The Dirt Magazine_Issue 9

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issue 9 │ 18 │ THE DIRT REPORT STAYING CONNECTED: CURRENT TRENDS IN FLEET One of the biggest reasons to use fleet telematics is improving how drivers behave. Liabilities and other costs associated with employees abusing their vehicle privileges is high, and fleet managers are taking action. The latest and greatest telematics systems monitor for speeding, hard braking frequency (a possible indication of distracted driving), idling the engine (wasting fuel), how many miles have been driven in any given period, or even unauthorized vehicle use. People and businesses want to know when goods will actually show up. The weather, traffic and other factors are not always cooperative with everyone's schedules, and this is where telematics is growing as well. Systems can now track a truck's location, monitor weather along the intended pathway, and even analyze traffic flow patterns, producing a more accurate arrival estimation. Drivers may use this information to choose the most optimal route for staying on schedule, thanks to predictive modeling. Taking things even further is video monitoring. No longer are fleet managers just depending on data alone to tell them if drivers are engaging in risky or wasteful behaviors. With cameras mounted inside the cab, pointed at the driver, they can prove if someone has been, for example, texting while driving. Everything today is more connected, going beyond just smartphones to household appliances and vehicles. Fleet managers used to be content to simply track where different vehicles were located at any given time, but times have changed. What used to be sufficient when it came to fleet telematics is no longer enough. The lowering cost of telematics systems is also driving up usage.

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