Transport industry determined to tackle road safety with technology

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 21, 2018

Transport professionals are responding seriously to the concerning leap in New Zealand‘s road toll. The 2018 New Zealand Telematics Benchmark Report conducted by Teletrac Navman found that safety technology took investment priority over other emerging technologies, as companies look to improve driver safety through alerting and fatigue monitoring technology.

As of the end of May 2018, the road toll in New Zealand was 164, an increase of 10 deaths from the same time period last year. Even though truck drivers have primary responsibility for only about a third (32%) of the fatal crashes in which they are involved, the transport industry is taking action. The rise of fatal road crashes is a strong incentive for transport companies to develop more safety measures, particularly as some drivers are so fearful of crashes that they are leaving the industry.

The Telematics Benchmark Report represents the responses of 250 New Zealand fleet operations and fleet management professionals in the transport, construction, manufacturing, retail, government and professional services industries. It was conducted as part of a global survey of 2,400 fleet operations and fleet management professionals.

Key New Zealand safety findings include:
The top two emerging technologies that organisations are considering for implementation in 2018 are driver warning and alerting technology (26%) and fatigue monitoring (18%).

  • Driver warning and alerting technology, at 36%, is the top choice of emerging technology that organisations expect to have the greatest impact on business operations in the future. It is followed closely by fatigue monitoring on 18%, big data analytics on 17% and artificial intelligence on 16%.

  • One in five respondents (21%) cite improving driver safety as a top business goal.

  • Around one third of respondents (34%) reported fewer accidents as a result of using telematics — an increase of 11% from 2017.

  • Speed prevention is the top safety benefit realised by using telematics, cited by nearly half of respondents (46%), followed by monitoring and benchmarking driver behaviour (29%) and monitoring hours to prevent driver fatigue (24%).

“The report indicates that Kiwi organisations are placing an even larger focus on driver safety going into the future,” says Ian Daniel, vice president and managing director Asia Pacific. “Technology is driving change in the fleet management area, from driver safety technology and cameras to EVs and autonomous vehicles. Pair technology innovations with changes in laws and regulations, and you will find that fleet managers are increasingly tasked with guiding major business decisions.”