Is there such a thing as Self Funding Telematics Devices

At Zest4, we’ve recently launched vehicle telematics solutions for our resellers. Using M2M technology, these clever devices enable resellers to provide fleet operating customers with the ability to monitor their vehicles 24/7 and benefit from the vast array of data that the devices collect.

The devices that we offer are very cost efficient and easy to install – they’re ‘Plug & Play’ devices that simply plug into the vehicle’s OBD port and collect a raft of information including engine management data, vehicle location and even driver behaviour.

As there’s no huge installation costs involved with our Plug & Play devices, we started to wonder whether the devices could actually be self-funded through savings made by using them. By tracking vehicles so closely and monitoring driver behaviour, perhaps there are some insurance savings to be made. But one area that could be greatly affected by driver behaviour is fuel costs. Could there be an opportunity for fuel savings by going easier on the throttle?

To put this theory to the test, Zest4’s Head of M2M, Anton Le Saux, put a Plug & Play device in his car for a week and the results were very surprising…

As part of a typical week, Anton regularly travels from Lincolnshire to the North West and clocks up in excess of 500 miles. He admits he’s heavy on the gas and drives a fuel-hungry vehicle, so his on-board trip computer usually reports that he gets an average of 26 miles per gallon of fuel.

To test the device fully, Anton set it up so it warned him if he stepped over the speed limit and also to alert him if he was driving too aggressively, i.e, pressing the accelerator too hard, breaking heavily or taking corners too fast. Anton was actually surprised how many times the device beeped at him – he honestly didn’t think his driving was too bad!

So with the device installed, set up and tested, Anton went about his weekly routine, making regular trips to Cheshire from Lincolnshire. With the device keeping him aware of his driving behaviour, the MPG of his vehicle quickly increased from 26mpg to 33mpg – a fantastic result!

To convert this into monetary savings, Anton estimated that he saved £21.78 on fuel that week, based on travelling a distance of 500 miles and a fuel price of £5.34 a gallon. The cost of the Plug & Play device is tyically £3.75 a week which would give a return on investment (ROI) of £18.03. For a customer opting for a vehicle telematics solution, with the low cost of buying the hardware (usually around £80) and no installation charges, this means that the capital costs would be quickly recouped and ongoing savings could be made after just 1 month.

So to answer the question ‘Is there such a thing as a self-funding telematics device?’, the answer is a resounding ‘Yes’. If the full functionality is used correctly and effecively, the savings benefits could be signicant.

If you’re a reseller of communications or technology solutions and are interested in providing vehicle telematics solutions to your customers, get in touch. Call Zest4 on 0161 956 3355 or find out more by visiting http://www.zest4.com/m2m/vehicle-telematics.php.

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