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Trending News and Stories in the World of GPS Fleet Tracking

GPS Makes Fleet Deliveries Lightning Fast

01/07/2014 by Randy Thomas

For fleets that base their entire business operation on drivers delivering products throughout their community, the idea of using a GPS system may seem like an unnecessary expense.

After all, each driver knows the entire area and every possible shortcut to make sure packages are delivered on time.

But a comprehensive GPS system does more than show a driver the way from Point A to Point B.

In a time-sensitive delivery industry, a fleet must make deadlines in order to keep existing customers and attract new business. And there is so much more that goes into expanding than simply having a good collection of drivers.

Using an advanced GPS system allows fleet managers to keep to a schedule through the ability to track every vehicle’s progress, coordinate any last-minute pick-ups or deliveries, and also making sure that every package is accounted for from the warehouse right to the final destination.

There are numerous GPS reporting options available that feature fleet technology. An example of this is Teletrac’s Delivery Performance Report, which is beneficial for on-time delivery tracking, customer invoicing, customer billing, any delivery disputes and allows a fleet to optimize its entire schedule.

Find out more how Teletrac's Fleet Director software can save your fleet time and money, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!

This sort of GPS system provides real-time location mapping so every vehicle in the fleet is accounted for at all times. Using the technology allows for both the fleet manager and the customer to know where a specific vehicle is located, when it will arrive at its delivery location and the quickest route to the final destination.

Fleet managers also get the added bonus of getting instant notifications of any problems or other unusual fleet activity. These instant alerts show whether a driver has been speeding, idling, driving outside of a designated area and plenty of other activity issues.

Most importantly, a proper GPS system also provides the company and the customer with a notification of proof of delivery. This tool becomes especially valuable for delivery fleets because customers are notified that a delivery has been completed. And beyond automatically sending reports as proof of delivery, this also provides evidence if it becomes necessary to refute a claim.

The end result is that the service provided through an advanced GPS system gives a fleet far greater efficiency in their day-to-day and long-term operation along with better service for every customer they are partnering with.
 

Find out more how Teletrac's Fleet Director software can save your fleet time and money, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!
 

randy thomasRandy Thomas is a Senior Account Executive at Teletrac and works very closely with delivery, service and private carrier fleets. Randy is also a pivotal member of our Chairman's Club and is one of our go-to brain trust's in the world of telematics and GPS technology. Email Randy Thomas
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Driverless Vehicles? The Pros and Cons of Self Driving Cars

02/04/2015 by Dennis Jaconi

Quite simply, drivers are the cause of nearly every problem on the road.

In fact, government research has shown that driver error is likely the chief reason in over 90 percent of all vehicle crashes. And that’s not even factoring in traffic and other highway and city road issues.

This has a lot to do with why there has been a growing push to develop self-driving vehicles for mass production.

And a computer operated self-driving vehicle is essentially the model motorist. These kinds of driverless vehicles would eliminate the outside factors that plague their human counterparts. Computers have much quicker reaction times and also do not drink and drive, use illegal substances, get distracted, run red lights or tail too closely to other vehicles on the road.

Still, there is a lot of public apprehension in entrusting a computer to get individuals and freight to a destination safely. Consumers would need to be educated on the concept in order to understand why this is a necessary step toward enhancing driver and passenger safety as well as reassured that the technology is without vulnerabilities.

Meanwhile, tech and car companies alike are continually investing in the development of proprietary driverless car technology, which was widely displayed at this year's Consumer ElectronicShow (CES). Just recently the consumer transport company, Uber, reacted to Google's self-driving car project by teaming up with Carnegie Mellon University to develop its own driverless car and mapping technology. This could potentially put the ride share company in direct competition with its largest investor, Google..

While the technology is still years away from being fully operational, there are plenty of positive and negative factors to consider in a world with self-driving vehicles:

Pros

Improved Safety

Inherently, humans make mistakes. Whether it’s a choice or an oversight, this will always be true. According to one government study, computer operated self-driving vehicles will eliminate incidents involving alcohol, distraction, drugs, fatigue, speeding, aggressive driving, over-compensation, inexperience, slow reaction times, inattention and various other human driver shortcomings.

