One of the biggest concerns people have with telematics, is personal privacy. That’s a legitimate problem with it too, especially in a world where not that long ago it was revealed that all of the world’s governments were spying on just about everyone all the time with no oversight. Still, personal privacy doesn’t extend quite so far in the work place, which is why telematics are often a better fit for employees than end users. While they may not have much of a say in the matter, you’re likely to get far more beneficial results if those drivers are onboard with the idea and fortunately for many fleet managers around the UK, acceptance is growing rapidly.
In-fact, in a new survey from Atomik Research, it was discovered that more than two thirds of fleet drivers are comfortable with being tracked while at work. Of the 2,032 that had their brains picked by the research firm, 68 per cent said they had little problem with telematics technology being fitted to their vehicle. That said, many of them hadn’t tried the technology yet, with over 72 per cent of those asked saying they didn’t have any form of tracking fitted to their vehicle at home or at work.
As for those that said they weren’t comfortable, when asked why that was, over half of them responded that it was to do with maintaining a level of personal privacy with regards to where they went and how they drove. Others said they simply weren’t comfortable about how the data would be used (14 per cent) while a full 18 per cent said they didn’t really understand the benefits of the system, so saw no need for it.
Admittedly in the work place the benefits are felt more by the fleet manager than the drivers themselves, but telematics have been shown to improve driver safety, so there are certainly some benefits for individuals.
Martin Hiscox, CEO and chairman of Masternaut, said (via FleetWorld): ‘In the past, UK drivers have shown a measured response to vehicle tracking technologies, which is now largely over both from a consumer and business perspective. But we mustn’t be apathetic – the concept of telematics being purely a vehicle tracking technology is outdated and we need to continue talking more about the safety and efficiency benefits instead.”
This is a key point for those looking too push telematics, as while it does, at the most base level, track the user, it also offers a number of other benefits. Fuel efficiency improvements are a big part of it, since it can not only help cut back on heavy acceleration and braking, which are often not as efficient as more steady forms of speeding up and slowing down, but it reduces vehicle wear and can help send the closest employee to the job site, which improves the efficiency of the business.
Hiscox also said that he wanted to see more telematics companies pushing the idea of data security forward, pointing out that in his company’s Connect platform, data is anonymous and encrypted for maximum end-user protection.
Image source: MBWA PR