Tips & Success Stories

Vision Zero is a road safety initiative founded by the Swedish government in 1997, which has been successfully implemented throughout Europe, and is now spreading throughout the United States.

To become a Vision Zero city, a municipality must meet four minimum standards, consisting of:

  1. Setting the clear goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and sever injuries.
  2. Having the mayor publicly and officially commit to Vision Zero.
  3. Putting a Vision Zero plan or strategy in place, having the commitment to do so within a clear time frame.
  4. Engaging key city departments, including police, transportation, and public health.

At its foundation, Vision Zero starts with an ethical belief in the right of everyone to be able to safely move throughout their communities – and aims to involve all the stakeholders in a city’s transportation system, including fleet and safety personnel to reduce and ultimately eliminate the risks inherent in the way traffic is traditionally managed.

New York City (NYC) has had its Vision Zero goals set high with its aim to become the “world’s safest big city.” Despite this hefty goal of theirs, the Big Apple has already seen significant improvements since their introduction of the program in 2014. In NYC’s Vision Zero Year Four update, the city reported a 28 percent reduction in traffic fatalities and 45 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities. For a city with an epidemic of traffic fatalities and injuries, seeing about 250 traffic-related deaths and 4,000 non-fatal serious injuries each year or one traffic fatality or injury every two hours, the reductions noted above signal that NYCs Vision Zero action plan is working.

How does Vision Zero differ from any other safety program?

Vision Zero starts with the premise that traffic deaths are preventable, but that human beings will make mistakes and crashes will occur. This leads to developing traffic systems to lessen the severity of crashes instead of a focus on perfecting human behaviour. Vision Zero uses a multidisciplinary approach and techniques, including technology and a reliance on data driven approaches, to achieve the goal of zero traffic fatalities or severe injuries.

What role does Geotab play in New York City’s Vision Zero Program?

Using Geotab’s technology and platform, the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) developed an operations and incident management system, Fleet Office Real-Time Tracking (FORT). FORT allows the DCAS to monitor real-time locations and alerts from city fleet vehicles and tie many of the city’s safety initiatives, such as collision tracking, safe driving, and emergency management, into one easy-to-use system.

New York City’s effective use of the Geotab technology and platform means the streets of NYC are becoming safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, and commercial and private vehicles, and will continue to do so as Geotab’s ever-evolving software and platform allow for more safety features and initiatives to be added to NYCs Vision Zero Program.

If you’re interested in incorporating Geotab’s technology and platform into your city’s Vision Zero Program and making your city streets safer for all, contact GPS to GO today!

The right telematics solution can help fleets of all sizes, but small fleets in particular can see the benefits of telematics magnified – if done right. This post will provide tips for small fleets to help them maximize the benefits they can experience with the Geotab telematics solution GPS to Go proudly offers to our clients.

So when is a fleet considered small? While there is no formal size threshold for what determines when a fleet is considered small, medium or large, for the purpose of this post a small fleet will refer to fleets with 25 vehicles or less. So why can fleets of this size have the benefits of using a telematics solution magnified?

While companies with larger fleets often have designated fleet managers whose sole job it is to manage and optimize fleet operations, companies with smaller fleets often delegate this task to a member of their team whose primary job is in a related department such as accounting or operations but often is not solely focused on fleet management and optimization. So what does this mean?

This means that companies with smaller fleets without a designated fleet manager are likely losing out on many opportunities to find efficiencies and areas for cost savings. A robust telematics solution, like the Geotab devices and platform GPS to Go offers and stands behind, can take care of much of the guesswork that goes along with fleet management to allow these multi-tasking employees to run an efficient fleet, cut down on costs, and still have time for their other responsibilities.

Now, let’s get to the tips to get you saving money in no time!

Tip #1 – Customizing the Platform Dashboard
The dashboard of your telematics platform should be a highlight reel of the most important metrics and reports to your fleet. Much like the front page of a newspaper, your dashboard should be customized with the biggest, most important information for at-a-glance access. Dashboard customization helps reduce visual clutter and lets you focus on the things that matter most to your fleet – a must for part-time fleet managers.

Tip #2 – Simplify Fuel Tracking with Emailed Reports
Being one of the largest expenses for any sized fleet, fuel usage and fuel waste are two major areas all fleets want to monitor as closely and accurately as possible to keep business costs down and prevent fraudulent use of fuel cards. Geotab makes it easy to track and compare fuel consumption across vehicles, allowing fleet managers to find and investigate outliers, and track down and correct any inefficiency. Fuel-related inefficiencies might include maintenance issues, excessive idling and/or bad driving habits. Having important reports emailed, rather than waiting for fleet managers to seek out the information, keeps fuel trend reports and fill-up reports at top of mind and allows greater opportunity for fleet managers to better monitor monthly usage rates and prevent against fraud.

