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How can fleets help cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero?

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The UK government has an ambition to, by the year 2050, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero.  If this target is met then it could see the UK hailed as the globe’s cleanest country.

As of October 2018, around 500 million tonnes of CO2 were being emitted throughout the nation on an annual basis. Guidance from the Committee on Climate Change has been formally sought by the government about how and when the UK could bring this number down to zero though, with the move prompted from the release of a UN report which warned that CO2 emissions must be entirely stopped if dangerous climate disruption is to be avoided.

Claire Perry, the UK’s climate minister, pointed out to BBC News: “The report was a really stark and sober piece of work — a good piece of work. Now we know what the goal is, and we know what some of the levers are.

“But for me, the constant question is: what is the cost and who’s going to bear that, both in the UK and in the global economy. The question is: what does government need to do, where can the private sector come in, and what technologies will come through?”   

In this article, Vindis, a VW dealership, has showcased the scale of this challenge, by detailing just some of the things that will need to change across the nation to hit the target…

Opt for fuel-efficient vehicles

The UK government has already acted to try and make our roads cleaner, by announcing that new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be banned across the nation from 2040. 

While we may be a couple of decades away from seeing this ban come into force, it appears that an increasing number of British motorists are already exploring what’s available when it comes to alternative-fuel vehicles e.g. Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) powered vehicles. 

In fact, Next Green Car has reported that the number of new registrations of plug-in cars jumped from just 3,500 in 2013 to over 195,000 as of the end of January 2019. Furthermore, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders highlighted that electric car sales across the UK has shifted from only close to 500 being registered each month in the early part of 2014 to an average of 5,000 per month throughout 2018.

The infrastructure in place to handle more alternative-fuel vehicles being on British roads is certainly improving as well, thanks to both sustained government and private investment. While the UK’s network of electric vehicle charging points was recorded in at just a few hundred units as of 2011, there had been more than 5,800 charging locations, 9,800 charging devices and 16,700 connectors installed by June 2018.

We may still be quite a while away from seeing all vehicles on the roads of the UK being run on alternative fuels — the latest vehicle data from the SMMT stated that the car registrations market share for January 2019 was 64.08 per cent petrol, 29.08 per cent diesel and 6.84 per cent alternative-fuel vehicles, for example — but it appears that things are at least moving in the right direction.

Start using low-carbon fuels more

Another helping hand that the UK could benefit from if it is to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero is for more people and businesses to start using more low-carbon fuels. It appears the nation is already assisting in this area.

In figures compiled by Imperial College London and reported on by The Guardian, the capacity of renewable energy in the UK surpassed that of fossil fuels for the first time. With the amount of renewable capacity trebling in the same five-year period that fossil fuels decreased by one-third, the capacity of biomass, hydropower, solar and wind power hit 41.9 gigawatts and the capacity of gas, coal and oil-fired power plants recorded in at 41.2 gigawatts between July and September. 

Dr Iain Staffell carried out the research for Imperial College London, pointing out: “Britain’s power system is slowly but surely walking away from fossil fuels, and [the quarter between July and September] saw a major milestone on the journey.”

Earlier in 2018, a record was also set in that the UK managed to be powered without coal for three days in a row (the official time stood at 76 consecutive hours). This was before a report from Imperial College London which was commissioned by Drax suggested that coal supplied only 1.3 per cent of Britain’s entire use of electricity during the second quarter of 2018 — furnaces based at coal-fired power stations throughout the country were completely unused for 12 days in June last year too.

Better insulate homes

According to a BBC News article from February 2017, the UK was needing to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent between the date that the piece was published and 2050. What’s more, a third of those carbon emissions had been recorded from heating draughty buildings across the nation. 

However, experts from the Green Building Council — a group of leading construction firms — stated in a report sent to Parliament that 25 million existing homes will not currently meet the insulation standards being enforced in the mid-century and will need to be refurbished to the highest standards. According to calculations, these findings mean that the rate of refurbishment stood at a rate of 1.4 homes needing to be worked on every minute as of the beginning of 2017.

