How the Internet of Things made 5,500 employees safer AND saved $2 million

Internet of Things and Vehicle Telematics – improving road safety and bringing us further down the road to driverless cars.

Despite what the experts say about its rapid arrival, most of us probably still believe that widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles is still a way off.  However, diving a bit deeper into the technology behind them, we can see that many elements of it are already in use in the driving that we do every day. We’re not starting from zero.  Instead, driverless cars will be an evolution of many technologies that exist today to support human drivers.

A good example of this is a project we recently completed with Aurizon, Australia’s largest rail freight operator. The company provides customers with integrated freight and logistics solutions across the nation’s rail and road networks. Aurizon’s entire road fleet in Australia consists of approximately 1500 vehicles, distributed in more than thirty geographical locations, including remote regions.

We were engaged by Aurizon to help deliver a multi-year road fleet transformation program. The centrepiece of the program was the design of a fleet connectivity solution to enable a safer driving culture, underpinned by significant economic benefits, integrating cross-industry technologies with IoT telematics.

Enterprise-wide implementation of the fleet connectivity technology involved deployment of in-vehicle tracking units with multiple integrated sensors.  The deployed in-vehicle technology uses the latest in fleet telematics to ensure complete visibility and safety of drivers, even in the remotest of locations.

Information that is collected by the fleet telematics solution supports road safety by:

  • Enabling faster responses to the exact location of safety incidents
  • Making employees aware of their driving behaviours, and as a result, encouraging them to make better decisions to improve their driving
  • Helping the client optimise their fleet and reduce maintenance costs through safer driving and a reduction of unnecessary driving.

Overall, the program over-delivered against initial goals.

An expectation of up to 90% reduction of high-risk speeding events within 12 months of the conclusion of the Drive Safe program implementation phase was the goal. However, the transformation resulted in about 97% decrease in the consolidated view of all speeding breach types. And the results were achieved twice faster than the initial expectations.

Financial results have also shown that due to this shift in driving behaviour, savings on fuel costs and a decrease in maintenance costs across the fleet has lowered the overall fleet operating costs. Economic benefits realised from the implementation of the IoT technology across Aurizon’s fleet include:

  • Reduction in vehicle count from correct vehicle profiling and fleet reallocation
  • Maintenance cost reduction from safer driving behaviours and achieving industry-standards in  maintenance, repairs, and overhauls
  • Reduction in fuel costs through fuel economy, idling reduction and improved purchase habits
  • Reduction in costs of incidents by eliminating private use of vehicles.

With employees now better observing a new safer driving culture both at work and in their personal lives on the road, Aurizon can be proud of its achievements. So far, the program has enabled Aurizon to realise a tangible impact of around $2million in benefits through the adoption of IoT technology across the organisation.

The project has been shortlisted for an award by the IoT Alliance Australia, recognising a company that has positively impacted the adoption of the Internet of Things in the Australian economy.

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