Nick Walker's blog: 22 September - A great leap forward in telematics for business
22 September 2016
The recent publication of the RAC Telematics Report 2016, demonstrates just how far businesses have come in the acceptance and adoption of telematics technology.
In a relatively short space of time, we have seen businesses go from being cautious about installing tracking devices in their fleet vehicles, to fully embracing all the benefits that are now proven to come from the 'little black box'.
This is clear when you look at the results we had from asking our sample of businesses about their uses for telematics. As we would expect vehicle tracking is still the top reason for using telematics, but if you dig into how businesses are now using that tracking data, it's much more about supporting customer service, monitoring vehicle health as well as staff welfare and training.
For instance, more than half of those who responded, 54%, said they used telematics in order to monitor driver behaviour for training purposes. In addition 47% make use of the tracking data to generate accurate mileage reports and more than a third, 37%, use the data to analyse vehicle health.
Furthermore, when you look at what businesses identified as the top benefits from using telematics, they list the savings in fuel costs (55%), fewer accidents (43%) and a reduction in maintenance costs (31%). So we're moving further away from this idea that businesses simply want to know where their vehicles, and by implication their staff are.
Looking ahead to what businesses say they want from the technology in the future, again the emphasis is on connectivity and diagnostics. Telematics is very much at the heart of the future of breakdown services, as it unlocks so much insight and data, as well as providing a platform to be truly predictive.
The technology is here today through telematics to monitor vehicle health and alert fleet managers, chief mechanics or breakdown services directly when there is a problem developing. And further, by combining that monitoring with a depth of knowledge about vehicle failures, it is going to be possible to predict and even prevent some causes of breakdowns.
This is the kind of functionality that will be of real value to businesses, enabling them to eliminate vehicle downtime and drive up fleet efficiency thanks to the insight that is now available, and really is a great leap forward in terms of using telematics for business.