Vision Zero and How Telematics Can Help You Get There

Vision Zero and Telematics

Contributed by Kim Thoman

In this segment we will discuss Vision Zero and how sophisticated and affordable telematics solutions can help you reach your goals. First it is important to understand what Vision Zero means and how it works.

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all. First implemented in Sweden in the 1990’s, Vision Zero has proved successful across Europe. It was officially introduced in North America 1995 and is quickly being adopted across many cities in the United States. Among these cities are Seattle, NYC, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Boston and many more. Even closer to home Orlando, Tampa and Hillsborough are implementing Vision Zero goals.

Where to Start

The question is what tools are needed analyze the data involved with traffic fatalities. Information that is important to study is traffic patterns, traffic light coordination and timing, occurrence of collisions and the ability to highlight hazardous intersections to name a few. NYC’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), for example, adopted telematics to encourage safe driver behavior in its very large municipal fleet. In an effort to make change DCAS uses collision reporting data to better understand the occurrence of collisions. This allows them to better modify safety training, evaluate roadway conditions and assess the efficiency of street improvements and projects for all road users. Another benefit of telematics for DCAS is the reduction of costly lawsuits and process that consume valuable resources.

Vision Zero Results

NYC’s Department of Transportation (DOT) also implemented the same telematics solution in the agency’s 35,000 fleet vehicles to analyze the speed within the fleet and the quality of pavement. In NYC, telematics has contributed to a reduction in fatalities two in 2018 compared to eight in 2014 as employees engage in safer driving behavior.

We live in an era of Big Data. Telematics can optimize smart transportation. Aggregate data allows cities to closely monitor traffic flows, understand the effects of new projects and speed reduction programs as well as assess the efficiency of traffic signals, map air quality and highlight hazardous intersections. These are all tools to better manage the city’s transportation system as a whole.

Vision Zero

More Benefits With Less Effort

By combining air quality sensors with telematics solutions, city vehicles have the ability to measure air pollution without changing their regular routes, according to the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Air pollution data is collected by stationary air quality monitors placed miles apart. This has been proven not to be the best solution as studies have shown that air pollution levels can vary greatly from one block to another.

By installing mobile monitors on fleet vehicles could allow a city to cover more ground. According to the report, a fleet in a small or medium North American city could map 50% or more of the city with 10 vehicles, and almost 80% of the city with 20 vehicles. In Washington, D.C., where only five stationary air pollution monitors are installed throughout the city, the top 20 public vehicles covered nearly 70% of the city in six months.

The Future of Vision Zero and Telematics

Vision Zero is not a slogan, not a tagline, not even just a program. It is a fundamentally different way to approach traffic safety. That being said, implementing a successfully proven telematics solution is an invaluable tool to help cities across North American reach these powerful safety goals.

Contact Fleetistics today for a consultation.

MyGeotab Version 2002 – See What’s New

Geotab Version 2002 First Look

As we have come to expect, when a new version of Geotab is released there all always a lot of questions. We just got our first look at MyGeotab version 2002 and want to share an advance look at what is coming soon. By turning on “Feature Preview” in your Geotab account settings, you will see some changes sooner.

To turn the preview on, click on your username in the Geotab UI, then click options. Scroll about halfway down the page to UI Settings and click the on button for Feature Preview. Don’t forget to scroll back to the top of the page and save your new setting.

 

turning on feature preview
turning on feature preview

What’s New in MyGeotab?

Users – You can now designate your support, training and procurement contacts for your organization in the UI

This is an optional setting that may be very helpful, especially in large organizations. Assign key experts from your organization who can answer questions and solve problems in MyGeotab! As professionals in areas of training, procurement and technical support, these individuals can share knowledge and identify tools to help meet your needs in the Fleet Management Application. They can also receive important updates about new features, and other areas we are working on to support your business.

Individuals designated as support contacts must provide a phone number, since we may redirect calls if we cannot assist a user from your organization who needs help.

New User Options
New User Options

New Phone number field and System Communications tab on the User Edit page

There is a new System Communications tab which combines email reports, in-app notifications and service updates, into one convenient view. Use in-app notifications (formerly called: news notifications) to stay up-to-date with service updates and other news, all without leaving MyGeotab. There is also now an phone number field for all users.

User Authentication Advances

Basic HTTP-based authentication using the HTTPS/SSL security methods.
SAML Single sign-on (SSO) authentication. [Active Directory (Azure or ADFS) is available from Fleetisitcs]
MyAdmin Uses your MyAdmin credentials for access to MyGeotab.

Users can now transition between three authentication types:
SAML > Basic
Basic > SAML
MyAdmin > Basic

Start your week on any day

In MyGeotab version 2002 you can choose any day to start your work week. In previous versions this was limited to Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Moving on to the Map

Using a clustered approach,there are new tools to show you where your vehicles are, which vehicles have stopped (indicated in orange), and which vehicles are driving (indicated in green).

live map clustering

Driver Assignments

Driver Assignment

The live Map now displays new drivers as soon as they are assigned to a vehicle. Previously, new drivers were only updated when the next trip occurred.

