies as part of successful collective bargaining agreements that advocate for video-based safety technology.
As an expert in strategic planning for ambulance and passenger transit companies, Hamill brings more than 30 years of experience in transportation, training, and risk management. An expert on safety change management, Hamill knows how to craft responsible dash cam programs that work for companies, drivers and their unions.
Hamill offers recommends the following four best practices to implement a responsible and successful dash cam program for union drivers.
Best Practice No. 1: Engage the Union, First
Driver and asset safety is the entire purpose for creating a dash cam program, and unions and fleet companies have the shared goal of keeping drivers safe. For these reasons, companies are advised to value and build on their union partnerships by engaging the union prior to any rollout.
“My biggest tip to companies with union drivers is this: before going to your drivers, get the union to buy in first,” Hamill says. “Not going to the union first can lead to so many issues down the line. If, for example, the union hears about an issue first, they may want to shut down the initiative entirely. That can set a precedent that’s hard to overcome.” When unions help in crafting the policies and rollout, future misunderstandings are avoided, and everyone wins.
When beginning the dialogue with unions, Hamill recommends that companies communicate the many benefits of video-based safety for drivers. To fully articulate such benefits, says Hamill, “use data and proof points from other companies to really show the value of cameras.” This means expressing, with evidence, such benefits as:
Annual decreases in the frequency of preventable accidents as a result of video-based driver coaching and alerts.
Number of drivers exonerated from road accidents because of dash cam evidence.
Increase in driver retention and decrease in turnover after implementation of video-based driver recognition and driver rewards programs.
Many companies employ a mix of union and non-union drivers, often after negotiating annual contracts. However, notes Hamill, even in cases where the contract has already been negotiated and the dash cam program is not part of the collective bargaining agreement, companies can still utilize a side letter or a memorandum of understanding (MOU). Side letters or MOUs “are the best way to implement cameras before the next contract,” Hamill states.
Best Practice No. 2: Survey Your Drivers to Alleviate Anxiety
After starting a dialogue with the union, open the lines of communication with your drivers. Hamill recommends that you survey your drivers, introduce the topic, and ask for their opinions. Then, says Hamill, “you can build policies to alleviate their anxieties and really help create that trust.”
Hamill suggests using initial surveys that allow for broad questions and free responses, such as How do you feel about dashboard cameras as they pertain to safety? “That will give you an overall sense of sentiment. You might be surprised what the answers reveal about their specific concerns or experiences,” says Hamill. “Doing a survey can really help inform what your policy should address.”
These surveys will highlight key concerns from your team. One recurring fear of drivers is the belief that dash cams will be used to ‘spy’ on them and watch their every move. This is a common misconception that can be addressed early on. “Before you install a single camera or even build out your policy, transparent communication about the technology is key,” Hamill states.
Communicating how the technology works and what types of road events will be recorded will help build trust and transparency. Be sure to identify the following:
What are the specific dash cam capabilities
What types of events will trigger footage to be recorded and uploaded
Whether audio is being captured
What other dash cam features may be activated or deactivated
Whether in-cab coaching and safety alerts will be turned on.
“Communication will help combat fear and anxiety—which are so dangerous not only to your safety program and the culture of your company, but actually to the drivers themselves,” Hamill notes. Instead, drivers should feel comfortable and secure, with their focus safely on the road.
Best Practice No. 3: Create & Follow Clear Safety Policies
Hamill states that the key to successful fleet operations lies in designing thorough safety policies so your company’s expectations and driver requirements are clear, and following those policies.
While every company will have different needs and safety requirements, he recommends articulating the basic rules required by law—such as DOT standards—and then building out company policy from there. Safety policies may include:
A ‘zero tolerance’ policy for dangerous or illicit activities, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
A tiered system of discipline based on the seriousness of an infraction, such as distractions or texting while driving.
A strike (or point) system for infractions such as speeding, close following distance or not wearing a seatbelt.
Coaching drivers and explaining clearly in advance which behaviours will result in training or coaching, and which behaviours will result in progressive discipline.
Both drivers and their union representatives should be provided with written documentation of your company’s safety and coaching policies, guidelines for coaching, and a clearly outlined process for any disciplinary actions. You can also use GoFleet’s driver coaching tools to ensure follow-through and accountability, and provide benchmarks such as driver scorecards and compliance reports.
Best Practice No. 4: Make Good Driving Rewarding & Fun
“It’s so important to make safety fun,” Hamill says, “and reward the people who are driving safely.” The ‘gamification’ of any activity—be it taking the stairs or good driving, has been proven effective by countless studies. When an activity is made more fun or rewarding, people are far more likely to do it.
Hamill notes that as a safety manager for MV Transportation, they offered a $200 bonus to drivers who went without incident for a year. This created genuine excitement and excellence from drivers. “If you don’t offer that positive incentive, you’re not encouraging people to strive for excellence,” Hamill says. “By default, you’re rewarding complacency.”
GoFleet helps incentivize driver performance through KPI metrics and driver rankings. We recommend creating a Driver Safety Rewards Program to encourage and reward safe drivers; we can also help you start a Safe Driver Contest to reinforce good practices. Our telematics devices allow you to rank driver safety so you can reward safe drivers and help ensure driver retention.
Hamill notes that while the initial perception of dash cameras can be challenging, the long-term benefits in fleet safety and efficiency make all the difference with regards to a company’s safety culture and success. Certainly, the same holds true for the safety and success of its drivers.
Interested to learn more and talk to one of our dash camera specialists? Contact us today!
As a fleet manager, you’re aware that installing commercial AI dashcams will greatly improve your business; eliminating inefficiencies, reducing accidents and offering incentives for positive driving behaviours.
