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Safer driving – actions for each of us to achieve ?

By Andrew Little – decidedly ok driver (so says family Little)

From the UK Government Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency on safer driving:

‘The skills, knowledge and understanding you need to be a safe and responsible driver of a car or van. By setting out exactly what’s needed to drive safely and responsibly, it makes it clearer what’s needed to train, test and assesses drivers. These areas can then be improved over time.’

Wow!  That is quite an ask.  But who’s it for?

But not car companies, insurers or indeed telematics solution providers!  I don’t know about you, but I have to wonder, is that right?

And then, ‘Role 5’ from the same website is:

Again, wow!  I think it’s reasonable to conject that few car drivers regularly benefit from any continuous assessment on their driving performance. Regardless of whether they are driving for leisure or business. This is arguably also important, but possibly to a lesser extent, to van drivers.  But how can this be offered efficiently and effectively to promote safer driving?

Telematics of course!

Telematics technology offers driver behaviour monitoring, feedback (short and long term) and coaching opportunities.   Below is graphic representation of REDTAIL’s unique approach to this, available for insurers, fleet managers and consumers.

We researched Highways Agency data and determined that there are a far greater number of driving behaviours than the standard four so widely promoted that contribute to safe and eco driving.  For instance Redtail is currently using 15 different parameters. That insight can prompt feedback and coaching to the individual driver from insurer or fleet manager designed to have a positive impact on their responsible driving.

In the US, there is some momentum behind thoughtful driving, which appears to have a particular definition of ‘share the road responsibly, give the right of way, and do not take actions that can cause trouble or risk for others’.  However, this sentiment doesn’t seem to exist this side of the pond (but why?!).

I would argue that contemplation on how your driving can assist in making roads safer and the environment cleaner is important, and the provision of enabling technologies to achieve this is worthy of early adoption and exploitation.  And if it saves you some money along the way (whether through more economical driving or savings on your insurance premium), then what’s not to like about the idea?

Ask the Doctor – insurance providers and TSPs

  1. Why is telematics only for young drivers?
    • That is a misconception, although that’s obviously the most applicable sector with high premiums and high risk just standing out to be mitigated.  But actually, the data that can be derived from a telematics box can be applicable and of value for all drivers.  For example, our partner By Miles has recently launched a mileage only policy – you only pay for the miles that you drive.  This is using just one piece of telematics data: highly accurate and immediate tracking of your precise journey and distance covered.  This may well be relevant to older drivers, perhaps.  And there are of course other ways of using the telematics data in an ever more granular fashion to help make car insurance fairer
  2. Why doesn’t REDTAIL sell insurance?
    • Well, I should say that we aren’t in any way qualified to be an insurance company, and besides, we prefer to think of ourselves as a solution partner to insurers and brokers.  By which I mean we don’t pretend to be actuaries.  What we do do is work with players in the insurance value chain (including but not limited to insurers, brokers, underwriters and intermediaries) to help our data inform their data.  We leave the other clever stuff to the experts
  3. TSPs are ten a penny – what’s different about REDTAIL?
    • To a certain extent you are right, but good ones aren’t!  To answer the question: we are unique in our heritage with Plextek, a thirty year old, innovative engineering design house.  This means that our way of working is about both problem solving and defining a unique solution for that customers’ customer – vanilla is rarely good enough.  We love answering difficult questions!

    • Secondly, we are obsessed with quality – of sensors, of signals and of the data derived – in order to deliver the best value data to our customers
    • Thirdly, we have an end to end solution, from device/firmware through connectivity (SIMs/APIs) to data (raw and managed) to portals and B2B/B2C Apps

Got all that?  And testimony to all of that is how long customers have stayed with us – which in a competitive market and environment is tribute enough!

Customer Satisfaction means what, exactly……?

Customer Satisfaction is defined as “the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals”.*

But what does that actually mean in terms of doing business?  How should you – the supplier or manufacturer – behave in order to create, nurture and sustain that mutually beneficial relationship?

REDTAIL is (as are many) a user of the word partner.  We would like to think user not abuser.  We strive to work very closely with customers in order to create solutions relevant to their market, business and customer requirement.  And as part of an ongoing dialogue (key word) we do ask how we’re doing.  Below are a few words and phrases offered by our customers:

Let’s try and group into four key areas: Innovation, Productivity, Quality and Relationship.  With a slightly subjective view on labels, the spread of sentiment is as below:

  Insurer A Insurer B
Innovation 4 2
Productivity 2 4
Quality 0 4
Relationship 2 3

It is indicative that relationship points are closest to parity.  The remaining emphases are surely indicative of the nature of the customer’s business, with greater need for and recognition of innovation, for example, and conversely of productivity.  Also, it seems interesting that the customer with higher expectations of innovation has a much lower recognition of quality!

So, to answer the original question, it is fair but perhaps obvious to say that Customer Satisfaction means all of the above, and more.  But the resounding confirmation of that next purchase order must be the ultimate indicator of a satisfied customer.

*Farris, Paul W.; Neil T. Bendle; Phillip E. Pfeifer; David J. Reibstein (2010). Marketing Metrics: The Definitive Guide to Measuring Marketing Performance. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-13-705829-2.

Ask the Dr – your telematics questions answered

  1. Who/what is Redtail Telematics?
    • Redtail is a telematics solution provider, founded in 2010 as a sister company to the design engineering consultancy Plextek (founded in 1989).  We have a wide range of service offerings which include design and supply of black box devices, firmware servicing, data management capabilities, connectivity and Apps.  No two of our customers have the same hardware and many choose to have their own custom firmware which, coming from a consulting company, is something we are happy to offer
  2. Hasn’t telematics been around for ever?
    • Yes, telemetry itself has been a ‘nascent’ technology since the dawn of electrical signalling, going back in a wired form to at least to 1865 and wireless by 1930 for weather balloons, and we all remember well how much we knew about the astronauts during the moon landings, and that they were wired to beyond their comfort level during the Apollo 13 trip.  All we have been waiting for is the affordability point to arrive.  REDTAIL has been in amongst it from the first iterations of stolen vehicle tracking through UBI to connected vehicle and remote diagnostics.  So been around for a while but still delivering.  And still with more to deliver
  3. Are you an IoT company?
    • Definition time: ‘Internet of things – connection through the internet of everyday devices to send and receive data.’ [Oxford English Dictionary]

This over used term has become a handy catch-all – but what does it mean?

  • Internet connection – think we get that – but it does need to be of sustainable quality, because without that constancy of signal it is impossible to deliver data of real value!
  • Everyday device – mmmmm……I have seen this expressed as ‘familiar objects that you do not expect to be used in this way ‘, but to be pragmatic, we are looking at a device including sensors, whether GPS, Bluetooth, accelerometer or gyro, for example.
  • Send and receive data – well yes.  But we do need the sense of quality (again) and value in that data

So, to answer your question, yes we are an IoT company, in that quality sensors and signals to deliver data of value to asset (things, people) owners and managers is in our DNA. Additionally, IoT is now being used by many to mean the communications and server infrastructure that stores the sensor outputs for later analysis and presentation.  So, in that sense we are absolutely an IoT company and, further, an IIoT play (Industrial IoT).