With the advent of wireless telecommunications, smaller/more powerful devices, and more mobile devices, fleet technology has rapidly evolved over the years. It is a trend that isn’t going away any time soon. For fleet managers, that’s excellent news.
No one ever said effectively managing a fleet was an easy task. Between the day-to-day challenges associated with reducing fuel costs, keeping up with vehicle maintenance, ensuring compliance, and improving driver safety, it’s no wonder that fleet managers often feel stressed and overwhelmed.
Fleet managers: It doesn’t have to be this way.
Integrating technology in your fleet will help solve challenges associated with all of these operational areas, help you stay competitive, and help your business thrive. For purposes here, we’ll focus on one area —driver safety — specifically on two technologies to help you improve driver safety and, in doing so, cut costs across your fleet.
Dashcams have become widely adopted by the fleet industry in recent years, and for a good reason — they help fleets achieve safety and cost reduction goals. Fleets surveyed in the 2021 Fleet Technology Trends Report and were asked what goals they achieved since implementing a video solution, and the following are the findings:
- 72% — Improved driver safety
- 51% — Improved protection from false claims
- 44% — Reduced accident costs
- 29% — Reduced insurance costs
Dashcams allow you to monitor driver performance and behavior (speeding, seat belts, hard acceleration and braking, distracted driving, etc.), and they also record driving routes. Recorded videos are also utilized as a tool to hold drivers accountable. It can also be used as a training tool to coach drivers toward safer driving practices or reward drivers for safe driving practices. This can be a great help for your driver retention initiatives as it can boost employee morale and improve driver performance. Since the vehicles operated by drivers who obey the speed limit and don’t engage in other poor driving behaviors burn less fuel and experience less wear and tear, you save on fuel and maintenance costs too.
With insurance fraud a growing concern, dashcams also provide visual evidence for protection against fraudulent insurance claims and costly payouts. Not only are fleet managers fans of the video evidence dashcams offer, so are insurance companies. Dashcams minimize liability and help prevent fraud. Some insurance companies offer discounts for installing dashcams.
Cameras are easy to install, user-friendly, and provide high-definition video recording. When the engine is turned on, the camera starts recording. Within minutes, when an incident occurs, you receive a video that you can watch on a mobile device/desktop or download for later review. This video can also help you determine what safety measures or improvements you may need to put in place to improve fleet safety efforts in the future.
A collision-avoidance system or driver assistance system is a safety system designed to prevent an imminent collision or reduce its severity. System functionality varies. Some warn or alert, while others override the driver and provide assistance. The technologies and sensors also vary but typically are radar, lasers, cameras, GPS, and AI (artificial intelligence).
Regarding AI, AI sensors in the vehicle detect driver movement, gaze direction/attention, vehicle activity, traffic conditions, and other data to alert drivers in real-time. This allows drivers to make decisions about imminent risks, providing an impressive 40%-60% reduction in collision frequency and costs.
There are many different systems available that fleets can leverage to improve safety. The most common collision avoidance alert systems are:
- Forward collision warning (FCW)
- Lane departure warning (LDW)
- Blind-spot warning (BSW)
- Cross-traffic warning
- Pedestrian detection system
The most common collision avoidance assist systems are:
- Automatic emergency braking (AEB)
- Electronic stability control (ESC)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Parking assist
Collision avoidance systems are a valuable tool to help drivers feel safe and valued and to train drivers on best practices. They keep vehicles and drivers productive, reduce accidents and accident costs, and decrease liability and maintenance costs — bottom line, they improve the bottom line.
According to a recent study from the National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence, fleets that adopted at least one advanced safety technology significantly improved safety outcomes.
So, what are you waiting for?