Author Acknowledgement

This discussion paper was written by Stephen Tofler during his Summer Internship in 2016/17 through the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) Research Office. From November to February, ARRB offers a Summer Internship Program to University students in order to further their professional development, as well as gain experience in working within the transportation industry. The NRSPP is a proud supporter of these types of initiatives and we very much enjoyed having Stephen on board.

Overview

The use of telematics, commonly known as In-Vehicle Monitoring Systems (IVMS), continues to grow through the Australian transportation industry as operators take advantage of both operational and safety benefits such technologies provide.

To better understand the potential of IVMS, and issues arising from their increasing industry uptake, NRSPP consulted leading figures from the transport industry – including operators, drivers, insurers, technology providers and researchers – to promote collaboration and improve business and safety outcomes. NRSPP has engaged with operators to create case studies of fleet management practices, with links to case studies and other relevant information provided in this paper.

For Successful Implementation: Five key considerations

Consultation with key industry figures demonstrated that were some common factors required for the successful implementation of a telematics system. These can be arranged into five clearly defined components:

  1. Clearly defined goals
  2. Selecting technologies for now and future use,
  3. Building employee acceptance,
  4. Real-time monitoring and
  5. Feedback

The key points made during our IVMS consultation include:

  • IVMS, or telematics, bring operational and safety benefits for transport operators.
  • Bottom line benefits include increased fuel efficiency and reduced maintenance and incidents, resulting in lower insurance premiums and downtime costs.
  • IVMS can drive improvements in compliance and driver behaviour, through tailored training and counselling, and helps operators improve productivity through efficient real-time resource allocation.
  • Introducing technology-based systems can create ‘Big Brother’ perceptions among the workforce, which makes how a program is implemented crucial.
  • Critical aspects of implementation include consulting the workforce (in most cases, drivers) about program introduction, explaining how IVMS makes them safer and their job easier.
  • Implementation should be followed up with the opportunity to provide feedback on how the system is working in practice.
  • When choosing a telematics system, consider what you want to achieve and understand which systems will meet the needs of your organisation. Work with providers in reaching this decision.
  • While the information collected by your telematics system is important, what you do with that information will determine whether
    you reach your objectives.
  • Accountability, consistency and regular review are hallmarks of effective telematics systems.