Telematics could save motor-industry image

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One of the biggest problems with the motor industry that looks likely to continue getting worse, is that its image is affected by global warming. Requiring fuel to operate, vehicles are seen as some of the world’s biggest polluters and unfortunately it’s quite true. However, with telematics, one firm, Trimble,  believes we can cut back on fuel costs and change the face of the industry to one that’s far greener than a lot of its contemporaries.

While of course the sceptical may point out that Trimble is bound to pat telematics on the back, since it operates and develops GPS technologies, as well as different methods of tracking, including laser and optical solutions, it does have a fair point. As FleetNews points out, the theme for the 2014 World Environment Day (which took place earlier this month) was “Raise your voice, not the sea level,” as the conference was focused on the fact that sea levels have risen by as much as 10 per cent globally in recent years.

C02 is the main culprit of this rise in sea levels, as it increases global temperatures and therefore melts polar icecaps and unfortunately for those in the motor industry, cars are a big part of that.

 Trimble also offers efficiency reports for goods transport and logistics

Trimble also offers efficiency reports for goods transport and logistics

However with telematics, Trimble thinks we can really cut that back and at the same time improve the entire image of the industry.

“For many of our customers, being a truly sustainable business is an ultimate aim,” said John Cameron, general manager of Trimble Field Service Management.

“A fuel efficient fleet can make a dramatic difference to a company’s CO2 emissions, not to mention its bottom line and is often one of the easiest changes to make in a business with green aspirations.”

With telematics, there are several ways that efficiency can be improved to help reduce emissions and the carbon footprint of a business that has a fleet to operate:

  • By sending the nearest vehicle to a job, the overall mileage of the fleet is reduced.
  • With drivers being monitored all the time, their driving should improve, reducing acceleration, heavy braking and speeding. This lowers fuel consumption and improves the life of tyres and other aspects of the vehicle.
  • Vehicle diagnostics can be improved, so an inefficient one can be repaired in a timely manner, saving more fuel and parts costs.
  • With reduced vehicle wear comes less frequent trips to the garage and thereby a longer life for parts, thereby cutting back on the carbon footprint of the business’ repairs.

Cameron highlighted some of these aspects in his talk, suggesting that many of Trimble’s customers had found similar benefits after installing telematics in their vehicles:

“Many of our customers have found Driver Safety technology to have reduced employee speeding by up to 80 per cent and significantly lower fuel use. Any aggressive manoeuvres, such as hard acceleration, braking, turns and speed can be recorded, offering real-time feedback to the driver as well as a complete analysis for the back office.

“This insight means that training can then be provided to individuals that need to improve their driving style which will help to reduce fuel use and, ultimately, CO2 emissions.”

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Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.