General Interest

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.

Global tech market advisory firm ABI Research recently completed their Commercial Telematics competitive assessment and ranked Geotab the top Commercial Telematics vendor after Geotab scored highest in the overall categories of implementation and innovation and had the highest scores for four of the twelve ranking criteria.

“We ranked Geotab number one in global commercial telematics solutions, as evidenced by the fastest industry climb in organic subscriptions over the last five years and a differentiated marketplace of leading partners. Geotab has a unique leadership position including electric and hybrid analytics via their FleetCarma acquisition. Security expertise is apparent as they are the first to receive FIPS 140-2 validation for their cryptographic library and as the first SaaS telematics platform to receive a GSA sponsorship for FedRAMP certification”
– Susan Beadslee: Principal Analyst, Dominique Bonte: Vice President Vertical/End Markets, ABI Research

The assessment ranked 12 major vendors in the commercial telematics industry – Geotab, Arvento, G7, Gurtam, Masternaut, MiX Telematics, Omnitracs, Teletrac Navman, TomTom Telematics, Trimble, Verizon and Zonar. Each vendor selected for the assessment was analyzed based on a combination of prognostics & analytics, monitoring, open platforms, features, tech development, UI/UX, market share, geo coverage, vertical segments, partnerships, financial strength, and solution options. To qualify as a commercial telematics solutions vendor, companies needed to have at least 400,000 active subscribers specifically within the commercial vehicle market.

Geotab more than fits the bill when it comes to active subscribers. The company has seen 44% growth from 940,000 net active subscribers to 1.363 million, including many large fleet customers. Geotab expects to grow another 35% to 40% in 2019. As for partnerships, Geotab was awarded the world’s largest telematics contract (for 217,000 vehicles) from GSA Fleet, a division of the General Services Administration (GSA) that provides centralized procurement for U.S. federal agencies.

The huge success Geotab has experienced already and their continuing growth makes them one of the fastest-growing global telematics companies in the world. Not only does the company have active Geotab GO devices in 119 countries worldwide, supply multiple Fortune 500 companies, government entities, and North America’s largest fleets, the company has also doubled it number of employees and continues to grow significantly year over year.

If you’re looking for a reputable telematics company, look no further than Geotab. Contact our team at GPS to GO today to learn how the Geotab products and services we proudly offer our clients will save your business time and money!

For more on ABI Research’s Commercial Telematics Vendor Ranking for Geotab, click here.

While long speculated that Canada’s commercial driving
industry would follow in the footsteps of the electronic logbook (ELD) mandate
which came into force in December of 2017 in the United States, Canadian
company owners and drivers now know the date in which they’ll be required to
comply with a similar law – June 12, 2021. The official announcement came from
the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, on June 13, 2019, outside
the Canadian Trucking Alliance in Etobicoke, Ontario.

The official announcement comes after the regulatory
proposal was first published in Canada
Gazette
, Part 1 in December of 2017, and follows recommendations from the
Saskatchewan Coroners Service in relation to the tragic collision between a
tractor trailer and the team coach bus of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey
team in April of 2018.

Commercial driver fatigue has been a long-standing road
safety issue and the paper-based daily logbooks drivers have been required to
maintain allows for tampering of hours of service, putting drivers, their
employers, and the general public at risk. The new ELD mandate’s goal is to
ensure that commercial drivers are complying with the Government of Canada’s Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service
Regulation
, with the use of tamper-resistant devices that are integrated
into commercial vehicle engines.

ELDs approved for the regulation will be approved by a
third-party certification process to ensure that the devices are accurate and
reliable. Additionally, the transition to ELDs means Canadian commercial
truckers will be aligned with the United States road safety regulations, if not
already, and will support economic growth, trade and transportation on both
sides of the border.

If you’re in the commercial trucking industry in Canada and are looking for an ELD provider, contact us to learn how we can help you find efficiencies, comply with the coming regulation, save money, and increase safety for your drivers.

Texting and driving is dangerous, there is no doubt about that. But while so much focus has gone into encouraging drivers to put their phones down, the other causes of distracted driving have been pushed aside despite also being very dangerous. It’s important for fleet managers to understand the different types of distracted driving so they can incorporate them all into training and reminders to their drivers to limit or remove all distractions to prevent costly or deadly accidents that are often very much avoidable.

What is considered distracted driving?

Simply put, distracted driving occurs whenever something takes a drivers’ attention away from driving, even for a second. In recent years the prominence of texting and driving and the consequences of partaking in that specific form of distracted driving have been at the forefront of road safety campaigns as it is illegal in Ontario but the truth is there are many ways a driver can be distracted which can result in similar consequences as texting, which unfortunately can include serious injury and death to truck drivers and others on the roads.

Did you know there are four different types of distracted driving?

It’s true, distracted driving doesn’t only require your eyes or hands to be off the road, and there are in fact four different types of distracted driving. So what are the four types of distractions?

  1. Manual: this type of distraction includes any reason which causes a driver to take their hands off the wheel while driving. This type of driving distraction is extremely dangerous as every driver should be ready to steer and change gears at all times, which becomes even more important if you are in harm’s way and don’t have the ability to maneuver your vehicle to avoid a collision.
  2. Visual: this type of driving distraction includes anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road. Though some may think glancing out the window for a few seconds at something that’s caught your eye isn’t dangerous, those people should think of the size of a football field. They should think of a football because at an average speed of 88.5 km/h (or 55 mph), taking your eyes off the road for only five seconds is the equivalent to driving with your eyes closed for the entire length of a football field. Now think of the damage that could be done driving that far on a road with other cars and pedestrians with your eyes closed.
  3. Cognitive/Mental: this type of distraction includes thinking about something other than driving when behind the wheel. This is a common occurrence and often a difficult distraction to avoid since people often have a lot on the go but it’s important to try and keep your mind as focused on the road as possible. While you may feel you are driving just fine while thinking of other things, in the event another vehicle has an emergency and/or comes into your path, not having your thinking set on defensive driving to avoid being in a collision could make the difference between a few seconds of reaction time and whether an accident occurs or not.
  4. Auditory: this type of driving distraction consists of having your attention preoccupied by noise including a ringing phone or a conversation both on a mobile or Bluetooth device or in-person with a passenger. This is an important one for both drivers and passengers to keep in mind as you can picture yourself talking to someone, a conversation includes the auditory distraction as well as visual if the driver takes their eyes off the road to look at their passenger, as well as manual if the driver uses their hands to emphasize their conversation.

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.