Reducing Accidents

“Accidents happen” doesn’t need to be accepted as a fact. With computer operated vehicles, the benefits are such that if only 10 percent of vehicles were self-driving, they could reduce traffic deaths by approximately 1,000 per year and produce nearly $38 billion in economic and other savings, according to a study by the Eno Center for Transportation.

And if 90 percent of cars, trucks and vans were self-driving, in the region of 21,700 lives per year could be saved, and economic and other benefits could reach upwards of $447 billion.

Less Traffic

The Eno Center of Transportation also noted that when a majority of self-driving cars are on the road, they can begin "platooning" – driving closely together but keeping a secure distance between one another without the gas-guzzling, time-wasting, stop-and-go characteristics of traffic congestion as we know it now. This would allow for smoother traffic flows, reduce lengthy commute times and even increase highway capacity.

Cons

Cost

According to Eno Center’s study, each self-driving vehicle would require added sensors, software, engineering and power and computing requirements that presently tally over $100,000 per vehicle, which is an astronomical number that would be unaffordable for most people.

Computer Hackers

In an age where devices can be controlled from anywhere in the world, people have reservations when it comes to vehicles that are maneuvered by a computer. In a recent poll conducted for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (Auto Alliance), 81 percent of the respondents said they were concerned that hackers would be able to gain control of a self-driving vehicle.

Data Collection

Lastly, most people like to keep private. So a car or truck that is being operated by a computer is bound to have a lot of information on it. And in the same Auto Alliance survey, 75 percent of the respondents said they were concerned that companies would use the software from a self-driving car to gather personal data, and 70 percent were apprehensive because they believed this data would then be shared with government agencies.

What do you think? Would you like to see our current vehicles be replaced with a fleet of autonomous cars?

 
Interested in learning how Teletrac automates commercial fleets worldwide? See it live! Get a Free Demo Now!

 


Dennis Jaconi, denny jaconiDennis P. Jaconi heads Teletrac's content marketing and editorial team. He also contributes insight into the ever-changing world of m2m technology to our blog. He loves to speak directly with customers to learn how comapnies are leveraging GPS software for improved business efficiency and a reduction of carbon emissions from their vehicles. To read these stories visit his Teletrac customer story archive.

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Dispelling The Big Brother Myth

11/05/2013 by Michal Olszewski

Many fleet owners have reservations about implementing GPS tracking systems in their vehicles.

While these systems are a good decision for business operations and costs, fleet owners still hold back due to the potential of a negative reaction from employees. This fear comes from a “big brother” mentality in which some people believe installing fleet management software sends a message that employees can't be trusted.

In reality, most fleet drivers do not mind the presence of a GPS tracking unit in their vehicles, because it protects them in a multitude of ways. And often times it’s the drivers with the poorest performance that display displeasure with installing GPS tracking software.

Explaining the Importance of GPS Monitoring
The main objection drivers seem to have with monitoring stems from a misinterpretation of how real-time monitoring works or what a fleet company does with the information.

By simply explaining the uses of GPS tracking software, fleet managers and drivers will have a better understanding of how beneficial the technology is to the entire organization.

Establishing Incentives With GPS Software
The issue with the “big brother” mentality is that it carries the association that it’s a punishment. However, fleet managers can use the information from GPS tracking to create quantifiable goals that come with incentives for drivers. Having a bonus program based on safe driving behavior, productivity or efficiency can be easily accomplished because of this objective method to measure driver performance.

Additional Benefits of GPS Tracking

  • Traffic violations may be able to be contested because GPS software provides a form of defense.
     
  • In the event there’s a dispute between the fleet company and its customer, GPS tracking protects drivers by confirming they were at a customer site during a specific time period.
     
  • Real-time tracking enables dispatch to identify which drivers are closest to a location in the event of an emergency situation.
     
  • Fleet managers are able to stay on top of vehicle maintenance by receiving diagnostic reports that notify if repairs are needed, which saves vehicle downtime.
     
  • Driver safety is enhanced because dispatch is able to see where a vehicle is located and able to send for assistance to an exact location if a driver is stranded or in any danger.


Maximizing Fleet Resources, Not Invading Privacy
Privacy is a sensitive issue. That’s why it’s important to present the topic of GPS tracking in a candid and straightforward way.

