Through a combination of telematics and collision avoidance, fleet managers can gather and easily understand important data while protecting their drivers and fleet.

Telematics are an essential part of running an efficient fleet. For fleet and safety managers, however, are they enough? If not, how are they best supplemented?
First of all, what do telematics do and what do they not do? In general, telematics help you keep track of where your vehicles are, where they are going and how they get there. A good system can significantly increase your fleet efficiency—according to The Telegraph, the Automobile Association was able to save a million pounds ($ 1.3 million) the first year they implemented a particular telematics system.

Integrating Telematics with CAS
However, and this is the critical part, telematics are only part of increasing fleet efficiency. You can certainly save money by ensuring that your vehicles take the most advantageous route, but if they end up in a fender-bender on the way, all of those savings, plus more, may be gone in an instant. Not to mention more serious collisions that can endanger your workforce and others on the road, and leave you open to legal liability.

This is why many fleets are opting to integrate their current telematics system with a collision avoidance system (CAS). These systems warn drivers of potentially dangerous situations such as getting too close to the vehicle ahead of them or unintentional lane departure. According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study, lane departure warning systems for trucks cut the number of collisions resulting from unintentional lane departures by half.
In addition to avoiding collisions, studies have shown that these warnings actually train drivers to avoid getting into dangerous situations in the first place. This trend can be substantially reinforced by integrating telematics and collision avoidance systems in order to collect data on drivers’ habits, empowering fleet managers to reward good behavior and focus training programs on where bad behavior manifests itself.

For fleet managers this may seem to present a dilemma—to invest in telematics or collision avoidance systems? What exactly do you get from each system? Chart 1, page 56 reflects the advantages of each.
However, when you closely examine this chart, it seems that the question of telematics or a collision avoidance system is less a dilemma and more of an opportunity. Each system provides a tremendous opportunity for its own Return on Investment (ROI). We have discussed the ROI of telematics above, so let’s now look at collision avoidance systems.

Mobileye® Shield+™ system.

Collision Avoidance Systems
Collision avoidance systems are based on the fact that almost 80 percent of collisions involve driver inattention during the three seconds preceding the crash. These systems are designed to draw drivers’ attention back to the road during these critical seconds. Systems like these have already proven themselves in reducing collision rates. A robust collision avoidance system will include:
1. Forward collision warning to warn of an imminent collision with a vehicle ahead
2. Lane departure warning to warn of unintentional deviation from the driving lane
3. Pedestrian and cyclist collision warning to warn of imminent collision with a pedestrian or cyclist ahead
4. Headway monitoring and warning to warn if the distance from the vehicle ahead becomes unsafe
To really understand the ROI of a collision avoidance system, you must first understand the true cost of accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, each accident costs a fleet an average of $16,500, rising to $74,000 in case of injury, and over $500,000 in case of a fatality. Now imagine reducing collisions by almost 30 percent, the effectiveness of forward collision warning alone, and you can really appreciate the ROI. For more exact figures you can use an ROI calculator.

Chart 1: The advantages of telematics and collision avoidance systems.

A Cost-Effective Opportunity
So while some fleet managers may see a tough budget choice between telematics and collision avoidance systems, others see an opportunity to combine the two, increasing savings and ROI. Telematics through efficient routing, collision avoidance through avoiding costly crashes and, more importantly, by working together, providing powerful tools to fleet managers. Combining these systems allow these managers to track which drivers are triggering alerts. Drivers who trigger headway warnings can be educated about keeping proper distance. Driver incentives can be implemented based on alert data and managers can identify particularly dangerous areas of town that they may want to avoid.
It is only through this combination of telematics and collision avoidance that fleet managers can gather, and easily understand this important data while, at the same time protecting their drivers and fleet. | WA

Fuel Savings
Over and above the ROI from collision prevention, a collision avoidance system can also add to the fuel savings you are already getting from telematics. While it is obvious how you can save money by taking shorter or less congested routes, many fleet managers are unaware of how much fuel is eaten up by poor driving habits like sudden braking. For example, Dish USA reported an astounding 2 percent drop in fuel costs after installing a collision avoidance system. Best of all, integrated telematics and collision avoidance systems provide the data you need to show the ROI of both by tracking collision reduction, fuel savings and uptime.

For more information on learning how collision avoidance can optimize your fleet, call (877) 867- 4900 or visit