Also, the pop up window for assigning a driver is now much clearer to understand.

The driver will be assigned to the vehicle for all trips until:

  • The driver is assigned to another vehicle.
  • Another driver is assigned to this vehicle.
  • The driver is unassigned from this vehicle.

Other new features worth mention are a new pending changes message, updated system notices, a billing reminder message when removing a device, and the diagnostic code token is now available in all custom notification templates.

The EV Charging Report and EV Charging Activity indicators on the live map are out of Feature Preview.

Visit Geotab to see all of the details.

Support Cases Made Easy

Support Cases Just Got Easier!

The thought of opening a support case can be frustrating. We have all had a bad experience dealing with a support issue online at some point. Fleetistics is determined to simplify and streamline the support process.

Benefits Of Opening A Support Case

  • Avoid Hold. Don’t waste valuable time calling. We are glad to talk to you but we service many customers. Entering a case simply avoids hold time and phone tag.
  • Easy Access. The support system resides within MyFleetistics. It is connected to your database so you don’t have to look up serial numbers and device details. When a case is opened from the Device Status Table, vehicle information is automatically entered in the support ticket. Current and historical cases can be reviewed.
  • Fire and forget. The case allows you to walk away why we do our research. You can go about your day. No phone tag. No being on hold.
  • Accountability. Cases are time and date stamped. Both parties are held accountable for a timely response.
  • Communication. Information is shared and documented in one place for a single issue.
  • Notification. When a case is updated by Fleetistics or you, notification is provided to the other party.
  • Self Help. We are working to provide quick, easy to follow instructions for the most common issues so you can potentially address an issue immediately and move on with your day. View troubleshooting steps click here.
Opening a Support Case

Accessing the Device Support System

 

After logging into MyFleetistics, click Analytics, then Dashboard Device Status. A list of your devices populates, color coded to identify devices that may have issues. First, find the device that you want to open a case for, and click the flag to the right of the device information.

 

Opening a Support Case

Next, Complete the Brief Support Case Form

Not a vehicle or device issue?

If your support case is not about a device issue, simply click the cross icon in the top right corner of the window or navigate to Help Center > Support and select “Open Support Case” to open the form without specific device information.

Alternate path to open case

Select the category of the issue from the pre-populated list.

Open a support case

Now, Add Your Case Comments

In the comments section tell us what you have done to identify or resolve the issue. Clearly, we must go through a series of troubleshooting steps. Knowing what you have already done moves us past those steps.

A screen shot or image of an unusual occurrence is always helpful. Don’t forget to attach the file.

Finally, be sure to verify your email address and add the best phone number best time to call if we need to speak with you.

Open a support case

You have successfully opened a support case.

Support Case is now open

Case Confirmation Email

Once a case has been opened you will receive an email confirmation as in the image below. The email contains a link to your case. Each time a case is updated, you will receive another email notification so you know it is time to view and respond.

Inside the case you can add additional details, upload images, and respond to questions the Support Reps ask through the linked form. Replying to the email will not record your response in the case, so always use the link in the email to add your response directly to the case. All of the history is then recorded in the case. You can also check on the status of a case at any time by navigating to Help Center > Cases .

Case Acknowledgement Email

Example of the Support Case in MyFleetistics

Typical Support Case Documentation

In the example below, Support requests the client’s agreement to the RMA terms prior to returning the device for testing. The pdf RMA terms document link is in the email and in the case itself. It contains the details on where to send the device, what happens next, and has some helpful links to other documents as well. After reading the document it is time to acknowledge it in the Support Case system. Working from the email, it looks like this.

Support Case agreement

The Response to the Case is now logged and time/date stamped.

As more action is taken, everything is documented while the problem is being solved. Here is the case after a few more entries. There is no question about who is doing what, or if we are making progress.

Support case progress

Measuring Fleet Productivity & Idle Waste

Measuring fleet productivity and controlling idle waste are two easy ways to save money in difficult times.

Contributed by Sherri Mills

In this blog, we discuss two top cost-control strategies using Geotab GO device data to help boost productivity and vehicle uptime. In the business we often refer to this as the “low hanging fruit”.

What is fleet productivity?

Tracking fleet productivity is a top concern for many businesses, especially when labor is one of their most significant costs. Improving productivity will help you provide optimal service to your customers, which is important now more than ever. Telematics technology gives fleet managers accurate and detailed visibility over their vehicles, helping businesses allocate assets where they are needed most.

Maintaining 100% visibility over vehicle utilization and work assignments helps make sure that Hours Paid = Hours Worked as much as possible. Gaining just one hour of driver productivity per day, or even per week, adds up quickly.

Keeping Score

Fleet productivity is the basic measure of employee work output. Creating a productivity score provides a way to objectively measure performance so you can identify successes and pinpoint where improvement is needed.

Keep in mind, it is not ideal to expect 100% productivity, especially when employees lack control over their own output, for example when they are dependent upon customer availability, or when they are impacted by adverse weather and traffic.