Displaying clear guidelines on how the technology will be used and what metrics will be measured gives employees insight into the way the business is managed. And this information is essential for the company to know how its assets are being used and how employees spend their time on the job.

Privacy must be balanced with accountability, and employees have a responsibility to use company assets in a way that shows regard for the well-being of the business. Responsible drivers are comfortable with finding methods to work smarter and improve their performance. Displaying this information can help employees see that GPS tracking is a tool they can use to enhance their work, rather than something that invades their privacy.

GPS Tracking Provides a Safety Net
Companies don’t install GPS tracking software to spy on employees and watch their every movement. This technology is added as a means to save time.

There simply isn’t enough time in the day to watch over the movement of every vehicle in a fleet. Real-time monitoring simply provides a way for fleet managers to set up goals and leave the devices alone; only returning if there is a reporting issue or emergency situation.

Much like a car alarm, the system is only there to send an alert if there is a problem.

Improving Business
Using real-time monitoring provides a substantial return on investment because the decrease in operating costs provides more profitability, which is in the best interest of everyone in the organization.

The better the shape of the business, the higher job security increases for employees and the greater likelihood there is for improved pay and benefits. GPS tracking is a way to help mobile staff work smarter, provide valuable insights, and allocate resources in a more effective manner. And all of this information puts the company in a better position than its competition.

To see more benefits of how GPS fleet tracking can help your business, see it live! Get a Free Live Demo Now!

 

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Good GPS vs. Bad GPS

09/20/2013 by Dennis Jaconi

Like most forms of modern technology, GPS has become an extraordinarily helpful tool for anyone with the ability to look up anything and everything location-based. And the trucking industry is no exception as hundreds of thousands of drivers throughout the United States rely on GPS technology to get them from Point A to Point B via the most efficient and safest routes.

However, there’s a major difference between having a GPS device and using the right one, as well as knowing how to use it correctly. GPS devices can have disadvantages when the technology is used improperly. Nonetheless, it's a popular commodity.

In New York City, roughly 200 trucks hit bridges every year and just about 80 percent are caused by truck drivers that were misguided by a GPS device, according to a study by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Some drivers fail to notice that not all GPS displays are created equal. Non-commercial, store-bought devices often fail to consider road restrictions and overpasses which may not have the clearance height for massive trucks or larger-than-usual vehicles.

The study suggests that trucks from out of state are more likely to get into these types of accidents because the drivers are unfamiliar with the highway infrastructure of areas like New York’s parkways, which are meant for car traffic only.

The NYSDOT study also showed that many GPS devices aren’t labeled for specific vehicle types or industrial use. Instead, they’re intended for compact vehicles and often do not take into account industrial-sized fleets.

Fortunately for businesses, intuitive GPS technology options are available. Using a GPS device that can be customized to consider the size and type of your vehicle, in addition to providing precise turn-by-turn navigation to the most efficient routes, is crucial for any fleet size.

Teletrac, a leading cloud-based GPS fleet tracking provider, offers in-vehicle devices with powerful on-board navigation software that seamlessly integrates with GPS technology, providing drivers with clear, turn-by-turn voice-guided directions that help steer vehicles away from unsafe areas. The display's software takes into account a vehicle's size--such as weight and height--and type, as well as road restrictions, such as posted speed limits and blocked roads.

Drivers are guided through time-saving routes via a touchscreen map display. Continuous navigation capabilities in day or nightime mode inform drivers when they're going off route or have missed a targeted exit. In addition to providing precise second-by-second directions, advanced GPS devices are also a great tool to improve arrival times and customer service.

And if a driver becomes lost, these intuitive in-cab displays automatically reroute from the most recent travel point, allowing the driver to get back on track without a glitch.

Investing in the right GPS device and driver tools is invaluable for businesses. The GPS devices you choose for your fleet can make or break your bottom line, so research and select wisely.

 
For more on smart GPS navigation and safety tools for your business, Get a Free Live Demo Now!

