Telematics are becoming established as industry standard for fleet

Both fleet operators and OEMs are becoming champions for the interconnected technology.

The ability to continually transmit a wide range of data through the field known as telematics has been increasingly prominent in the past twelve to eighteen months. For the LCV sector this is being witnessed from the factory floor to the van in operation.

In 2018 Renault Trucks became the first LCV and van manufacturer to launch its own dedicated telematics system. Renault Trucks Vantelligence’ is a completely modular system suitable for any Renault Trucks Master Euro-6 and helps to control a fleet’s day-to-day operations and reduce operating costs. The new system can monitor LCV driver behaviour in order to improve fuel efficiency and performance, track vehicles in real-time for improved fleet efficiency, and will monitor environmental performance for eco reporting.

As well as being touted by car manufacturers, the need for this technology is echoed by Julian Humphreys, the chief revenue office for Maxxia Group in the UK: “At present this is mainly achieved through tracking driving hours and assessing the driving style being employed. This encompasses everything from heavy acceleration and braking to erratic cornering behaviour. This gives organisations a good starting point in identifying those drivers that could benefit from interventions, such as training.”

“In the future, we’re likely to see further measurements added, including feedback from safety devices such as automated braking and lane keeping and driver drowsiness detectors. This will give an even more complete view of the safety of drivers undertaking business journeys.”

Julian Humphreys

LCV telematics provider Microlise also identifies another key benefit for the technology, in preserving safety levels across an entire fleet. This is done through developments such as an incident data recorder. Through this device incident analysis uses a black box recording function which links with the Microlise telematics solution. The recorder is triggered by incidents such as rapid deceleration.

The so-called ‘multi-camera solution’ is integrated with the Microlise Fleet Performance product, through which users can download the specific footage surrounding an incident straight from the vehicle playback.

Mark Richards, BNP Paribas head of the equipment and logistics division in the UK, provides another summation of the benefits of telematics for the LCV sector: “Similarly telematics can help in managing the dealer workflow, and the tech in these vehicles is such that driver behaviour is relatively easy to monitor because it is all recorded. So from that perspective certainly in terms of larger fleets is becoming more prevalent. It also exists in other sectors of our business that we are involved in such as mechanical handling and also in the agricultural market. This type of technology is not new to us, it is something that we are relatively comfortable with.

“A person is unlikely to pay for a telematics system unless they are running a fleet, but it does definitely give a greater ability to understand the efficency of the vehicle and the driver.”

Mark Richards

Telematics can be seen as an essential grounding to ensure compliance across drivers in a fleet, or ensure an economy of driving even for a solo vehicle. The question now is not whether this technology will take off, but what innovation in the LCV sector shall arise from it.