The use of commercial vehicles involves a wide range of risks and costs. There's the potential for traffic accidents, thefts, injuries, fatalities and liability claims, and that’s even before you take fuel costs into account.
Whether you own just one business car or a large fleet of trucks, you need to reduce your risks as much as possible to ensure the safety of your vehicles, employees and profits.
What is telematics?
Telematics technology connects to your vehicles and allows you to track a vehicle’s location, movement, and data, including:
- Driving behavior like accelerating and braking
- Fuel consumption and fuel levels
- Indicators for ignition, open doors, or active alarms
- Speed of the vehicle
- Weight of the vehicle and its load
- Vehicle malfunctions and diagnostic issues
- Which gear the vehicle is in
This data can be shared with your insurance company, which may sometimes reward you with lower premiums if your drivers are exhibiting safe behaviors. Telematics can help insurance companies better pinpoint levels of risk, so the use of insurance telematics is gaining in popularity.
Telematics can help your business:
- Improve driver safety
- Save on fuel and maintenance
- Respond faster to breakdowns
- Optimize routes by using traffic prediction
- Enhance vehicle security
- Stay compliant with regulations
- Reinforce company policies
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Receive discounts on auto insurance
Telematics is changing commercial auto insurance
Here are three ways the latest generation of telematics is advancing commercial auto insurance:
1. Overall safety is improved
Safety is the main objective for both business owners and insurance companies. By collecting data on driver speed, hard braking, rapid acceleration, excessive idling, seat belt usage, etc., telematics solutions allow employers to record incidents, intervene in unsafe driver conditions, and train employees to practice safer habits.
Drivers who know their behaviors are being tracked are generally more conscious of their actions, so they tend to drive more safely and create a better on-the-road reputation for your company.
2. Visual capabilities and sensors enhance insights
Telematics technology has been around for decades. Traditional uses of the technology involved the collection and distribution of data to support claims and flag dangerous behavior.
Now, new vision-based video solutions are incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, which in some cases rewards drivers for defensive driving when they would have previously been penalized for seemingly dangerous behavior.
While in-cab cameras and vision-based technologies may not be able to prevent an accident in real time, they do help prevent future incidents. Captured video gives employers a passenger-seat view of employee driving behaviors and enables them to correct bad driving habits and instill better ones.
Vehicle identification sensors are also gaining in popularity; they allow fleets to authenticate a driver’s identity before the vehicle can be started.
From the employee, to the employer, to the insurance company, access to driver behavior data creates a safety culture where all parties can manage and build on driver improvement.
3. Hard data provides valuable information for claims, risk management
Companies using telematics to monitor driver behavior may receive an insurance discount. The concrete evidence provided by the data gives business owners and fleet managers’ peace of mind that each driver is maintaining a safe speed and obeying state driving laws.
In the event of an accident, the data can help determine liability in a claims settlement, potentially protecting businesses from false claims and subsequent insurance rate increases.
Ongoing telematics evolution, enhancements
As technology has evolved, telematics has moved to an open system that can be integrated with other types of hardware accessories, software, and mobile apps to provide added insight into your business operations. You can now use your smartphone to access real-time data on deliveries, drivers and important cargo.
Any type of small business, large corporation, nonprofit organization or government agency operating vehicles may benefit from the latest generation of telematics technology.
Want to learn more? Reach out to Megan Prince to learn more about Telematics and her process around Fleet Operations Management.