Craig Spillard, Finance Director at Spillard Safety Systems, explores how a combination of real-time data and cameras is helping the commercial vehicle sector to improve safety and reduce costs.
You can’t pick up many general business publications these days without finding the phrases Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 splatted all over the pages. Most commentators talk about it in relation to the tech sector and how manufacturers are looking to integrate it into their operations to improve that much sought-after commodity of ‘productivity’.
Once you drill past the columns and columns of text, it all boils down to how we use data and, more importantly, the way we can use real-time information to our advantage. And guess what, the commercial vehicle sector and its thousands of fleets are ahead of the curve.
A bold statement? Maybe. However, we have seen first-hand the scale of demand from fleet operators and logistics companies following the launch of ‘Spillard Live’, our award-winning Internet of Things (IoT) platform that can track a vehicle in realtime, with live video and analytics.
Since we introduced it 12 months ago, we have successfully installed more than 3,200 systems for clients across the UK and this number is growing by the day. In fact, if we could find more engineers – a lack of skills is a big issue for our sector – we could triple this figure over the next 12 months.
Driving this clamour is the desire for compliance and accountability. These two features are becoming increasingly important for transport firms and being able to see what is happening to a vehicle on the road is making that task a lot easier.
Spillard Live provides an industry-leading four camera system (front, rear, offside and nearside), and has been designed to improve visibility and capture/process and then learn from multiple sources. The real-time data received is analysed using complex algorithms to improve driver behaviour, so much so that audible alerts can be sent to notify employees that their actions are being recorded – a feature that has been proven to have a positive effect on their behaviour.
It also allows companies to see what has happened in the case of an accident, with lots of cases already reported of operators using our technology to prove who was actually responsible. This not only saves costly claims, but, over time, should help to reduce annual insurance premiums.
However, development doesn’t stop there. We are continually listening to what our users are telling us and that’s why we’re already planning to build on the initial £250,000 investment in ‘Spillard Live’ by introducing a number of new advancements.
Future releases will include tacho downloads, driver behaviour telematics, vehicle faults and diagnostics through the telematics, tyre pressure monitoring and enhancements on the alerts.
The longer-term aim will include working with BigChange to allow the vehicle faults to automatically schedule a repair and booking with a local workshop.
All of these developments are creating a paradigm shift in terms of how fleets are managed and tracked.
It’s all about the data!