There are many benefits, other than just cutting carbon emissions, to conducting this work. The Green Building Council’s head Julie Hirigoyen explains: “People will have warmer homes and lower bills; they will live longer, happier lives; we will be able to address climate change and carbon emissions.

“We will also be creating many thousands of jobs and exporting our best skills in innovation.”

The UK’s ambition to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 definitely does sound like a challenge. Fortunately, some of the examples covered in this article does at least suggest that efforts are being made to ensure the nation reaches its goal.

Sources:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45856377

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/target-zero-uk-aims-to-cut-all-emissions-by-2050-bddfcwmd6

https://www.nextgreencar.com/electric-cars/statistics/

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/nov/06/uk-renewable-energy-capacity-surpasses-fossil-fuels-for-first-time

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/24/uk-power-generation-coal-free-gas-renewables-nuclear

https://www.newstatesman.com/spotlight/energy/2018/08/coal-supplied-just-one-cent-britains-electricity-summer

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/scottish-power-wind-energy-renewable-drax-gas-station-climate-change-a8585961.html

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/661933/tsgb-2017-report-summaries.pdf

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/apr/26/carpooling-commuting-car-share-liftshare-uber

The key innovations driving today’s mobile workforce into the future

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By Derek Bryan (pictured), Vice President EMEA, Verizon Connect

In a hyper competitive market, enterprises across every sector are looking for any advantage to get ahead of the competition and meet customers’ expectations. Innovation has become central to success, particularly for enterprises that rely on a mobile workforce. 

Mobile workforce management has come a long way since the days of simply tracking location over GPS, now it can be used to help connect organisational silos, boost operational efficiency, improve safety and deliver better customer service. In this piece, I will look at the technologies that are driving the mobile workforce into the future and how will they help operations and fleet managers.

Data processing enables further automation

Computer processing through algorithms or machine learning, and data storage advances have opened up possibilities that seemed unimaginable even just a few years ago. For example, an autonomous vehicle collects and analyses more than a terabyte of data in real time, each day. This ability to collect, analyse and process reams of data has spawned on demand services enable us to watch TV, stream music, order a taxi, or book a hotel room on our phones or online almost instantly – and it has increased expectations of what should be possible for both consumers and mobile workers.

With additional processing power, managers can look at multiple data sources to gain bigger samples or correlate different data sets to provide more detailed information. At the same time, greater processing creates new ways to make extra data easier for people to understand and even automate tasks. This will advance even further as the industry harnesses the ability to collect more contextually relevant data from a combination of devices such as vehicle, mobile devices and other internet enabled sensors. 

Mobile workers could soon expect a frictionless experience, where they no longer need to manually input data or provide an update a manager while performing a task, while managers will automatically gain valuable insights to improve decision making. For example, imagine you had a worker in the field who was installing a satellite dish for a customer. If the installation was taking longer than expected, contextual data collection and analysis would be able to determine this automatically and assign their next job to another field service worker or communicate an accurate expected arrival time to the next customer – all without intervention from the worker, or manager.

Vehicles gain more computing power

Much has been made of potential of the autonomous vehicle. While their widespread adoption may be some time off, the computing power of non-autonomous vehicles is growing significantly. Vehicles are now capable of reporting more information to managers than ever before. From engine diagnostic details such as temperature, oil or fuel levels, and wear and tear on parts, to things inside the vehicle such as seatbelt use, number of passengers to even what was on the radio. 

This enables more effective management of vehicles. Managers can foresee any potential engine troubles, and schedule vehicle maintenance before they occur. Or they could gain other insights that could help employee safety or wellbeing and improve customer satisfaction. For example, if a vehicle’s engine is not switched on it’s a fairly safe bet, the driver may be delayed – which can be automatically communicated to customers or other workers. Or if the vehicle’s heater is constantly on, managers could provide better uniforms to help drivers stay warm, avoid getting sick and reduce fuel consumption.