Why then, are many drivers resistant to, or in some cases outright rejecting, the implementation of dashcams? Back in March, a driver for Amazon tendered his notice after it was announced that the online retailer would be implementing AI dashcams in their delivery vehicles, citing the move was “both a privacy violation, and a breach of trust.”
Sadly, many drivers feel the same. Fleet managers are facing a large percentage of dissatisfied drivers, and even reporting scenarios where a driver will place a sticker over the camera lens to ensure their face can’t be tracked. There is a general perception that dashcams create an almost dystopian ecosystem of distrust, when in reality, the opposite is true. In this post, we discuss how to create messaging that overcomes the most common objections, so you too can foster goodwill among your drivers and create an environment of trust.
Safety vs. Surveillance
According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), trucks are only at fault about 26% of the time in the event of light vehicle/truck accidents, yet trucks get far more blame — closer to 80% to be exact. In this light, it is key to position dashcams to your drivers as an opportunity, rather than a hindrance, to performance and safety. AI dashcams can upload high-resolution video footage automatically and within minutes, allowing you to exonerate your drivers from false claims or no-fault incidents, bypass insurance claims and avoid costly payouts.
Rather than being perceived as “Big Brother”, you might position yourself as someone who is looking out for your drivers, someone who can protect and support the fleet in the event of a collision. Click here to see dashcam footage that could exonerate the driver.
Collisions are incredibly expensive (the average collision costs a company upwards of $91K) and can affect a drivers’ Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores, as well as your bottom line. Having access to video evidence in real-time can save you money while protecting your drivers.
Coaching vs. Complaining
Coaching can tend to be reactive, the result of a ticket, accident or bad driving behaviours. AI dashcams can actually make coaching a proactive experience. With automatically-uploaded video footage, managers can coach drivers with accuracy, increasing accountability and consistent driving behaviour.
Because dashcams offer incident detection in real-time, drivers can adjust their driving with in-cab alerts and prevent accidents before they happen. The dashcam platform you select should provide safety workflows, online tools and efficiencies to keep you drivers safe and accountable.
Reward vs. Reproach
Did you know that a well-placed rewards program can help you retain drivers while incentivizing good driving habits? Do your drivers know? Efficient coaching should follow with robust incentives that will not only encourage your drivers to tolerate dashcams, but to actively engage with them.
According to the ATA, driver turnover was at 92% in 2020, and reported the cost of replacing a driver to average $12K. From digital driver safety scorecards to gift cards, gamifying your rewards program can help you lower turnover and associated hiring costs. Driver reward programs also bolster training, improve your fleet culture, and improve driver behaviour, morale and motivation.
The best safety incentive programs are merit-based systems that help develop better relationships between fleets and drivers. To best assign rewards and recognition, we recommend the following:
Start small. The basic goals of any rewards program is to improve fleet safety and increase revenue. Identify small goals to improve, such as adhering to schedules, avoiding idling, limiting phone use, following speed limits or reducing harsh braking. Make the steps digestible, realistic and attainable.
You should also ensure that there’s a way to measure and track behaviours over time, so as to reward your drivers consistently and fairly. Ideally, telematics data from your dashcams would provide the content required to measure these goals accurately. Incentivizing good driving is a process, so be sure to reward your drivers not only for continued excellence, but for continued improvement as well.
Communicate your expectations
Goals, rules and benefits should be clearly explained up front and reiterated consistently. A leaderboard (either digital or physical) or scorecard is a great way to show drivers where they are and what they need to do to reach the next level.
Get driver feedback
Transparency and engagement are key to any rewards program. Driver feedback connects your drivers to the business and creates an environment of trust. Don’t be afraid to ask them about their thoughts concerning your incentive program. Just as your drivers continue to improve, so too can your rewards program.
Gamification can improve driver behaviour and increase retention. Make safe driving fun and competitive while building team spirit and fostering a better safety culture by encouraging your drivers to play, compete and win!
The rewards themselves should be appropriate to your corporate ecosystem. Some organizations use a points system that can result in cash bonuses or gift cards, while others prefer flex hours or a physical item such as a plaque or pin to recognize safe driving behaviour. This would be a great opportunity to ask drivers for their input and find out what they would like to have as a reward.
Use positive feedback
Aside from cash bonuses and financial rewards, positive feedback and encouragement can be equally motivating. Make sure that your safety rewards platform includes a strong driver recognition program. This can be achieved through email newsletters, internal communications, certificates or a “Driver of the Month” program.
Dashcams present a unique opportunity for partnership between you and your drivers, offering transparency and accountability on both sides. The right telematics solution will provide accurate, real-time metrics by which you can weigh and evaluate performance while encouraging improvement.
Your drivers want to know that you have their safety and best interests at heart. They want to feel encouraged and appreciated. Provided you’ve given your drivers adequate time to train and prepare for the transition, they too will come to see dashcams less as something to work around, and more of a benefit — possibly even an asset — to their work on the road.
Running your commercial fleet requires more than simply sending vehicles from point A to point B. The success of your drivers and your business depends heavily on optimizing the things you can’t see once a vehicle leaves your warehouse. Vehicle Tracking Devices can optimize your fleet by providing real-time GPS updates, collision notifications, and even engine fault detection.
In this post, we’ll break down what Vehicle Tracking Devices are, the latest generation of tracking devices currently available, and how your business can benefit from this advanced fleet protection.
What Are Vehicle Tracking Devices?
A vehicle tracking device is like the black box of an airplane; it receives GPS signals, collecting and sending navigation data and other critical vehicle information. This small piece of hardware can be as small as a matchbox, or as large as a shoebox.