 

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5 Things To Look For In A GPS Fleet Software Demo

08/29/2013 by Leslie Garcia
Figuring out how GPS tracking software can optimize your fleet for today’s market without seeing it first can be tricky. Demos can make a difference. A demonstration of the software’s features and capabilities can bring clarity to your decision making, which is why it’s important to know what to look for when browsing for GPS fleet tracking software. Companies in the industry are using GPS tracking solutions for their fleet to prevent all sorts of risks including theft, excess fuel waste, unsafe driving behavior and costly repairs, but how can it help your specific needs? To help you in your quest, here are the top 5 features to look for in a GPS fleet tracking demo:
 
Advanced Real-Time Vehicle Locates 
Whether you have 20 or 1,000 vehicles on the road, the ability to track them in real time is invaluable. GPS tracking software helps monitor fleet efficiency with features such as following a specific vehicle. Interactive maps display vehicle activity—including events and route changes—as drivers go from one job to the next or if they stop at unauthorized areas.
 
Accessible Past Vehicle Activity And Data
Instantly watch your fleet as it retraces its past activity on the map, such as speeding and harsh braking. With history playback, you can replay a vehicle’s most recent history as it happened in real time. Search vehicles by name, time and date of the event. Historical vehicle data can be used to modify driver coaching. 
 
Customized Locations 
Boost fleet productivity with the ability to create preferred locations that help optimize routing and reduce travel time.  Landmarks—such as customer sites—can be used as travel points to locate the nearest vehicles for last-minute jobs, cutting driver response times in half and improving customer service.
 
Improving Fuel Efficiency with Alerts and Exceptions
Prevent unnecessary costs and know when a vehicle idles for long periods with customizable real-time alerts and exceptions sent directly to your mobile-device and desktop. Notifications are sent when vehicles are idling excessively, driving over the posted speed limit, turning corners too fast and more. 
 
Analytics and Reporting
Get insight into your fleet’s engine performance by viewing easy-to-read vehicle data. Safety analytics measures driving behavior by metric, including harsh acceleration. Travel trend reports help you note possible wear and tear and where drivers can improve to avoid unnecessary costs.  Performance reports are easily accessible and customizable to show what matters most—whether its miles traveled, speeding, idle time or daily fuel usage.
 
Look for these five features in Teletrac's GPS Fleet Software by getting an immediate Live Demo Now!
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5 Benefits of GPS Tracking

07/03/2013 by Shazia Haq

As customers continue to expect faster service, quicker delivery times, shipment tracking, and a whole range of customized delivery needs, it has become more difficult for fleets of all sizes stay ahead of the game. However, a simple solution for every business is becoming readily available with constantly evolving fleet management tools like global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking systems.

The benefits of GPS tracking are invaluable to any fleet owner. By implementing a fleet tracking system, managers get an unprecedented level of access and control to their entire fleet. And being able to track every vehicle is just the beginning of all the benefits you can expect when you use a GPS tracking system.

1) Improve Safety

Not only will drivers be more responsible because they are aware of the GPS monitoring, but fleet managers will know exactly where a vehicle is if it requires any assistance. Whether it’s a broken down engine or any emergency situation, fleet managers can send roadside assistance to help their driver.

2) Minimize Fuel Costs

No one can control the price of gas, but one of the best benefits of GPS tracking systems is the ability to observe a vehicle’s fuel consumption. The monitoring software will cut down on the amount of money spent on fuel by eliminating vehicle idling, driver speeding, any unauthorized usage, and gives fleet managers the ability to optimize driving routes.

3) Theft Recovery

In the case of a vehicle theft, a GPS tracking system is the best tool for any fleet company. Be notified with alerts and mapping data to help you identify whether the vehicle has been stolen and inform the authorities of its location to enable a quick recovery.

4) Lower Operational Costs

Using GPS tracking software allows fleet managers to see who is taking inefficient routes or using a vehicle for unauthorized purposes. Not only will it solve on the road issues, but it provides an accurate readout of the hours that drivers claim to have worked.

5) Increase Productivity

Because of the ability to track drivers’ hours worked, this also allows fleet managers to make better use of an employee’s time. The GPS tracking software shows exactly where your drivers are at all times and keeps record of what work they are doing at that time.

The benefits of GPS tracking are endless. Get a better grasp of how employees are performing and find better ways to manage workloads with a comprehensive fleet tracking system. Not only will you save time and money, but your drivers will be safer and perform to their full potential. All of which adds up to a smoother business operation and improved customer service that each of your customer’s will love.
 

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