Tip #3 – Optimizing Your Routes
Efficiency is the art of getting the most from the least, and this is the ultimate goal of fleets of all sizes. Thanks to Geotab’s fleet management software, fleet managers can track missed and completed stops, idling time, stop duration, and planned arrival time vs. actual arrival time. This means fleet managers have the information needed to compare routes and test changes to help drivers find the most efficient ways to carry out their duties.

Tip #4 – Catch Risky Behaviour before It Costs You
One of the downsides of having a small fleet is that losing even a single vehicle can result in a big hit to overall company productivity. By using telematics, fleet managers in charge of smaller fleets can monitor risky behaviour, such as speeding, harsh braking, harsh cornering and coach drivers in an effort to prevent collisions or damage to fleet vehicles which would take them out of daily operations while being repaired or replaced – both being very costly scenarios.

While GPS to Go is happy to help fleets of all sizes with their telematics needs, if you find yourself with a small fleet and part-time fleet manager or have added fleet management duties to an employee in a separate department’s existing workload, we’d love to speak with you about incorporating Geotab’s telematics solution into your business to find the efficiencies and cost saving opportunities which may be being missed. Contact us today to get started!

Electrifying your fleet can be a beneficial decision both in terms of the cost savings your business can experience as well as the environmental impact – or lack thereof that comes with EVs. While you may be thinking of incorporating EVs in your fleet, it’s important to do your research to ensure you’re fully aware of how best to get the most out of your investment. Below are a few of the common mistakes fleets make when adding EVs to their business so you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Picking the Wrong
Model of EV

Once left with minimal choice in the EV market, the options
have grown significantly over the last few years and will continue to grow
going forward. With so much choice, it’s more important than ever to research
each EV option available to ensure you choose the right model for your needs to
optimize the benefits and savings that can come along with incorporating EVs in
your fleet. Some important factors to consider when researching EVs for your
fleet are: comfort of drivers and passengers, vehicle range required, charging
options, and the cost versus benefits.

A commonly overlooked factor to consider when choosing an EV
is the “real world” driving conditions the vehicles will face in your fleet.
While the manufacturer will have stated ranges for city and highway driving,
environmental conditions such as steep topography or drastic temperatures will
impact your range and usage. For example, an EV running at high speeds with the
air conditioner or heat going can see over 20% reduction in range.

Not Taking Advantage
of Available Incentives

Since many levels of government have been keen to offer
incentive programs such as tax credits for purchasing EVs since EVs hit the
market, it literally pays to be in the know on what is available to you if you
are looking to purchase or lease an EV. If you’re in the market for an EV, be
sure to research potential incentives at the city, state/province and federal
levels to maximize potential benefits. It’s also worth noting that incentives
are not only seen during the purchase process, and often continue long after
the new car smell wears off.

These further incentives which you may have access to,
include: HOV lane access with single passengers in an EV, grants to install
charging stations, discounts on charging plug-ins from utility providers,
package deals on solar panel installation, and waived sales tax and emissions
inspections. The incentives listed are not meant to be an exhaustive list of
guaranteed incentives as incentives change regularly; you are encouraged to
thoroughly research any possible incentives prior to purchasing an EV.

Getting Zapped for
Poor Charge Management

The idea of an EV is great, but unless you’re smart about
how you use and charge that EV you won’t see the true potential savings and EV
can offer. To begin, it’s important to understand the three systems of
charging.

The first system of charging is uncontrolled charging. Uncontrolled charging consists of starting
to charge the battery as soon as you plug the vehicle in. This method ignores
peak demand and limits your potential savings.

The second system of charging is scheduled charging. This method sees EV owners setting a charging schedule
according to utility pricing to delay the start of charging until the rates are
lowered in the day. This method of charging can save over 20% if done
optimally.

The final system of charging is smart charging. The smartest of the charging systems, this method
delays and reduces charging depending on the demand at the moment. Fleet
operators using this charging method may save over 60% off charging costs
compared to the uncontrolled charging method.

While having the right charging system in place is important
the charging stations used are equally important. There are various types and
levels of EV charging stations so it’s important for anyone considering an EV
to research the options available to find the best fit for their prospective EV
models and their charging needs.

Driving Blind Without
Tapping into Performance Data

EVs have the potential to save fleets a great deal of money,
but only if they are used optimally. While simply running an EV may result in
cost savings, tapping into the performance data of your EVs through telematics
can assist you in getting the most from your investment. EV telematics offers
real-time answers to any questions that arise during electric vehicle use. This
can include daily reports, individual trip details, charging support, and
driver feedback. You will get the most efficient usage of your EV by
understanding every aspect of your EVs performance – EV telematics provides
this important insight.