Most tracking devices come equipped with a SIM-card slot and an On-Board Diagnostics (OBD-II) plug to connect to your vehicle. Once connected, it receives GPS signals and sends vehicle information — such as vehicle location or driver speed — using the internet, satellite networks or cellular services. Tracking devices differ with regards to the data collected, how they attach to the vehicle, and their respective power source. Types of devices include:
Factory-fitted Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) devices
Hardwired after-market devices
Smartphones or tablets enabled with real-time GPS tracking
Installing tracking units can be as simple as plugging into a vehicle’s OBD-II port, or may require a qualified technician to connect the tracking device to the wiring harness of the vehicle. Most light commercial vehicles purchased since 1996 already have an internal OBD-II port, often found behind the panel below the steering wheel.
Once connected, GoFleet’s specialized tracking software can collect GPS and vehicle data. It then transmits the data in real-time to a wide variety of pre-programmed devices, such as a cell phone or a computer IP address.
Internal Data-Protection Safety Features
Each of our vehicle tracking devices has a unique code, known as the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number. This allows GoFleet’s patented tracking software to match the unique code of each vehicle, preventing confusion and maintaining fleet management integrity.
The information collected and sent from GoFleet’s tracking devices also has a range of security features that prevent third-party penetration. These cryptographic features include:
Authenticated end-to-end telematic security
Verification of message integrity and unique IMEI tracker codes
Non-static security keys, which impede faking a device’s unique identity
Firmware with digitally-signed pre-programming to verify the source of updates
Validation of technology by independent third-party experts
What Type of Data is Collected?
GoFleet’s vehicle tracking devices collect and transmit a rich array of information. Even when the vehicle is parked underground or indoors, the telematic tracking unit begins recording the moment the key turns in the ignition.
Using AI and the enhanced data security features, some of the telematic information collected by GoFleet’s tracking devices include:
Precise Vehicle Tracking: This includes vehicle location, driving speed, engine idling, trip distance, time markers, driver ETA and more.
Fleet Health Assessments: Our software extracts and collects essential vehicular information such as engine faults, odometer readings, service maintenance needs, vehicle VIN, even risky driving habits such as acceleration, fast cornering or harsh braking.
Advanced Telematics Capture: Our trackers receive data from a variety of internal vehicular sources, such as the engine, instrument clusters, drivetrain, diagnostics and other subsystems. This allows for methodical and data-driven dashboard reports.
Collision Notifications: If a collision is detected, GoFleet’s superior tracking devices use AI and patented algorithms to collect and send detailed forensic data. This allows for forensic reconstruction of road events, including in-vehicle reverse collisions. This data is automatically uploaded from the tracking device, and collision notifications are sent in real-time via email or desktop alerts.
Driver Coaching: By providing your drivers with immediate feedback, you can improve fleet integrity and security, reduce risk to your drivers, and encourage immediate corrective action. Visible or audible alerts, as well as spoken guidance, can be given in cases of speeding, excessive idling, or unsafe driver behaviour.
GoFleet’s Advanced Vehicle Tracking Devices
Below are the latest and best vehicle tracking units available on the global market. They also come equipped for IOX expansion. This means that your tracking system and third-party integration management can expand with your fleet, allowing for scalable telematics solutions and greater fleet flexibility. IOX add-ons include: satellite tracking, driver ID, temperature tracking, hours of service (HOS), dash cam systems and more.
Welcome to the future of vehicle tracking devices. The GO9+ is the most advanced telematics device on the planet, providing industry-leading insights on the health of your fleet vehicles, as well as trip details, driver safety and much more. The GO9+ provides everything needed for advanced telematic capture and transmission, all in a tiny, compact package.
Best of all, the GO9+ brings its own Wi-Fi hotspot on-board, allowing your vehicle to stay connected to high-speed Internet without siphoning data from individual plans. In addition to reliable Wi-Fi wherever your drivers go, GoFleet’s GO9+ offers the following state-of-the-art features:
Unparalleled GPS tracking technology
LTE connectivity and secured communications capability
Intelligent in-vehicle driver coaching and alerts
Advanced collision detection and notification
Expandability of the external device via IOX Technology
Built-in gyrometer and auto-calibrating accelerometer
Instant vehicle data, including engine and battery health assessments
Accelerated GPS acquisition time via Almanac OTA support
GPS+GLONASS support and connectivity
Advanced native support for a variety of vehicle protocols
End-to-end cybersecurity measures, including non-static security keys
Recommended for: Small businesses, heavy-truck fleets, corporate vehicles and ride sharing.
GoFleet’s GO9 RUGGED
If you need a vehicle tracker built for harsh environments, meet the GO9 RUGGED. This device is designed to withstand external installation, protecting against elements such as dust, water, dirt and other solids.
The GO9 RUGGED builds on the GO Rugged family, providing even more speed, reliability, security features and telematic power. That’s because the GO9 RUGGED is powered by a 32-bit processor, offering 4 times the memory and 5 times the RAM of its predecessor, the GO8 RUGGED. Using GoFleet’s AI algorithms and tracking platform, the GO9 RUGGED can accurately recreate vehicle trips, analyze incidents, provide in-vehicle alerts to notify drivers of infractions in real-time, and provide end-to-end data encryption. Features include:
State-of-the-art GPS technology
Simple and sturdy design for covert installations
Smart, live in-vehicle driver coaching capacity
Industry-leading collision detection and notification
Instant vehicle data, including engine and battery health assessments
On-board auto-calibrating accelerometer and gyrometer
Accelerated GPS acquisition time via Almanac OTA support
GPS+GLONASS support and connectivity
LTE connectivity and secured communications capability
End-to-end cybersecurity, including authentication, encryption, message integrity verification, and non-static security keys
Advanced native support for a variety of vehicle protocols
Expandability of external device via IOX Technology
FIPS 140-2 validated by the NIST
IP68 & IP69K certified for protection from water, dust, sprays and other external pressures
Does not require a dash-mounted antenna or wire splicing for installation
Recommended for: Fleets using heavy equipment, farm machinery, powered trailers, yellow iron and other major assets.
