The number of businesses in the UK using telematics vehicle tracking technology has almost doubled in the last year, according to a new report by the RAC.
Published yesterday (16 August), the RAC Telematics Report 2016 found almost two thirds (65%) of the 500 businesses surveyed now use telematics devices in their vehicles, compared to 38% in 2015.
The report also shows an increase in the use of telematics across all sectors, with business services the highest (70%), followed by retail (67%) and construction (66%).
In terms of business size, 51% of sole traders said they are using the technology now compared to 14% last year, and 58% of small firms with 50 staff or fewer said they use telematics compared to 25% last year. At the other end of the scale, in the corporate sector, (1,000 to 5,000 employees) usage has gone from 29% to 67%.
According to the report, businesses which use telematics cite benefits such as lower fuel costs (55%), fewer accidents (43%) and a reduction in maintenance costs (31%) among the top reasons for introducing the technology to their fleets.
Nick Walker, RAC telematics managing director, said: “The world has moved on from a slight fear about telematics, the old ‘Big Brother’ image that is well behind us now, as people are seeing the benefits, and looking at how they can bring those benefits into their own fleets.
“One of the very clear factors that we are seeing from the report, and from what we’re hearing from customers, is that telematics is now being more associated with cost reduction, cost benefits, more insight and duty of care, than it is about pure tracking and the older benefits of telematics.
“People are looking now for things like vehicle condition monitoring and vehicle diagnostics. When vehicles have faults fleet managers want to know so they can anticipate and plan downtime, so vehicle health is a real key part of the future of telematics.”
The report also looks ahead to what businesses want to see from the technology in the future, such as greater integration with other motoring services, including breakdown and accident management.