The telematics industry has made many claims over the years, not the least of which is that the technology can improve safety and contribute to improving driver behaviour. 

But such claims can raise eyebrows, especially as behavioural improvement is traditionally dependent on managers proactively generating system reports, publishing league tables and identifying training priorities, in addition to then following through with the necessary training and regular check-ups. All of which is time-consuming and can interrupt day to day operations.

masternaut - vehicles on a rural road

It would be a brave fleet manager that ignored the need for driver monitoring and training. A driver’s behaviour behind the wheel is probably the single most important factor determining their safety and security. And it’s a significant contributor to the physical integrity of your vehicles, your insurance premiums, as well as repair, maintenance and other ‘off the road’ costs’. Not to mention the impact on your brand caused by wayward drivers in liveried vehicles.

But is there a better way to improve driver behavior without resorting to resource-intensive managerial control?

At Masternaut, we believe there is.

We’ve developed the ‘In-cab coach’, a small, dashboard-mounted device that provides real-time feedback on speeding, ‘harsh’ driving events (such as hard braking or acceleration) and idling, all designed to inform the driver and to promote a safer, smoother, more economical driving style.

masternaut in-cab coaching device

It uses ‘Red Amber Green’ visual signals as well as an auditory warning (yes, it beeps at you) to alerts drivers when they are outside of normal driving parameters.

It was designed on the basis that people are more likely to change their behaviour when they receive immediate, rather than post-event, feedback. The familiar roadside vehicle-activated speed signs work on the same basis and the evidence is that they have a direct effect on drivers, who moderate their speed significantly, even though they are not being photographed and will not face a penalty.

Summary

The study provides clear evidence that immediate feedback to drivers has a major impact on their behaviour, resulting in much less speeding, safer and smoother driving, lower idling times, and a significant overall reduction in fuel consumption.

For more information about the study, please click here.

Author: Helen Potter, VP HR, Masternaut

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