Main Benefits of Fleet Vehicle Tracking
GoFleet’s tracking devices provide businesses with the hard data required to ensure smooth operations and peace of mind. Our software works seamlessly with vehicle tracking units to integrate command centre visibility into your fleet operations.
We recommend using tracking devices for businesses that manage fleets of any size, including cars, trucks, limousines, ride-sharing, pickup trucks, trailers, farm equipment, plumbing, roofing or construction vehicles. Our devices are scalable and can connect you to your vehicles, whether you have one or 100.
Among the most prominent benefits to using vehicle tracking devices are improved fleet management and maintenance, enhanced driver safety, lower labour costs, reduced fuel costs and superior theft deterrence. Additional benefits include:
Precision GPS technology, eliminating guesswork
Live updates and visibility, providing regular updates as often as every 2 seconds
An integrated, user-friendly fleet command dashboard; giving you access to your fleet with just a few swipes
Individualized regular servicing dashboard with service records for your vehicles
The ability to capture and view telematics data such as vehicle speed, direction, and fault codes
Asset monitoring, such as temperature data and asset location
Immediate 24/7 support for fleet owners
Integrated Software and Dispatch Performance
GoFleet’s tracking units let you view your entire fleet simultaneously, regardless of their location. Our devices work synergistically with individualized driver management software, letting you streamline and fine tune your fleet’s performance to ensure peak performance and compliance.
Our integrated software monitoring system allows businesses to capture when the driver’s workday starts and ends, displays routes in real-time, and records driver stops — both scheduled and unscheduled. Our data captures also record idle periods, fuel consumption, driving speeds, mileage, and even provides alerts on lost drivers or thefts.
The benefits of our integrated platform command centre to monitor dispatch performance include:
Ensuring drivers are on schedule and automatically sharing ETAs with customers
Confirming driver HOS & PTO availability, which reduces check-in calls
Recording Driver Scorecards and 365-day performance history
Alerting to acceleration, harsh breaks and collision detection
Streamlining routing options and dispatch management
Recording miles-by-state for IFT
Assuring FMCSA 395.15 compliance
Locating lost drivers and aiding the recovery of stolen property.
Ready to Protect Your Assets?
With all of the benefits of vehicle tracking devices, can your business afford not to invest in a telematics solution that saves you time, money and resources? Our experts can help you determine which asset tracker best suits your fleet’s needs. Schedule your free consultation and demonstration today.
In the most general terms, telematics is the fusion of telecommunications (e.g. phone lines and cables) and informatics (computers) to create a holistic overview of one’s enterprise. Most often, telematics solutions are applied to commercial fleets, automating and leveraging the collection of GPS data across any number of assets.
While certainly not a new industry, the telematics field stands at the precipice of massive growth opportunities.The following is GoFleet’s primer guide on telematics; we’ll show you how it works, the types of data sets that are collected, and how to harness the power of telematics to increase your productivity and profitability.
How did telematics start?
The digital science of merging telecommunications channels with information technology (or informatics) began In the 1960s, when The Department of Defense in the U.S. developed GPS — the Global Positioning System. GPS was created specifically to trace the movement of their domestic military assets and improve internal communications.
As the internet expanded, more telecommunications networks went up, transferring data in real-time and enabling information to travel remotely, automating the capture of detailed data for a variety of purposes. Telematics was also made possible due to technological breakthroughs in machine-to-machine communication (M2M) — highly intelligent computer devices that gather and analyze mass data to manage real-world systems.
Today, vehicle telematics integrates wireless communications, GPS navigation, third-party software platforms, hands-free cell phones, automatic driving assistance systems and message encryption. Telematics systems can report on a vehicle’s speed, idling, tire pressure, driver habits, engine fault codes, collision detection and much more.
Added to the tracking device hardware, GoFleet’s software platform, AI algorithms and other patented knowledge allows for accuracy, quality and protection of GPS and other data transference. Known as ‘curve-logging’, this allows our software to discard unnecessary information, while preserving and logging the most useful vehicle maintenance data.
How telematics works
With regards to fleet tracking, vehicles equipped with Vehicle Tracking Devices; small, durable black boxes that provide superior GPS and asset tracking technology. These telematics devices often plug into an OBD II or CAN-BUS port in the vehicle. Paired with a SIM-card and on board modem, the units enable constant communication across all cellular networks.
The asset tracking, vehicle information recording, and communications transmission devices involved in telematics logging include the following key components:
Buzzer or other audio messaging
Interface for input/output (expander port)
The devices then retrieve and record an enormous amount of data generated by a vehicle, and transmit that data through cloud technology, providing fleet towners with dashboard reports and command-centre visibility into their operations.
Since telematics devices connect to a vehicle’s sensors and hardware, the type of data they process and analyze includes:
Real-time GPS positioning
G-force and vehicle speed, measured by a built-in accelerometer
Trip distance, routing and time
Idling time records
Harsh braking, hard cornering, rapid acceleration and other bad driving habits
Seat belt usage
Vehicle faults, engine light information and other engine data
Battery voltage and vehicle temperature
Service reminders and other vehicle maintenance warnings
All of that data is captured, encoded and then transmitted through fleet management software. It is then decoded for authorized, preprogrammed users, allowing for secure transmission of actionable data to IP addresses or cell phones.
