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Top 5 Benefits of Using a Telematics System for Diesel Buses

Tracking your vehicle data in a telematics system to monitor your non-electric vehicles, such as Diesel or CNG buses, helps you increase efficiency, safety, and passenger comfort. It also reduces your fleet’s overall carbon footprint. 

Let’s explore these benefits and see why you might need a telematics system for your fleet.

1. Maintenance: Prevent Breakdowns in your Vehicles on the Road 

Dashboard lights can be hard to decipher, and drivers don’t always know how to describe them to the operational control center/depot team. Perhaps they may even neglect to report a light as this can create extra administrative work.

Many times maintenance teams are informed too late about issues. This results in more severe problems and even breakdowns on the road. Eventually leading to bus delays and becoming behind schedule.

Maintenance problems not only affect the vehicle itself, but also the safety of those inside the vehicle. A lack of proper brake maintenance or failure to maintain suitable tire pressure are just a few examples of vehicle issues that can eventually result in an accident. A study done by NHTSA found that 20% of traffic accidents are a result of poor or total lack of maintenance. 

By using a telematics system to monitor your fleet you will receive real-time alerts about vehicle issues. This way, your vehicle downtime is reduced since problems in your vehicle can be spotted right away, as well as the risk of accidents. 

With bus monitoring systems like ViriCiti, you can detect remotely and automatically diagnostics messages (DM1). You can also view amber-red lights on the dashboard. 💡 Your team can be notified of an issue as soon as it happens, and act accordingly. 

We have also translated the SPN codes, minimizing the workload and time spent on figuring out where any issues originated so you can easily fix – or avoid them. 

By simply looking at our dashboard and seeing what the issue is, and the details around it, the maintenance issue can become clear. 

Messages are synced with the real-time status of the bus, so as soon as they are fixed, the alerts will disappear from your active overview. However, you are still able to find a historic overview indicating all the errors, lights DM1, etc. 

Furthermore, it is important to remember that 1 hour of idling is equivalent to driving 15 kilometers. This means that by simply standing still with the engine turned on, the engine will wear gradually.  Also, due to the sulfuric acid poisoning and soot buildup in the engine during idling, leaving the engine one while standing still, causes more wear & tear to the engine than when the vehicle is driving. 

2. Enhance Passenger Comfort 

Another benefit of using a telematics system for your buses is enhanced passenger comfort. 

By monitoring the driver’s behavior you can detect harsh acceleration, braking, and cornering. These factors are all incorporated in an overall driver’s score that lets your drivers know how they are performing compared to other drivers, operating the same route. 

💡 The overall performance score is also available to team leaders and operations managers. Having a comprehensive overview of these moments can help you train your drivers so that they are aware of the impact their driving has on passenger comfort. 

The challenge is to find the exact moments when the harsh braking or acceleration happens, otherwise, training can be quite difficult. 

That’s why ViriCiti’s Smart Driving solution makes it easy to keep track of these events by providing a timeline view of the trip is provided with key incidents that occurred. By selecting an incident, you and your drivers can see the exact time, route, and the precise location where the incidents have happened, allowing for a solid base for discussion. 

With this information, it is possible to create training for drivers that are effective and improve the passenger experience. 

3. Reduce Accidents 

Driving behavior continues to be mentioned as one of the most frequent causes of bus accidents worldwide. 

In many cases, the accidents could have been avoided through a smoother and more balanced driving style, that takes into account the traffic conditions. 

With a telematics system that includes a smart driving solution, you can gain visibility into the driving patterns of your drivers. And by correlating geo-location data and precise time, both fleet operators, as well as drivers, gain clear insights into what can be improved.

💡 By keeping a close eye on the driving style, you can then train your drivers to drive more carefully and less aggressive. Thus, decreasing the number of accidents caused by aggressive driving. 

4. Save Fuel and Reduce Idling 

By controlling speeding, braking, and acceleration, as well as excessive idling, a driver can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency.

💡 A telematics system can help you monitor these parameters and even send real-time notifications if any values exceed the allowed limit. 

There’s an old adage saying that what gets measured, gets managed. So, by actively monitoring, setting alerts, and making your drivers more aware of the impact their actions have, you can achieve significant cost reductions. 

When analyzing the data of one of our customers we were surprised to discover a difference of 18% in fuel efficiency, between the least efficient and most efficient driver. Clearly,  room for improvement was considerable, but becoming aware of the issue is always a good first step. 

5. Reduce Your Fleets’ Carbon Footprint 

Carbon emissions are climbing every year, partly due to increased usage / deployment of diesel vehicles and freight activity, in addition to the growth in population and many other factors.  

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2017, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation accounted for about 28.9% of total US greenhouse gas emissions,  making it the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. 

So it’s no wonder that we’re looking into reducing the carbon footprint of diesel buses. 

One way you can reduce the carbon footprint from your diesel buses is by paying attention to your vehicles and drivers. Vehicle issues that go unnoticed will eventually decrease the efficiency of your vehicles.

💡 For example, problems with tire pressure, such as under-inflation can seriously affect the fuel economy. When a tire is under-inflated, rolling resistance increases, eventually leads to uneven tread wear. Monitoring issues like these and responding promptly helps reduce the wear and tear on your diesel vehicle, and its carbon footprint.

Another significant way of reducing your carbon footprint comes back to what we already touched upon: the driving behavior. 

Implementing smart driving for your non-electric vehicles has a wide range of benefits, from vehicle maintenance to passenger comfort, fuel savings, and environmental impact. Operators and drivers can both benefit from the various features vehicle monitoring have to offer. 

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