Productivity score formula

(Total Hours Worked) / (Shift Hours less Lunch, Breaks or Meetings, Downtime like traffic) = Productivity Score

For example:
(Drive time = 5 hours + Office time = 1 hour) / (8 hour shift – 1 hour lunch and breaks)

(5+1) / (8-1) = 86% Productivity score

You can adjust this formula as needed depending on the structure of your business.

Managing Idling

If you’re looking at ways to improve productivity, idling is another area to look at. While not all idling is avoidable, for example in heavy traffic, there are many instances where it can and should be minimized.

Excessive idling not only wastes fuel, but also time idling vehicles are not making deliveries or driving to their next work location. Idling can also put extra load and engine hours on your fleet, increasing the number of oil changes and other maintenance tasks required.

While the GO device automatically monitors idling within each trip (no setup required), customizable reports and rules make tracking idling easy.

Here are the most effective reports for identifying and curbing idling:

1. Highest Idling Duration

See the percentages of engine time spent idling versus driving, per driver, per day. The results of this report can be used to determine which drivers need further training.

2. Daily Idling Cost Trend

The Daily Idling Cost Trend report provides a rolling, seven-day view of your fleet’s total cost of idling, which can be refreshed daily. You can use this report to spot trends during certain days of the week, which may correlate to specific work assignments or job sites, allowing you to make adjustments for the following week.

3. Last 3 Months Idling Trends Report

This report displays the total fuel spent while idling across the entire fleet. You can use this report to assess whether or not your efforts to reduce idling have been successful. Trend reporting tools can also be used in areas like asset utilization.

You can download the Last 3 Months Idling Trend from the Geotab Marketplace. View report.

 

4. Idle Cost (previous 30 days)

The Idle Cost report provides a 30-day rolling view of the fleet’s total cost of Idling. While managing productivity is key, seeing the whole cost of idling over 30 days is impactful as well.

Conclusion

Telematics systems can be used to measure and understand the productivity of fleets. With Fleetistics and the Geotab telematics platform, you and your customers are assured exceptional data producing real ROI results.

We look forward to partnering with you and demonstrating real success for your customers’ fleets in 2020. The best is yet to come.

 

DOT Compliance For Small Business

Small Business Explanation

This blog is designed as general information for the small business operator who is unsure if their line or volume of work requires being DOT registered and compliant. The video will help distinguish between a weekend warrior and commercial entity. It will guide you through some of the most common requirements so when you are eventually pulled over you are prepared. It also gives you an idea of how to respond if you are not a commercial entity so you can get on your way quicker. Be sure to check your local regulations and read the FMCSA website for details.

 

Does My Business Need to Be DOT Compliant

Knowing if you need to be DOT compliant as a small business may be confusing. There are a few questions to answer to make this determination. Once realized, you can work to get compliant in an organized manner.

The first criteria is whether your power unit (truck) is being used to generate revenue. Are you acting on behalf of a business to make money? Second is gross vehicle weight. Does your power unit and trailer have a combined GVWR over 10,001 lbs? The gross vehicle weight rating is marked on the decal inside the door jam. Most heavy duty pickup trucks have a GVWR over the 10,001 lbs limit. When you add a trailer to the power unit, it is easy to exceed 10,001 lbs.

Last, where is the vehicle operating? If the vehicle is operating state-to-state, the vehicle is considered to be a commercial vehicle. There are mileage exceptions to this. Most widely used is the 100 air mile short haul exemption. A commercial vehicle that stays withing a 100 mile radius of the work reporting location, and returns to that location within the work day may be exempt. There are also agricultural exemptions for a 150 mile radius.

Always refer to the FMCSA guidelines and FAQ to be sure your vehicle qualifies for an exemption. If DOT compliance is in doubt, contact your local FMCSA filed office for guidance.

 

FMCSA Compliance Made Easy

Once you are designated as a commercial operator, you are required to implement electronic driver logs for hours of service compliance. This can be a daunting realization. Failing to be compliant can lead to all sorts of terrible consequences such as DOT fines, higher insurance rates or even being dropped. On top of that, reduced delivery times with limited driving hours and a host of computer related activities will suck up your time and financial resources.

In contrast, compliance with a full featured ELD system eliminates wasting time correcting paper driver logs, a second set of books, and potential DOT fines. Ultimately it rewards you with happier drivers and less turnover. In the end, your investment in ELD generally pays for itself in many ways. Fortunately, Fleetistics offers ELD, DVIR, IFTA and other services in a single platform to facilitate FMCSA compliance and save you time and money.

 

Basic DOT Compliance Checklist

  • Read and follow your State & FMCSA guidelines
  • Train your drivers and test their knowledge as your first line of defense to a DOT audit
  • Issue and train drivers how to use paper logs if your electronic logging device goes down
  • Carry a correct and properly mounted fire extinguisher
  • Carry a box of three roadside triangles
  • Display your company name, IFTA decals and DOT number on both sides of your vehicl
  • Always keep spare fuses on hand for the vehicle type
  • Have available in cab the proper registration, insurance, ELD documents and CDL
  • Track time on duty and mileage by state for IFTA
  • Maintain annual inspection and documentation

Check out our other blogs on:

GPS Tracking

Fleet Management

Phone Tracking

Tablets & Data