The power of voice

The rapid take-up of voice recognition technology shows how far the software has come. While it used to be rather unreliable, voice dictation is beginning to replace typing in online queries. Twenty percent of mobile queries were made via voice in 2016, while accuracy is now about 95 percent. Improved voice recognition is a powerful tool for the mobile worker, enabling hands free input of data, activation of tasks and communication with managers. It means that mobile workers can do their job more effectively, without having to take their eyes of the task at hand. This is especially useful in the fleet space – creating a better, safer field working experience.

Communication from field to office becomes more visual

Years ago, the concept of streaming films, TV or live sporting events in high definition over the internet didn’t seem possible. But through improved connectivity and video compression technology, we can create more visually led communications between mobile workers and the office. Visual sensors between the office and the mobile worker can enable more effective service – enabling remote diagnostic detection or instruction from a manager. For example, an engineer working on a site could use video to remotely consult with someone office to find an appropriate solution, rather than having to leave the site or send another worker out.

Concluding thoughts

Mobile and field-working will continue to be improved by the technology. The best deployment of tech will reduce the burden on staff, rather than adding to the workload. For workers technology will make life easier, requiring less intervention and creating a frictionless process for reporting back to the office. For managers, technology will give increased visibility on how their field workers are performing. There is seemingly no limit to what data can be collected correlated and analysed to help to improve how the organisation is run, making it safer, more profitable and more enjoyable.

GUEST BLOG: 5 ways to ensure a fleet stays safe on the roads

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By Rebecca, Technician at Dronsfields

If you manage numerous vehicles as a part of your business, you’ll understand the importance of ensuring their functionality and safety – as well as the safety of their drivers!

Here, I’ll explain how to easily keep your fleet safe and running as it should by offering up a few choice tips. By employing these practices, you’ll also keep your costs down and save yourself a lot of hassle.

  1. Make Sure Your Whole Fleet is Regularly Serviced

This sounds a lot more difficult than it actually is. There’s no need to arrange to have every single vehicle checked and tweaked separately – this is very time consuming and can really rack up the costs. 

A better approach is to invest in fleet servicing – something offered by some specialist garages and mechanics which means that all of your vehicles are managed in one group. This only requires one set of paperwork (making life much easier for you!). All units will be checked together, so you won’t have to worry about remembering when each one is due in for a service.

2. Invest in Visibility and Communication Methods

There are systems available that will allow you to track your vehicles’ locations, check for hazards such as roadworks and poor traffic conditions and to see how far each vehicle has to travel for the next job (on the off chance that you can assign it to someone a little closer to reduce wear and tear or fuel consumption).

This method will also help you to stay updated if any of your drivers get into any difficulty, so you can arrange for them to be assisted.

3. Use Telematics to Track Performance and Maintenance

The above features and more can be obtained as part of a telematics system. This is software that can be automated to whatever extent you require in order to help you manage the running of your vehicles.

An additional benefit of telematics is that you can log when your vehicles have last been serviced, and they’ll also tell you when they need maintaining in order to avoid breakdowns and elements of wear and tear becoming exacerbated.

4. Ensure Your Drivers are Fully Trained

It’s a good idea to make sure that your drivers are as knowledgeable about safe driving practices as possible. The software mentioned above can help you to keep an eye on the speeds at which they tend to drive, their fuel consumption and much more besides. However, speaking to them directly about how they as a team can improve their performance will also go a long way towards keeping them safe and ensuring that your fleet stays in good condition.

5. Make Sure Your Fleet is Properly Insured

Fully comprehensive cover is always the best choice for your vehicles – but it’s also possible to arrange fleet cover to ensure that all of your vehicles are insured as a group. Whatever combination of sizes, types and makes you utilise, insuring them all under one plan means there’s no danger of forgetting to renew – plus, it makes the process much more efficient.

