GreenRoad app alerting drivers to inefficient manoeuvres targeted at delivery and company car fleets
A new smartphone-based tool promises to cut emissions and improve safety by alerting drivers to erratic or inefficient driving.
The service has been developed by GreenRoad using its existing web-based software, which it claims can cut fleet fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 10 per cent.
However, unlike the company's previous vehicle management systems, the new smartphone app does not require installed telematics equipment to assess driving efficiency, instead using GPS and accelerometer features that are inbuilt to handsets.
Drivers can simply download the app, nicknamed Asimov, drop their smartphone into a phone cradle on their dashboard and then start their trip.
The app will alert the driver whenever they make a risky or fuel-inefficient manoeuvre in terms of acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding and lane handling. It even includes an automatic feature that ensures the smartphone cannot be used while the vehicle is moving, stopping motorists from breaking the law by making handheld calls while in motion.
Asimov is available now in beta form for Android devices with a commercial version set to be made available by the end of 2012, followed by an iOS edition in 2013.
The company expects to roll the system out to businesses and delivery fleets, which can struggle to install vehicle management hardware due to rapid vehicle turnover, short-term leases, and the rotating fleet equipment.
Andy Cozens, senior consultant at GreenRoad, told BusinessGreen the mobile system was between 40 and 50 per cent cheaper than installing similar hardware-based systems.
He said luxury coach firms are also being targeted as potential customers, although clients such as First Group and Stagecoach that are already using GreenRoad technology are unlikely to migrate to the app as drivers are rarely issued with mobile phones.
"It's ideal for company car fleets which [until now] cannot make the same financial returns as a bus company or multi-drop operator," Cozens said.
"High-end coach operators use smartphones for navigation and for checking into hotels and buying tickets etc when on tour. A couple of those have said moving to [Asimov] would make sense for them."
Cozens added there is further potential for Asimov to be integrated with other fleet applications, such as inventory management, navigation and fleet management systems.
By Kim Anh