Telematics to positively impact the future of SA’s road safety

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Telematics to positively impact the future of SA’s road safety

The recent spate of large-scale traffic accidents has firmly put the spotlight on road safety, as businesses and insurance companies consider new technologies in an effort to track and improve driving behaviour as a means to mitigating this risk.

The recent spate of large-scale traffic accidents has firmly put the spotlight on road safety, as businesses and insurance companies consider new technologies in an effort to track and improve driving behaviour as a means to mitigating this risk.

According to Arnold van der Linde, Executive Chairman of IntegriSure, one of the most promising technologies currently available to insurance and fleet management companies is telematics. “Vehicle telematics is a system of computers and wireless in-vehicle telecommunication devices, which relays real-time data across the network and back to an organisational source point, where it can be processed and analysed,” he explains. “This technology is constantly evolving with new developments able to provide deeper and more insightful information with regards to both driver behaviour and the vehicle itself.”

Van der Linde notes that while telematics has primarily been used in the tracing and recovery of vehicles, the scope is almost limitless. “New telematics units can store and transmit data related to the acceleration, deceleration (braking) and cornering of vehicles, to establish driver behaviour patterns, which is valuable data in terms of understanding and mitigating risks. It is also possible to monitor specific drivers by means of tagging and tracking the driver rather than the vehicle.”

With recent fatalities on South Africa’s roads increasing, particularly those involving trucks, van der Linde says fleet owners should consider telematics as part of an overall safety and accident prevention strategy. “Telematics can be very successfully used by corporations to not only track behaviour, but also to ensure the safety of their drivers, their loads and other road users. Any possible problems such as brake failure, speeding or faulty parts can be picked up and rectified, avoiding fatalities.”

The data collected may also be used to potentially manage ‘ring-fenced’ vehicles – ensuring they are functional in certain areas or radiuses from a factory or office, as well as enabling built-in early warning systems to inform fleet owners of situations such as approaching border posts and ensuring that goods are delivered to a specific address at the correct time and date. Further information can also be extracted on excessive idling time and vehicles being used outside normal business hours.

The cost of telematics has been cited as a barrier to some organisations making use of telematics, however van der Linde predicts that as this technology becomes more readily available, the cost of access will become more manageable. “Fleet owners need to shop around and use their negotiating powers to get better prices as cheaper options do exist.”.

He adds that the use of telematics and monitoring driving behaviour could also have a positive impact on individual road users. “If insurance companies are able to use telematics data in a positive manner, presenting it as an incentive to encourage responsible driving, we could see claims declining in the future, which will in turn reduce the cost of premiums on the consumer.”

“With so many advancements being made in the field of technology, we are expecting to see even greater innovations within telematics,” says van der Linde. “The future use and application of data is in the hands of the users, and is set to create exciting and positive changes in the industry.”

– See more at: http://www.integrisure.co.za/news-room/press-releases-news/articletype/articleview/articleid/148/telematics-to-positively-impact-the-future-of-sas-road-safety.aspx#sthash.WnWeNFoT.dpuf

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