So, in conclusion, you should opt for fleet maintenance and fleet insurance as a priority. Furthermore, it’s important to keep on top of driver training – plus, you may wish to invest in telematics and advanced communication software for a little something extra.

Image by Santa3 from Pixabay

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: GPSi drives accuracy for UK fleets with RoadScout and FleetConnect

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GPSi is committed to data accuracy to ensure fleet decisions are based on real insight, not on estimates or averages.

Its RoadScout telematics device captures data every second to mitigate the errors resulting from sparse data sampling.

Vehicle and driver data is presented via FleetConnect; providing insight on the performance of individuals, teams or the entire business, and highlighting trends in driving behavior as they happen, every second.  

“RoadScout already connects vehicles in some of the world’s most challenging environments.”, commented Graeme Sandieson of GPSi UK. “We are confident RoadScout and FleetConnect, will also help UK customers make the right decisions.” 

For further information: www.gpsinnovations.co.uk

Changing driver behaviour through telematics: First step, safety culture

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By Nick List, Customer Success Director, Europe at eDriving

Telematics solutions are fast becoming commonplace among fleets. No longer valued only for their “track and trace” capabilities, telematics solutions are now able to provide a vast array of behavioural insights to help fleet managers improve driver safety and wellbeing. 

Fleet managers have the ability to see real-time driver safety performance and promptly identify trends, both positive and negative. However, for behaviour-based telematics to measurably impact on work-related road risk, it’s important for an organisation to already have a solid safety culture in place. 

A commitment to safety

Organisations that introduce telematics as their “driver safety solution” without first having a solid safety culture are less likely to experience a long-term reduction in collisions and incidents. By a solid safety culture, I mean having in place policies, procedures, risk assessments, training, and most importantly, effective two-way communication between the driver and their immediate manager; all in the wider context of an organisation-wide commitment to safety, including senior leadership.

Without policies that detail what is reasonably expected of drivers in terms of their behaviour – in relation to speeding, distraction, braking, cornering, for example – how do drivers know that they need to improve? And, even with telematics data, how do drivers know what behaviours they are aiming for? 

Don’t underestimate the role that line managers play in your safety culture or the influence they have on your organisation’s safety operational balance (i.e. maintaining the same level of importance for safety as for operations). As well as providing ongoing training to drivers, it’s equally important to train managers so that they too fully understand the influence they have in helping keep drivers safe as well as recognising how best to engage with drivers. 

Interpreting telematics data

The output from telematics can be overwhelming. That’s another reason why a solid safety culture is so important. If you know what your organisation is aiming toward, you can use telematics data to guide drivers towards your safety goals. Most telematics providers will issue manager reports that give insights into driving behaviours such as speed versus posted speed limit, braking, acceleration and cornering. At eDriving, our smartphone telematics programme, Mentor by eDrivingSM, also provides feedback on phone manipulation, whether that be a phone call (handheld or hands-free), text, accessing social media or even just moving the phone to view a notification. 

It’s important that the data supplied by your telematics provider is useful and relevant to your organisation, and that you are supported in acting on this data. eDriving’s Mentor programme does this automatically, prescribing micro training modules within the smartphone app, tailored to the driving behaviours that have been identified; including distraction, speeding, scanning, braking etc. In addition, Mentor’s manager dashboard can automatically identify the 10% of drivers most at-risk in any given month and assign Manager-Driver OnetoOnes®to discuss and develop action plans for improvement. 

Effective regular communication

Communication with drivers is fundamental… Consider this: a driver has telematics installed and regularly triggers warnings about their driving behaviour, If their manager does nothing about these warnings it won’t take long for a driver to realise that they can simply ignore them. Without analysis and discussion, risky driving behaviour will never be changed. 