This provides the command-centre data needed for generating, viewing and exporting dashboard reports. Business intelligence insights can even create driver scorecards — identifying safe drivers, speeding incidents, or opportunities for scheduled maintenance.
Telematics in fleet management
Telematics has become an essential tool for commercial and government fleet management. In addition to tracking major assets across the globe using GPS, advances in machine learning and data analytics mean improved fleet performance and productivity. Fleets can even use benchmarking measures to compare safety, fuel consumption or other standards against similar fleets.
One indispensable feature of telematics in fleet management is the creation of advanced analytic comparisons. This provides fleet managers with hard data that can be used to identify optimal travel routes, deter theft and protect assets.
Though telematics data can be stored and sent from closed-vehicle systems, most often a fleet’s telematic technology is shared through open platforms via proprietary software. This allows businesses to integrate other hardware, after-market accessories, and third-party apps for greater efficiency, expandability and insight into business operations, while retaining data privacy.
As telematic devices continue to improve, the most popular telematics integrations for fleet management currently include:
In fact, vehicle security and identification sensors have improved so much that fleets can now authenticate a driver’s identity before they are able to start the vehicle.
Every day, more businesses, nonprofits and government agencies move toward the hard data and superior protection that telematics affords. According toAllied Market Research, the automotive telematics market was valued globally at $50.4 billion in 2018. By 2026, experts believe it will reach $320 billion.
The benefits of telematics are self-evident; they offer diagnostic tools that prolong the life of vehicles, warn of pending issues and identify areas of concern. Telematics contribute to ROI and savings so exponentially, Verizon recently wrote: “32% of fleets using fleet management technology achieved a positive ROI in less than a year,” sharing this and more data points in their2021 Fleet Technology Trends Report.
Industries currently employing telematics for their fleet tracking include:
The applications for telematics cannot be understated; it harnesses a rich ecosystem of information — from granular drivetrain details to post-collision reconstruction of driving events — ensuring the health of your vehicle and the safety of everyone on the road.
Fleet managers can use telematics to monitor the speed and location of their vehicles, as well as ensure that drivers employ good driving habits now and in the future. In the event of an accident, telematics can help identify who was at fault and what the road conditions were prior to the event, ensuring the safety of their drivers and preventing future incidents.
By understanding the entire operational life cycle of their vehicles, including hours of service (HOS), warranty recovery and preventative maintenance scheduling, managers can find areas of improvement and identify problems before they occur.
Insurance companies can leverage telematics data to assess risk factors within a fleet and adjust premiums accordingly. Factors such as accidents, fuel consumption and engine wear can all determine — and possibly lower — insurance rates for your fleet.
GoFleet telematics support
GoFleet and our trusted partners have identified seven key areas where fleet management receives the greatest direct advantage from telematics support:
Improved Productivity: Using real-time GPS tracking and automatic trip reporting, fleets can greatly improve dispatching, routing, ETA notification and customer service.
Increased Safety: In-vehicle driver coaching alerts to drowsiness or other risky driver behaviours; collision reconstruction and theft location notifications help protect your assets.
Optimization of Fleets: Streamlining vehicle servicing with predictive maintenance and remote diagnostics improves fuel management, driver habits and vehicle integrity.
Fleet Compliance: Automates FTA reporting, inspections and compliance logging.
Platform Integration: Makes sure all your mobile asset apps and equipment communicate seamlessly, integrating camera, sensors, CRM technology and more.
Adaptable Sustainability: Reduces the environmental impact of carbon emissions, adapts to emerging power sources, and analyzes the cost effectiveness of electric vehicles.
Insurance Premiums: Because fleets can now share their safety compliance data as proof with insurance companies, risk assessments often generate lower premium costs.
The future of telematics
As GPS tracking systems and M2M technologies advance, the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow; every advance made brings us closer to the edge of a telematics revolution. From enhanced collection and capture of intelligence data to performance benchmarking and reporting for fleet optimization, the future of telematics is bright. Contact your GoFleet consultant to discuss how telematics can bring tomorrow’s technology to your fleet, today.
Kemal Leslie, a strategic consultant to GoFleet, talks about Lord Selkirk School Division’s biggest pain points, and how GoFleet’s comprehensive and integrated telematics solutions solved some of their biggest back to school issues.
Tell me a bit about LSSD and the kinds of things they were looking for.
KL: They began working with GoFleet a few years ago to help them manage their bus fleet maintenance and location tracking. This also included management of driver operational safety.
How did Bus ETA factor into the equation?
KL: At that time, they were also looking at Bus ETA as a solution, where a student or parent of a student, for example, could know when the bus is on its way to pick up or drop off, as well as the whereabouts of that vehicle. This has become a more popular solution over the last, I would say, five or six years, where parents or students want to know when to arrive at the bus stop.
So it seems that Bus ETA also offers peace of mind?
KL: Well, for safety and security reasons, they received feedback that parents want to be able to track kids’ travel to and from school. They wanted an easy way to oversee their safety. That’s what the Bus ETA application really was about.
What were the other components of your proposal?
KL: At that time, GoFleet implemented not only their bus tracking and status reports, but had also integrated another solution called On Command Connection with their Geotab telematics system, which is a diagnostic maintenance offering under Navistar. Their maintenance provider can track their buses and advise if any need to be repaired based on automated scheduling and alerts from real-time vehicle data; their maintenance team can call in a repair just by looking at the status report that’s provided through On Command.
