Escalating operating costs are a concern for all fleet companies, and fuel costs represent a significant part of that operating cost. For a typical fleet, fuel costs can vary from 30% to 40% of the fleet’s operational cost. With historically high fuel prices prevailing currently, this is an even immediate concern for many fleet owners. Fleet companies run on single-digit profit margins hence even a 10% reduction in fuel cost can significantly improve fleet companies’ profit margins.
The fuel economy of a particular vehicle and the resulting fuel cost varies from the make/model of the vehicle and the road and traffic conditions on which it is plying. While these factors are not really controllable, economical driving behaviour is a factor that’s under the driver’s control and can help in extracting better fuel economy from any vehicle.
Based on our fuel economy prediction model built using our proprietary, 100s of millions of kilometres of driving behaviour data and observed fuel economy, we outline the top driving behaviour tips for improving fuel economy.
Control Idle time – Idling at zero speed is one of the causes of fuel wastage. Reduction in idling time can help fleet companies achieve significant savings in fuel costs. Sometimes drivers keep the engine running to avoid restarting the engine. However, even 10 seconds of engine idle results in more fuel consumption than starting the engine. Fleet managers need to monitor Idling time across their fleet and educate drivers about the importance of switching off the engine when the vehicle is not moving.
Based on our prediction model, a 10-minute reduction in idling time on a 2-hour daily trip to the city can improve fuel economy by 5% per cent for a typical car.
From our experience of introducing Telematics in several fleets, monitoring and reducing Long Idling is a low hanging fruit that offers a significant reduction in the cost of fleet fuel and early return on investment on telematics. That’s one reason Idling time trend chart along with real-time Idling alerts remain one of the most used features of AutoWiz Fleet Management solution.
Drive at optimal speed– Driving at an optimal speed gives the best fuel economy of a vehicle.
Below is an example of a fuel economy chart of a vehicle for the average speed, as recorded for multiple trips. As one can see, the Fuel economy improves with average speed to a certain level and after that, it tapers and starts trending down.
While in cities, traffic conditions and speed limits dictate driving speed, it is more controllable when driving on highways. As per our prediction model, increasing the percentage of cruising time at an optimum speed by 20% over a long trip can lead to fuel economy improvement of up to 5%.
Optimal speed range and fuel economy vary based on vehicle make/model. In the AutoWiz Fleet Management solution, Fleet Admins can set vehicle specific over-speeding alert thresholds and fuel economy targets. One can drill down to see the over-speeding time and speed profiles across each trip. This helps provide relevant over-speeding alerts and encourages drivers to drive at the right speed, whenever possible.
Check Aggressive Driving – Aggressive driving behaviour involving too frequent and severe sudden accelerations and sudden brakings causes more fuel consumption. Aggressive driving causes the engine to run at a higher RPM than necessary resulting in higher fuel consumption. It also increases the wear and tear of the vehicle parts including tyres and brake pads, thereby increasing vehicle maintenance and spare replacement costs.
Real-time notifications of aggressive driving incidents like sudden acceleration, sudden braking and an overall “Safe Driving Score” can help fleet managers provide the necessary feedback to aggressive drivers.
Drive at right gear – For vehicles with manual gear shifts, driving in the wrong gear can also reduce fuel efficiency. Also, driving in the wrong gear puts more strain on the engine and transmission systems. AutoWiz advanced analytics solutions can offer personalized gear shift recommendations based on historical driving data of each driver, pin-pointing exact gear and speed levels at which the driver might be under-geared or over-geared.
About AutoWiz Fleet Management Solution:
AutoWiz’s OBD-GPS based fleet management solution comes with advanced Driving behaviour analysis to help fleet companies achieve significant savings on fleet operation costs. The solution provides real-time notifications on various uneconomical driving behaviours like Long Idling, Overspeed, Sudden acceleration, Sudden brake and Over-revving. The solution provides driving behavior comparison charts and reports for different drivers and vehicles which can help fleet managers to identify drivers who need to be coached. AutoWiz solution also provides relevant insights on vehicle health including engine diagnostics and fuel trims, enabling fleet managers to be informed about malfunction of a component that can impact fuel economy.
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