For many, telematics is a part of every long-distance car journey. We have become accustomed to digital connections in our vehicles, from sat-navs to Bluetooth calls and, more recently, mobile wi-fi. While most of this is commonplace in executive cars, there appears to be a reluctance to implement such technologies in the wider fleet sector. At a time when company car tax is increasing, it’s essential that fleet management companies are taking every opportunity to streamline their long-term costs.

The evolution of modern telematics technologies is one of the major talking points in the broader fleet sector right now. Despite a range of options currently on the market, it appears that many are still slow on the uptake. Global telematics insurance provider Redtail Telematics found in a recent survey that around 30% of respondents could see no reason to change from a traditional insurance policy to a telematics-based solution. However, it is increasingly likely that this technology will dictate the future of fleet costs, and its benefits to the whole operation are wider-reaching than just insurance.

The Internet of Things for Fleet Management

One of the most popular buzz-terms of the modern age, the Internet of Things – the ability for devices to share information over the internet – is set to transform our lives. Whilst this commonly refers to operations in the home, the adoption of telematics in fleet management will see many similar benefits on a larger scale.

Many fleet management systems will have elements of telematics already included, such as navigation systems for vehicles and tracking of units for head offices. However, the full adoption of telematics will bring much more detail to this process. Telematics devices that take advantage of the Fleet Management Systems Interface (FMS) or equivalent will be able to provide detailed access to the running of every vehicle. This includes specific details such as fuel consumption, average speeds and even engine performance deterioration over time.

By having access to detailed analytics regarding every vehicle’s performance, fleet businesses will be in a much stronger position to evaluate their costs. This can relate to individual drivers – such as the miles-per-gallon expected against achieved – and to the vehicles themselves, allowing businesses to notice deteriorating performance much quicker and with evidence to support it. By having the entire fleet system tied up in this fashion, fleet management businesses can expect to see more streamlined expenses from their operations.

The Future of Fleet Insurance

One of the largest benefits of this technology, however, is its effect on insurance. In the survey conducted by Redtail Telematics, the reduction in car insurance costs was the biggest reason why UK drivers would choose telematics insurance. Simply put, the amount of detail provided by fleet telematics makes insurance claims much easier to resolve.

While telematics is good for keeping a detailed record of vehicle performance, its detail makes it particularly useful for insurance claims. Telematics devices can record a multitude of driver-influenced data points, such as the severity of cornering, rapid acceleration and braking and other poor driving techniques. When it comes to an accident, certain solutions can provide incredibly detailed scripts of events before and during the incident, such as speed or whether the driver was accelerating or braking. By being able to provide such information, many fleet insurers will offer discounts to companies that utilise such technologies. Some insurers may also offer discounts for fleets that can prove good driving habits, something possible through the details of this technology.

Whether fleet management companies adopt telematics now or in the future, the percentage of vehicles that have this technology on board will only increase going forward. Black boxes are still popular for new drivers, while some insurers allow motorists to receive discounts while using their apps, a cheap alternative to modern telematics. Whether business leaders like it or not, this is likely to play a big part in fleet insurance soon.

What ERA Can Do for Fleet

Our experienced fleet team here at ERA are experts at reducing the overall costs of fleet administration. Corporate fleet management is often one of the largest expenses for a business, and our sector experts can help you reduce its costs by looking across a range of factors. We can help you save money in a variety of areas, such as vehicle procurement, taxing and whole life costs, so if you are interested in streamlining your fleet management operation, contact us today.