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Telematics Systems Can Help Fleets Promote Safety, Save Money

November 27, 2017

In a recently released report, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) identified best practices and lessons learned in deploying fleet telematics at a federal agency. NREL solicited feedback from Marine Corps fleet managers and combined this feedback with research on telematics applications to provide an overview of telematics capabilities, lessons learned from telematics deployed in the Marine Corps fleet, and recommendations for federal fleet managers to maximize value from telematics. The report is targeted at federal agencies that are deploying telematics systems, but other fleets and interested parties may find the guidance useful in assessing how to integrate telematics into fleet management processes.

Fleets can apply the following lessons learned in implementing telematics:

  • Promote safe and efficient driving behavior by replicating the Marines Corps’ DRIVESAFE program
  • Simplify fleet management through telematics’ automated reporting and maintenance notifications
  • Use telematics in support of the vehicle acquisition process to pool vehicles, identify vehicles that could be replaced by a shuttle service, right-size and right-type the fleet, or identify opportunities for alternative and advanced vehicle technologies
  • Consult with information technology teams and experienced fleets regarding telematics’ cybersecurity requirements.

Telematics systems use GPS data and data from other vehicle sensors to send, receive, and store information about vehicle location, diagnostics, collisions, speed, and emergency notifications. Telematics can increase driver safety, improve efficiency, simplify reporting so that fleet managers can concentrate on higher priority tasks, and save money. Under practical assumptions, telematics systems can help fleet managers save more than $2,000 per vehicle each year. Read the full report, Telematics Framework for Federal Agencies: Lessons from the Marine Corps Fleet.

NREL works with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) to help agencies implement federal legislative and regulatory requirements mandating reduced petroleum consumption and increased alternative fuel use. Learn more about FEMP’s resources for federal fleet management.