Finally, Transfinder became the next third party integration for this solution. It’s a mobile application that tracks where the student is; if they are on the bus, when the bus is arriving, that type of thing. The system actually utilizes Geotab telematics data to manage the reporting within the application where the student might be at any given time, or where the bus is in terms of its daily trips.
So in terms of the evolution, it started as a fleet management application to manage the hardware, the equipment, location status, etc. And then student tracking for parents was integrated to centralize everything within their GoFleet solution.
That sounds really comprehensive. What are some other applications for this system outside of LSSD?
KL: Well, the entire solution could serve many verticals really, either in part or as a whole integrated solution. The fleet management piece can apply to any industry that requires management of their own automated fleet — it could be heavy equipment, trucks, small vehicles — any of that can be adapted to use this functionality.
The same goes for the maintenance piece; to be able to connect to and manage the fleet without needing to bring in the vehicle, to have diagnostics established if there’s a problem with a unit and it needs to be called in. Those things can adapt to pretty much any industry.
And what about Transfinder?
KL: I think that the Transfinder solution, as it relates to tracking when a vehicle is coming to pick someone up, certainly has its application in schools. But it would also have applications for other transportation clients, really any type of privatized or public transportation, the TTC for example. There will always be people who could use an app to tell them when to expect their ride.
All in all, I think it’s a pretty robust solution; the equipment management piece, the maintenance piece and the transportation communication piece. Operators benefit from having a really strong, interconnected solution that provides important efficiencies.
Interested to learn more about how GoFleet’s solution could help your fleets unique needs? Contact us today by clicking the button below!
Major wireless network carriers are in the process of phasing out their 3G networks – commonly referred to as the 3G sunset. This is the period when wireless carriers will shut off their 3G services to make room for upgraded connectivity. When this occurs, all devices that are not 4G (LTE) compatible or higher will no longer receive cellular service, The period when wireless carriers make room for upgraded connectivity by shutting down existing 3G services is most commonly referred to as the “3G sunset”. All devices that are not 4G and LTE compatible (or higher) cease to receive cellular service after the transition is complete.
While the 3G network shutdown is not expected to be completed until the end of 2022, wireless network carriers are already starting to phase out their 3G networks. With 4G and LTE services now on the horizon, the time to plan ahead is now.
What does the 3G sunset mean for my existing telematics solutions?
The 3G sunset means different things to different fleets; for fleets that haven’t yet upgraded their devices, it could mean loss of connection to vehicle and driving data. To prevent loss of data transferring (and signal), fleets with 3G vehicle tracking devices will need to upgrade to 4G devices.
Conversely, the upgrade to 4G and LTE will provide users with a wider range of capabilities, including enhanced connectivity and speed, faster download speed and wider support for streaming and video interactions. Unfortunately, this means that 3G devices will no longer work or be supported.
What can I do to prepare?
Fleet managers will want to check all of their installed devices to determine how many still operate on a 3G network. You will definitely want to consider reaching out to your GoFleet Account Manager to determine whether your devices are 3G or 4G, as well as what plans are available to you in order to avoid disruption of service.
Fortunately our team prides itself on expandable, scalable business solutions for fleets of all sizes. Your account manager will be more than happy to work with you to create an installation plan for your new 4G devices to ensure a seamless transition.
Fleets can start protecting their technology investment by selecting devices and telematics solutions that are scalable and adaptive. Don’t be caught in the middle of a massive service disruption by assuming the 3G sunset doesn’t apply to your fleet. The move towards 4G — and increasingly 5G — is inevitable. Knowing what lies ahead and adopting flexible technology will help your fleet stay agile.
In the latest integration of systems that improve workflow and increase transparency among its stakeholders, ZenduIT has merged processes with Cityworks technology to create a veritable mapping superpower, aimed at engaging not only city workers, but regular citizens as well. By leveraging geographical information systems (GIS), Cityworks uses data to connect previously siloed city systems and ultimately build safer, smarter and more resilient communities.
What is Cityworks?
A geographic information system creates, analyzes, maps and manages all kinds of data; it connects data to a map, integrating “where things are” with descriptive information, such as “what things are like there”. It helps us understand patterns, relationships and the context within a geographical location. GIS creates fertile ground for mapping and analysis that can be used in virtually every industry, improving communication, efficiency, management and optimal decision making.
Cityworks helps you fully use your GIS data and improve operational efficiency. This leading web-based GIS asset management system tracks, manages, scores and analyzes the assets that comprise your infrastructure. Designed to help city-run agencies streamline their workflows, track data and improve communication, Cityworks helps local governments and utility agencies get work done.
Scheduling work activities
Cityworks provides a detailed foundation of asset management. Cityworks allows you to combine assets based on key factors such as age, type and location. These groups can be used to create and schedule various maintenance activities.
Because Cityworks is built exclusively on GIS, you can easily map open service requests, or work orders of varying types. These tools empower and encourage you and your staff to use asset data and create an integral part of the work management process.
We live and work in a mobile-centric environment. Your data should be portable as well. Cityworks has a number of tools to help your crew access and update valuable content on site and on the go.
You can track work that has been performed on an asset at any time throughout its entire lifecycle with Cityworks. Users can search for work orders and view them on the GIS map. Track active or overdue work orders and monitor work, regardless of whether it’s associated with a specific project, contractor or task.
Once you can track asset data and work history, you can better share this information with staff, cross-functional departments, and public citizens. Cityworks users have created solutions to improve communications across a number of tasks, including repairs, inspections, emergencies, permits and resident requests or inquiries.
