Going Green: Using Telematics to Reduce Fleet Emissions
Date posted: 5 May 2017
Telematics has been a big name in the fleet management and insurance industries for the past couple of years, and their influence shows no sign of slowing down. Seemingly offering innumerable benefits in terms of fleet safety, logistics and overall performance, since they entered the industry, telematics has provided a platform for enormous advancement and improvement in the procedures and techniques of fleet management and revolutionised the way fleets can be monitored and utilised.
The massive amount of aggregate telematics data collected on fleets across the globe has given fleet managers the vital opportunity to accurately assess and analyse both the micro and macro facets of fleet operations. By comparing individualised data to company-wide trends, fleet managers have been able to direct more efficient routes, timetables and maximise profits.
Why Telematics Effect Fleet Emissions
Just as the general increase in the adoption of telematics across the industry has led to an upwards trajectory in the efficiency and responsibility of fleet use, a similar correlative reduction in emissions has been noted.
With the gradual introduction of new, and increasingly strict, legislation by the EU on reining in carbon emissions, understandably more companies are putting a higher impetus on carefully monitoring their potential environmental impact. Similarly, a careful consideration of emissions, or more directly, your fleet’s fuel usage can have an extraordinary impact on your fuel economy. But where do telematics come into it?
As stated above, telematics provides an in-depth overview of the operation of each vehicle in a fleet, specifically three individual sources in each vehicle: the GPS, a sensor on the diagnostic port of the engine, and the accelerometer. Respectively, each target area provides information about specific locations, dates and times, as well as the health of the vehicle – providing data on fuel economy, service need and, importantly, carbon dioxide output. The accelerometer similarly provides distinct information about the movement of the vehicle, through axis-based motion sensing, the importance of which will soon become clear.
The information that telematics provides can be analysed, leading to actionable and pragmatic strategies that enable all fleets to lower emissions.
How Telematics Reduce Fleet Emissions
Using telematics, or specifically, the information they provide can lead to a significant reduction in your fleet emissions, through the following ways.
Increasing Route Optimisation
Allowing fleet managers to monitor the miles and specific routes individual routes drivers use, and have used in the past, whilst comparing them to larger company operational information provides vital opportunities to analyse and eradicate unnecessary miles through optimal route planning or consolidating certain routes – simultaneously reducing the number of vehicles necessary, as well as the miles necessary to perform the jobs. Thus reducing the environmental and financial impact of each job.
Reducing Idle Time
Unnecessary idling is an often hidden financial burden on every fleet, the American Environmental Agency stating that idling can waste as much as half a gallon (depending on vehicle classification) of fuel per hour. Whilst reviewed singularly, does not seem like much, when each individual vehicle is correlated, the costs can add up quickly.
Telematics can help prevent this by capturing idling incident data, which can be programmed to begin at a specific number of minutes, enabling fleet managers to hold drivers more accountable and to enact better training and incentive programmes.
Identifying Unauthorised Vehicle Use
Unsurprisingly, the unauthorised, or out of work hours use of vehicles wastes fuel and pointlessly increases carbon emissions. Using telematics, fleet managers can implement a real-time alert system to spot when drivers are using their vehicles without warrant or express permission, allowing them to address the issue quickly and mitigating the financial impact.
By identifying specific drivers and repeat offenders, fleet managers can implement better accountability and consequential procedures.
Ensuring Timely Maintenance and Repairs
An important step to improving fuel efficiency, and consequently, reducing harmful emissions, is to properly maintain vehicles, and ensure that any repairs are done within a reasonable amount of time. Telematics, alongside offering a better operational understanding of a fleet, and thus, allowing fleet managers to more effectively coordinate specific maintenance and repair, saving money and mitigating operational disruption, are key to better fuel economy.
Keeping on top of vital repairs is an important to improving mileage and fuel efficiency, as a faulty engine component can often cause a lag that affects the entire usage of the vehicle. By configuring your telematics systems to send real-time warnings when diagnostic codes are triggered, a vehicle can be immediately pulled in for repair, without causing further damage to itself or the environment.
Telematics systems which include engine diagnostic tools give management the tools to proactively maintain vehicles, increasing vehicle performance and reducing fuel and greenhouse gas emissions.
Promoting Greener Driving Behaviour
Telematics, through an extended focus on the accelerometer, can initiate a programme of alerts to be sent to drivers when they are accelerating too quickly, idling too long, or displaying bad behaviour through speeding or repetitive stopping and starting.
Drivers have a massive impact on the environmental efficiency of a vehicle, behaviour like speeding can have costly effects, producing enough heat to nearly double the wear on tires at increased road speeds, and simultaneously upping the maintenance cost.
With the oversight provided by telematics to pinpoint the areas where a driver’s road behaviour may need improvement, managers can provide exact and useful feedback for driver’s to improve upon.