Operating a business which uses a commercial fleet is challenging. When your fleet has to interact with big cities daily, this becomes even more challenging. Drivers now have more technology at their disposal than ever before to help them complete their work. Below we are going to highlight three of these and explain how they are helping commercial drivers.
It seems hard to imagine, but there was a time when having a GPS navigation system installed in a commercial, or private, vehicle was rare. As with most technology, as it has advanced and become more widespread, the cost has come down, and it has become more accessible. It’s now unusual to find a phone without GPS in it, and the development of GPS systems for use in commercial vehicles has been significant.
There are two reasons why GPS is important for commercial drivers, particularly those who work in big cities. Firstly, businesses that use systems can see each vehicle’s live location within their fleet thanks to GPS. This is vital in situations where sudden changes to a schedule may need to be made.
Secondly, thanks to GPS, fleet managers can track the historical routes their drivers have taken. There are several benefits to this, but one key benefit is that fleet managers can look back at the routes taken and identify areas for improvement. This could be as simple as avoiding a road section through a city that is currently experiencing road works. Commercial drivers benefit from this because with better route planning, they spend less of their day sitting in traffic, and their productivity can increase. When working in big cities, it is vital that commercial drivers avoid as much traffic as possible and use the most time-efficient routes.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition, or ANPR, systems have been installed in cities around the world. With congestion charging zones coming into effect in major cities, ANPR plays a vital role in making it easier for drivers to comply with these charges. Vehicle number plates are read and cross-referenced with a database to identify which vehicles have paid or need to be charged for entering the zone. ANPR has made it easier for commercial drivers entering big cities as they do not have to stop and get out of their vehicles and pay to enter these zones.
Fleet management feedback systems
When commercial drivers are out on the road, their fleet managers have almost no control over how they operate their vehicles. For businesses, as well as drivers, safety is a crucial aspect of the job. Ensuring drivers are behaving in as safe a way as possible when on the road is vital. By installing in-cab coaching systems which provide instant feedback to the driver based on their actions behind the wheel, their safety can be improved.
These feedback systems provide audio and visual alerts based on how the vehicle is being driven. Speeding and harsh actions such as braking, accelerating and cornering are all monitored by this in-cab device. Not only does the driver receive instant feedback, but fleet managers can monitor the data produced by these systems and identify drivers who may require further training.
When operating a commercial vehicle in a big city, having a system that can improve a commercial driver’s safety and the safety of other road users and pedestrians is invaluable. A study carried out showed that drivers who received this feedback reduced their number of dangerous driving actions each day compared to those who did not receive feedback.
There are countless other pieces of technology built into commercial vehicles over the years which help drivers carry out their jobs. Those listed above are just a few examples of technology which can be added to vehicles or cities to help commercial drivers further. With the continued advancements in technology, it will be interesting to see the developments to vehicles and cities which help commercial drivers in the years to come.