Technology is everywhere, from the phones in our hands to the headphones we’re wearing to listen to the radio, right through to the more obscure tech forms that we take for granted like the pumps that move air through our fish tanks and the toasters that warm the toast that gets us going each morning. More so than ever before, technology is a huge part of our lives and it’s only going to get bigger.
Today, technology is being utilized on the roads in a number of different ways to help us to enjoy our all-round driving experiences whether we’re doing the school run, popping to the supermarket or driving from one depot to another 300-miles away. Fleet telematics is one of the most useful technologies helping drivers to improve road safety and performance.
Telematics, also known as ‘black boxes’, use GPS technology to keep a close eye on the vehicle and how it is performing. In the case of car insurance, the black boxes monitor the speeds of the vehicle, how hard the driver brakes and even the time of day that they drive at. This data is then analysed by the insurance company and they will charge the driver according to the information gathered over what is usually a 90-day period as opposed to one flat-rate annual fee.
The ‘black box’ insurance packages are great for young drivers in particular. Due to their lack of experience, it will encourage them to improve their driving styles making them better drivers and they can monitor it with each insurance bill they receive. It also means they don’t have to pay a lump sum each year or when they’ve just bought their first car.
The technology is also used in fleets of vehicles where the depot manager can utilize the GPS systems to monitor where the driver is and how they are performing. Many haulage firms use these systems so that they can monitor where in the country – or world – their drivers are so that they can report an estimated arrival time to the client awaiting a delivery, or to ensure that drivers are taking regular breaks to stay safe on the roads.
The information reported back to the depot can be used for future journeys to the same destination, helping the depot manager to work out exactly how much that particular trip cost in terms of fuel consumption, and time, and encouraging the driver to be more economical with their driving performance on the next trip or working out a quicker, shorter route for the future.