Again, that brings us back to the importance of a solid safety culture. Drivers need to be aware of the interventions that will occur should they fail to meet the organisation’s safe driving requirements. And don’t forget to address how good driving behaviours will be rewarded as that’s equally important. 

Formal communication (as in the case of Manager-Driver OnetoOnes) will ideally be supported by regular informal communication, whether that be in the form of face-to-face chats, driver emails, newsletters, team discussions or posters. Feedback, feedback and more feedback goes a long way to maintaining a strong safety culture over time. 

Transparency for drivers

One of the biggest concerns drivers have about telematics is their privacy. But, a solid safety culture addresses privacy concerns at the outset. And, the subsequent introduction of telematics will only serve to reinforce your mission of ensuring drivers make it home safely every day, rather than triggering concerns. If your whole organisation is aware of your commitment to safety, drivers are more likely to view telematics in a positive light. Enabling them to see how they’re performing and areas in which they can improve will further boost their engagement. 

eDriving’s Mentor programme has full transparency for drivers and acts like a fitness coach in that it prescribes drivers with their own personal validated driving score that is recalculated after every trip and accompanied by feedback related to specific driving behaviours including acceleration, braking, cornering, distraction and speeding. Drivers can immediately see areas in which they could do better and can even join colleagues in competing for the best scores using the gamification feature, “Circles”. 

To summarise, if you’re considering a new telematics programme, or assessing the effectiveness of an existing one, first look to your safety culture. Could it be strengthened? If so, it’s worth investing your time in creating a solid foundation before focusing your efforts on telematics solutions. Yes, behaviour-based telematics can be a valuable tool for reducing collision and claim rates, but only when deployed into a company culture that truly puts safety first. 

Nick List is eDriving’s Customer Success Director for Europe. 

About eDriving

eDriving helps organisations to reduce collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership through a patented closed-loop driver behaviour-based safety programme that reduces collisions by up to 67%. The risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest and safest fleets, eDriving has served over one million drivers in 45 languages and 96 countries over its 23 years in the industry and has been recognised through 70+ client and partner awards.

eDriving will be exhibiting at Safety & Health Expo in London from 18-20 June and presenting a panel discussion on Using a Closed-Loop Approach to Measure, Manage & Reduce Driver Risk at 2:00-2:30 p.m. on 19 June in the Operational Excellence Theatre. More information.

Visit www.edriving.com.

Mentor by eDriving identifies and helps improve fleet driver behaviour

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eDriving’s fleet management software helps to reduce collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership through a patented closed-loop driver behaviour-based safety programme.

Having worked with fleets for almost 25 years, eDrivingSM has identified the key components required to achieve a crash-free culture®– and they comprise a closed-loop approach to driver safety that has helped eDriving’s clients successfully reduce collisions by up to 67%.

The company’s patented programme, Mentor by eDrivingSM, provides behavioural insights and actionable intelligence to help organisations build a holistic view of driver risk within a company-wide crash-free culture. 

The Mentor platform integrates data from telematics, collisions, incidents, and licence checks to provide a complete 360-degree view of driver risk. It also provides managers with tools to reduce risk and sustain driver behaviour improvements over time. The result is reduced collisions, injuries, licence endorsements and total cost of ownership. And, most importantly, the assurance that drivers return home safely to their loved ones at the end of each day. 

Broad appeal across industries and vehicle-types

At the heart of the MentorSMprogram is an innovative telematics-based app that uses smartphone sensors to collect and analyse driver behaviours most predictive of risk including acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding, and uniquely, distraction. 

As a result of eDriving’s partnership with predictive analytics and data science pioneer, FICO®, drivers are awarded an individual score that enables both drivers and managers to see positive and negative trends in performance. Poised to become the industry standard for safe driving, the FICO® Safe Driving Score has been validated to predict the likelihood of a driver being involved in a crash or incident.  

