How Telematics Can Help Your Fuel Costs

Telematics has given fleets greater insight into their operations. Among the key gains many fleets have seen with telematics is saving on their fuel use. Having operational oversight into where vehicles are and were, minimizing the number of wasted miles drivers are putting on their company vehicles, controlling idling, speeding, and harsh acceleration through providing insight, feedback, and coaching is probably the No. 1 way fleets are seeing gains in controlling fuel spend.


Telematics is also helping fleets leverage traditional ways of controlling fuel spend, such as fuel cards, allowing fleet managers to marry up payment information with telematics data to provide actionable data around lowering fuel use, improving maintenance, and safety, and cutting fuel card abuse and fraud.


With its roots in GPS, it’s not surprising that route optimization is another way fleets are saving fuel. This includes off-hours usage or other day-to-day inefficiencies that are untapped areas of potential savings. For instance, telematics data can identify if a driver is eating at an out-of–the-way location instead of the café on a regular route or near a lunchtime service stop.


Monitoring vehicle health is another way telematics helps fleets save on fuel use. “With reports on vehicle health, companies can minimize operating costs and maximize fuel savings with real-time monitoring of oil life, tire pressure, engine hours, and idling,” said Mark Wallin, Vice President, Product Management for Telogis. “It enables companies to share vehicle diagnostics and maintenance reports with service centers to ensure proactive fleet maintenance, avoid more serious and costly breakdowns, and maximize fleet uptime.”


GM provides tailored telematics support to its customers – either by working directly with the fleet and/or its FMC to create a customized telematics solution or with Telogis, which can develop a suite of online reports and tools to interpret data captured via the vehicle’s available OnStar system if equipped. GM has also recently launched Commercial Link, a telematics solution designed specifically for small fleets. Fleets and their drivers can manage vehicles remotely (e.g., remote start, door lock and unlock), driving behavior (e.g., speed and speed warnings), telemetry and diagnostic services (e.g., vehicle location, odometer, fuel level, and diagnostic trouble codes). GM supports its telematics solutions with a fleet customer/driver onboarding service, which will be rolled out soon.


Developed in cooperation with Bobit Publishing.