How Cityworks can benefit your city
Often, information silos and archaic systems prevent a city’s infrastructure from working efficiently. ZenduIT works synergistically with Cityworks to improve communication between a city and its constituents. Imagine having a work management tool that creates digital public maps where citizens can report issues in real-time.
ZenduIT’s mapping interface, ZenduMaps, allows the public to do exactly that. No more long, laborious 3-1-1 calls. Whether there’s a spotted pothole or burst pipe, users can simply click on the digital map and feed that data to the proper department. When they’re shared, intelligent monitoring tools foster goodwill between a city’s inhabitants and the infrastructure that’s there to support them.
Automated processes and applications
Connecting technology offers better tools to communicate with the residents within a city. For example, Cityworks can streamline the process of tracking property stabilization by making data and inspection status easily accessible and transparent across departments. This system of record keeps both residents and city employees in the loop and fosters efficient workflows.
Similarly, ZenduMaps can create a public map, whereby residents can report issues or render complaints in real-time, either on the site or using their mobile devices. Issues are submitted to the proper city department, and the tool can now allocate work to the proper crew, or feed into a third party work order management system such as Cityworks. Consider the applications for not only road work, but waste management and winter maintenance. Most cities currently operate under a “search and fix” process, but with strong citizen engagement and specific GIS data, the continuous course of mapping and fixing can create proactive, predictive patterns for future work, patrolling and route optimization.
Cityworks and ZenduMaps work together to drive public engagement; that component of citizen involvement helps create a dynamic and transparent workflow, where everything from reporting issues to taxes can be managed interchangeably, with input from the people who are most impacted.
Work management tools save time and generate efficiencies. When they’re connected, these same tools can also create goodwill within a community and improve some of the city processes currently in place. Together with ZenduMaps, Cityworks will help you build safe, resilient and smarter communities.
The automotive industry continues to respond to consumer demand for enhanced safety features in an ongoing quest to develop more secure, automated vehicles and a safer driving experience for the people who operate them. The race to develop smarter, safer personal transportation has taken us from seatbelts to self-driving cars; it would seem the finish line is somewhere on the horizon.
In the latest iteration of safer driving, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) have taken car manufacturing by storm, enabling vehicles to detect, correct and protect while in a driving environment. Mirrors and windows have been augmented — and in some cases replaced — with camera-based technology that helps both vehicle and driver react and respond to stimulus on the road.
What Are ADA Systems And How Do They Work?
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems use cameras to quickly and accurately detect and recognize all attributes on the road, including vehicles, pedestrians, traffic signs, lane lines and obstacles. Cameras are positioned outside the vehicle on the front, back and sides to capture images of the road, street signs, pedestrians, vehicles, etc. The images captured by the cameras are analyzed by supporting software and triggers a vehicle response to improve safety, such as emergency braking, blind spot alerts, helping park the vehicle, or driver alertness.
A Worthwhile Expense
Although ADA innovation has exploded in popularity, rolling out the technology on a large scale can be cost-prohibitive, particularly with smaller fleets. Getting these systems into more factory-built vehicles is not only expensive, but requires different levels of compliance and safety standards.
Nonetheless, studies point to a reduction of traffic accidents as the result of ADA Systems. According to recent research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, “ADAS vehicles showed a 27% reduction in bodily injury claim frequency and a 19% reduction in property damage frequency.”
They also limit the number of insurance claims due to accidents in which there is property damage but no sustained injuries. Clearly, an ADA System is a cost-saving – and life-saving – asset that can’t be ignored.
What To Look For In An ADA System
While fleet managers don’t have their sights set on autonomous driving just yet, there is inherent value in a truck’s ability to “see” and analyze its environment. An ADA System equips your drivers with enhanced visibility on the road while positively impacting road behaviour. Here are a few of the things to look for before making a purchase decision.
Exceptional cameras: The key to a reliable ADA System is using top-tier cameras. Simply put, better cameras can better recognize their environment and send data to the software, which can then initiate a faster response. What makes a better camera?
High Image Quality: Cameras should have high resolution, which allow greater levels of detection in all kinds of lighting and weather conditions and across all automotive operating temperatures. This affords the software greater, faster accuracy when interpreting data.
Customization: There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to fleet safety. Modular camera solutions enable fleet companies to choose from a selection of sensors, cameras and image sensor processors (ISPs).
Automated features: ADA Systems help avoid collisions by using technology to alert drivers to potential hazards or take over control of the vehicle to avoid such danger. This safety enhancement improves driving within your fleet, and among the greater population.
Adaptive features: Your ADAS should have adaptive features that incorporate navigational warnings to alert drivers to potential dangers, such as vehicles in blind spots, lane departures, automated lighting, adaptive cruise control, and pedestrian crash avoidance mitigation (PCAM).
Reputable affiliations: Your ADA System supplier should have unfettered access to strategic automotive-focused partners, enabling you to leverage cameras with next-generation human-technology-interfacing for the safest, most accurate driving experience possible.
With the number of options available on the market, it can be hard for fleet managers to know which ADA System will work best in their vehicles. Furthermore, it can be a challenge to train drivers to use them to their fullest advantage.
Modern ADA Systems contain some of the most sought-after safety features for drivers, fleet managers and organizations. Talk to your GoFleet representative about what’s coming up for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems, and how we can help you promote safety and awareness on the road.
When you think of electric vehicles (EVs), what immediately comes to mind? Very likely you’re thinking about those tiny little cars and even tinier parking spaces outfitted with charging stations. But did you know that modern EV’s come in all shapes and sizes? Auto companies are constantly coming up with innovative ways to “electrify” large trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles, and there’s never been a better time to plug in.