Missing Your PR
Opportunity

Replacing gas or diesel run fleet vehicles with EVs offers
more than just a money-saving proposition for fleet owners; it’s also an
environmental benefit to your community. EVs reduce local emissions and noise
levels, and this positive community change offers the opportunity to connect with
your community on a deeper level, however many fleets with EVs aren’t taking
advantage of this. Using this PR moment could be something as simple as adding
a “100% zero emissions” sticker on a pure EV vehicle, or adding the information
to your website or newsletter.

While the idea to go electric may sound like a good idea,
and often is for most fleets, there is research that should be done prior to
electrifying your fleet to ensure you get the most out of your investment. If
you’re beginning the research process of finding the right EVs for your fleet,
consider visiting the Geotab Marketplace and taking advantage of the EV
Suitability solution.

If you’ve already gone electric and are looking
to tap into the gold mine of information your vehicle holds, contact GPS to GO
for your EV telematics needs.

We’ve all seen it – a car in traffic speeding past, zooming in and out of lanes of traffic passing whoever they can and tailgating drivers who aren’t keeping up to whatever speed limit they seem to be following in their own little world. While some might say this person has road rage, these are in fact behaviours that qualify as aggressive driving. Although not considered road rage, aggressive driving including the behaviours mentioned above can often lead to road rage which is defined as an instance of violence and criminal behavior that stems from a traffic altercation where the sole purpose is to harm other drivers. So what causes people to drive aggressively? And how can we help put an end to the dangerous behaviours that are the cause of countless accidents resulting in injuries and deaths each year?

Research studies have found a number of reasons that could influence a driver to exhibit aggressive behaviours when behind the wheel. One of the most socially intriguing factors they found was the idea of anonymity. In a study completed by the NHSTA and American Psychology Association (APA), found that people were more likely to perform acts of aggression in an environment that masked the identity of the perpetrator, such as driving at night or with tinted windows. Other factors which researchers believe influence aggressive driving behaviours include learning such behaviours from parents, peers, and different forms of media like television and movies. Another study done over the course of 6 years by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety discovered a link between increasing commute times and an increase in incidents of road rage. So how can Geotab telematics help correct aggressive driving in your fleet?

There are a number of telematics-related tools that can support fleet managers in curbing aggressive driving among their staff. These tools include:

– Using Driver Scorecards, which aggregates behavioural data among all your drivers and ranks drivers by how safe they drive by calculating the number of risky maneuvers they make on the roads.

– Gamification, which uses driver scorecards information and incentivizes drivers through safe driver recognition award programs.

– Driver Feedback, which uses driver behaviour data in real-time from devices like Geotab GO TALK to provide in-vehicle audible warnings and feedback to drivers about their behaviour.

– Training and Safety Education, which allows managers to use individual driver behaviour data to personalize driver training and education so each driver can work on specific habits they need to improve on.

It’s also important for fleet managers to recognize and be considerate of employee stress levels, such as time constraints on routes that can cause a driver to speed in fear of being late. A good practice to bring into your fleet’s routine is informing and reminding drivers of relaxation and coping techniques for any drivers who may be more prone to drive aggressively as a result of feeling stressed or angry.

Aggressive driving and road rage are not only negative qualities you don’t want associated with your business, but also are incredibly dangerous to your drivers and others on the roadways. By using the technologies offered by Geotab, and some fairly basic training, you can eliminate aggressive driving from your fleet. To get started using Geotab telematics with your fleet, contact us today.

Full enforcement of the ELD mandate in the U.S. has been in effect since April 1st, 2018, so if you or members of your fleet drive through the United States and haven’t been stopped yet, you should prepare for your first stop with the following information to ensure your drivers are aware of what is expected during the inspection to get them back on the road swiftly.

When a commercial vehicle driver is stopped for a roadside inspection they are required to present their record of duty status for the 7 days prior to the inspection. Geotab Cloud ELD (Geotab Drive) offers three methods to present driving logs to Department of Transportation enforcement officers. These methods are through web services (preferred method of FMCSA), by email, or through the display option presenting the logs off a tablet or phone.

Although your drivers should be trained on how to use the Geotab ELD device prior to hitting the roads, it is also important to know it is mandatory at all times to have instructions on how to use Geotab Drive in the cab for the driver and officer to reference. If in doubt on what the process is, or what is needed during a roadside inspection, drivers can also reference the new workflow called Inspection Mode as part of the Geotab 1802 software/firmware. Inspection Mode will also display a new warning to officers when they attempt to leave Inspection Mode telling them to return the device to the driver. This warning is to help prevent officers from looking at other places within the app that they shouldn’t be on.

Inspection Mode Screenshot

Display Warning when leaving Inspection Mode

Heatmap showing successful Geotab ELD data transfers in the first 90 days of 2018

For additional information on roadside inspections you can watch the video webinars below with Officer Kimberly Hill, Motor Carrier Inspector, Indiana State Police

ELD and Roadside Inspections Part 1 [Video]

ELD and Roadside Inspections Part 2 [Video]