UK local government improved MPG with telematics

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It looks like it’s not just fleet managers that stand to benefit from the improved fuel economy that telematics can enabled, but local governments and their residents too. The South Gloucestershire county council in the UK, has announced that after adding telematics to its vehicles, it’s managed to cut back on fuel consumption and improved the efficiency of the vehicles too.

This all came about as part of the company’s carbon management program, which is part of a nationwide effort to cut back on government greenhouse gas emissions and associated costs at the local level. This could end up making quite a big difference too, despite what you might imagine, as there are a surprising number of vehicles used in local government.

In the case of South Gloucestershire’s county council, they made use of the Trakm8 SWIFT fleet management tool, giving it a better understanding of fuel usage among vehicles and drivers – helping them offer training if necessary – but mostly just making sure to use the most efficient vehicle for the job. That means that if one is needed in any particular location, the nearest can be sent straight away, rather than someone calling round to different drivers and finding out which one is the closest.

southgloucestershire

Ultimately, this has led to a big drop off in the council’s CO2 emissions, and fuel consumption has been improved, meaning cost savings for the department too. It has also contributed to the council’s pledge to improve the quality of life for residents in South Gloucestershire by improving the local air, as part of the Air Quality Action Plan.

Martin Harris, transport & procurement manager at South Gloucestershire Council, said: ‘We value or staff, community and the environment and we are always looking at ways we can improve the quality of life for our residents. Trakm8’s SWIFT Fleet Management software has helped us to improve our fleet efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint, which is part of our Carbon Management Plan.’

John Watkins, executive chairman at Trakm8, added: ‘With increasing pressures on public sector organisations, I am pleased that Trakm8 can assist South Gloucestershire Council to reduce their carbon footprint and increase efficiencies.’

What will now be interesting to see, is if other local councils will take Gloucestershire’s lead and improve their own local efficiency thanks to telematics.

However, I would love to know how they covered the privacy hurdle, as potentially local government officials could use or be driven around in these vehicles. Is it entirely safe to have technology broadcasting their location, even if it is anonymised and safely stored by Trakm8?

 

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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.