Many major auto manufacturers, including Ford and Rivian, are rolling out electric commercial vehicles, and because they’re only likely to become more common than less, there are a number of things to consider when deciding whether or not to make the switch from gas to electric trucks for your fleet.
EV or Gas-Powered?
There’s never been a better time than now to start thinking about adding EVs to your fleet. There are pros and cons to early adoption of electric trucks, including business needs, vehicle requirements and resources to support both EVs and gas-powered vehicles.
Pro #1: Saving Money
Compensation can be a big incentive for fleet managers who are on the fence about making the switch to electric vehicles. According to Environment Canada, the transportation, oil and gas sectors were the largest emission producers in Canada, accounting for 52% of total emissions in 2019.
The Canadian Government introduced the Green Freight Assessment Program (GFAP) in 2018, in order to help fleets reduce fuel costs and emissions over the next four years. The GFAP applies to medium and heavy duty vehicle fleets who are considering purchasing alternative fuel vehicles; those who invest in retrofit or low-emission vehicles can receive up to $100,000 from GFAP.
Pro #2: Cutting Costs
EVs are four times more efficient than internal combustion engines, which means you save money on fuel. Furthermore, electric vehicles have fewer equipment needs; they don’t require spark plugs or oil changes, which translates to less time and money spent on maintenance.
Pro #3: The future is electric
The future is electric, and battery intelligence optimization is a key element to unlocking its potential. Not only does the future of electric trucks speak to a more eco-friendly future, but it also has the capabilities for stronger, faster and tougher vehicles. As fleets look ahead, national policy is going to change around zero-emission targets. For example, the U.K. is introducing a ban on petrol and diesel cars in 2035. If you don’t want to be left behind, now might be the time to consider adopting EV vehicles into your fleet. Electric trucks might not yet have the capacity for long-distance travel, simply due to the shortage of EV charging stations, but in the meantime, EVs are a great choice for local routes, and can make a big impact with short-distance travel.
What to consider
Although EVs represent a roadmap to eco-conscious trucking and huge fuel savings, There are several hurdles that remain before their adoption is widespread.
#1: EVs Are Expensive
New technology is expensive. For example, the 2021 Rivian R1T, one of the first all-electric trucks to hit the market, starts at $69,000 US — more than double the price of a 2020 combustion-powered Ford 150.
#2: There’s Not A Lot Of Data — Yet
Currently, EVs are limited to specific applications that are well-suited to the technology; there will be many questions about their capabilities until such time as they can log significant travel time in real-world trucking operations.
#3 Range Anxiety
Route distance and road range can be an issue without infrastructure, leading to “range anxiety”; the fear that a vehicle won’t make it to its destination before getting to a charging station. The higher the speed, the more energy EVs require — most experts recommend that EV drivers keep their speed under 100 km to maintain battery life.
In addition, EVs don’t perform well in the cold. Using the vehicle’s heating system in cold weather can drain the battery, leaving its range cut by more than 40%. If your electric commercial truck is loaded up with cargo, you will now have to consider how the additional weight could affect power, which might require more EV charging stations along regular routes.
Vehicle manufacturers are still trying to figure out range solutions for longer trips, including larger batteries that may have capacity to hold more electricity. For example, Rivian announced vehicle-to-vehicle charging, meaning drivers can charge their EVs with another one’s leftover juice. Even further down the road, there’s a city in Sweden that will soon install real-life “electric roads” that allow you to charge your EV while you drive.
Considering EVs? Consider GoFleet
It’s important to know your company intrinsically; what makes it tick, its size, scope, purpose, key stakeholders, what kinds of routes your vehicles take, and what kind of vehicles you already have so you can determine what you need. Can your company afford to invest in a complete overhaul of a brand-new fleet of electric vehicles? Probably not. If you start to gradually import new EVs, will your existing combustion-engine fleet suffer? How gradually should new vehicles be incorporated? As you start the process of adding EVs to your roster, GoFleet can help you make the transition as seamless as possible.
Manage and Support your EV fleet
With GoFleet, fleet managers can stay on top of planning, scheduling, and completing service tasks with real-time updates and reporting. Review the fuel and EV energy usage for your fleet, allowing insights for electric range and performance of your vehicles. Reports could also be used to maximize and identify if any of your PHEVs are running solely on gas.
We’ll provide support across your entire EV fleet; If your drivers have smart devices, no additional hardware is required. Just install the gps tracking app on their phones and start running vehicles with more efficiency.
Visibility On Fuel And EV Energy Usage
We’ll supply a complete charging history of your EVs, showing you when and where the vehicles are charging, the length of time the vehicles were charging at a specific location, and how much of a charge they received. Our EV Charge Assurance provides a comprehensive view into the charging status of all your fleet’s electric vehicles.
In addition, you’ll receive alerts and notifications, such as when battery levels of a vehicle reach critical levels while on the road and the battery needs to be charged. Remind your drivers when it’s time to plug in and prioritize charging order for your vehicles
The GoFleet Solution
Although diesel will likely remain many fleets’ primary fuel for the immediate future, especially for longer, more complex routes, the introduction of EVs represent the industry’s first steps toward a future beyond the internal combustion engine and a massive industry shift.
There seems to be a fast and furious race to the finish line to see who can bring EVs to market first, whereas the focus should be on smart, scalable implementation. Regardless of whether you choose an EV or gas-powered fleet, GoFleet offers comprehensive solutions designed specifically for your business requirements. We’ll help you determine what to look for based on your fleet’s needs; whether you’re transitioning to an entirely electric fleet or plan to retain gas-powered vehicles as well. We’ll help you strategize and plan for your fleet’s future, all while saving you time, money and resources. Contact one of our specialists today!