Soaring fuel prices, combined with escalating competition in the transport and logistics sectors, are forcing fleet operators across the world to take a close look into telematics.
In Northamptonshire England, the police force has installed technology in 270 vehicles with a total fleet of 420 units so far. In just 15 weeks after initial installment of telematics devices, the force said it had already seen fuel consumption fall by 2,000 gallons per week (estimated £13,000 in saving weekly) (Roberts, 2013). These telematics devices will be able to pinpoint where officers are located across the country in real-time and direct them where they are mostly needed in case of an emergency.
In China, telematics started to rise in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Many government-run buses and taxis were outfitted with a simple GPS-based system to help reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions through efficient route planning. It is estimated that up until 2013, there are around 1 to 1.5 million vehicles in China that are equipped with a tracking system, mostly for taxis, buses and trucks carrying dangerous materials or explosives (Telematics Update, 2013). The numbers will keep rising as the government turns to telematics to manage traffic congestions as well as trying to keep the greenhouse gas emission under control.
The demand in fleet industry is starting to shift from simple tracking solutions to more comprehensive services that offer real-time feedback on driving behavior (including alerts on harsh braking, revving, excessive idling, etc.), diagnostic and maintenance reminder for drivers and fleet managers. In many countries, government continues to drive adoption. Private fleets are equally alert in using better routing software and telematics to save their money.