Mentor’s gamification features, such as Circles(personal groups for sharing scores), promote engagement and friendly competition among drivers, while its unique closed-loop training makes it the only safe driving programme that goes beyond scoring to focus on improving performance. Short, engaging training modules are automatically prescribed in-app for users to view any time, any place, employing a customised continuous improvement model for lasting risk reduction. 

Because Mentor requires no hardware installation, it has broad appeal across types of drivers, vehicles (motorcycles/two-wheelers, cars, trucks, and vans), applications (service, sales, and delivery fleets of all sizes), and location (currently available in 14 languages with both right-hand drive and left-hand drive training modules).

For more information email: fleet@edriving.com or visit: www.edriving.com

What does the future of electric vehicles look like?

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What can we expect from our electric automobiles? Well, the concept of the electric car may have been around for over 100 years, but it’s only now that it is becoming a driving force in the car industry. With so many technological advances, cars are rapidly changing, with fully autonomous cars set to be rolled out by 2020. Lookers, who provide Mercedes Benz Serviceplans, take a further look… 

How possible is an all – electric future?

Last year, there was an 27% increase in purchasing electric cars compared to the previous year.  However, if the government is to reach its target of three out of five cars being electric in just over 10 years, it’s argued that more must be done to make this a reality. 

An all-electric future is likely to happen in the near future. Ministers were informed earlier this year that most new cars would have to be electric by 2030

In fact, the buzzword was ‘electrification’ at last year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. This meant that every car of a certain brand will be available in an electric version. While there are currently models, such as the smart caravailable under its umbrella, Mercedes, parent company, Daimler, announced at the German event that they too would have electric versions of its own fleet by 2022. There’s plenty available! 

However, this didn’t necessarily mean that they would be a fully electric battery-powered vehicle, as the term could also refer to hybrid models. 

Why are electric cars so popular?

Electric cars need a lot less maintenance care, as they have 10-times fewer moving parts to cars powered by diesel or petrol. Also, the prices are steadily coming down, making the initial outlay a lot less hefty. Another perk is that since electricity is a renewable energy, there will always be power available to utilise.

Why is an electric future becoming increasingly likely to happen? 

Protecting the environment has become a worldwide issue – and rightly so. Whether it’s cutting back on unnecessary plastic usage, or cutting back on emissions, creating a greener environment is at the forefront of our plans. 

Electric motors are widely seen as a way for us to improve the quality of our air and meet climate goals, and the production of new diesel and petrol cars is planned to cease by 2040. It has been proposed that these vehicles will be off the roads altogether 10 years later. With emission charges already in place in London, other major motorways, including the M4 and M32, are expected to start holding pollution taxes by 2020, meaning that you’ll need to switch to electric cars to avoid these costs.

Purchasing an electric car can personally save you money in the long term and Go Ultra Low also claims that a full charge could cost as little as £3, meaning it may cost approximately 3p per mile. 

What is being done to help with this?

It was reported in February last year that there were approximately 12,000 electric car charging points across the UK. By July this year, that figure had risen to over 17,000 across 6,000 locations, according to ZapMap

Worldwide, there are over two million ports, but for the public to go fully electric, this number will have to dramatically increase. Not only that, but there will have to be a lot more batteries produced, and the power to charge them would have to be generated somewhere.This highlights that EV charger installationis now a big part of the action plans for power companies as they bid to provide a low-carbon connection gateway.

It’s clear that, one day, there will be an all-electric future. Whether it happens in the time frame proposed, we will just have to wait and see!

Sources

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41268513

http://uk.businessinsider.com/google-apple-tesla-race-to-develop-driverless-cars-by-2020-2016-7?r=US&IR=T

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-42709763

www.alphr.com/cars/1008121/electric-and-hybrid-car-sales-hit-record-numbers-in-2017

https://www.goultralow.com/category/ownership/savings/

https://news.sky.com/story/petrol-and-diesel-cars-banned-from-uk-roads-by-2040-10962075