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For a successful project in Eco-driving: implement tools that monitor and coach the drivers

IT-Strategi

How should you analyze the performance of your drivers and vehicles if you do not have the tools? How should drivers improve their behavior if they are not coached and don’t get continuous feedback? For several reasons, it is crucial to measure and report the performance and to help the drivers to improve their driving.

 

“For many years, Ahola has been certified for quality (ISO 9001) and environment (ISO 14001), and for this reason we place great emphasis on ensuring that our transports are carried out efficiently and environmentally. It is important for us to keep track of the fleet and driver performance by monitoring and reporting fuel consumption and emissions. Since we have screens in our vehicles, we can also impact the driving behaviour of the drivers, which has a major effect on wear and fuel consumption”

Joakim Asplund, Project Manager, Ahola Transport Abp

Let’s start with the monitoring and measuring. Just to measure the performance will ensure improved performance. As we have said, we are addressing human beings. It has often been observed in management, as Pearson’s law tells us, that the mere fact of measuring performance improves it. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates. Indeed, this seems logical, when drivers know they are observed, they become more vigilant. But the simple measurement is not enough, a regular and objective feedback on these performances is essential, for a good result. This helps to maintain the results in the long run. Monitoring tools are essential to prove the impacts of eco-driving, to establish an inventory of behaviors and consumption and to set realistic objectives. They also enable the monitoring to be carried out on objective criteria. Simple consumption data is not enough. Some transports and trips are much more fuel consuming than others, and it would be unfair to favor drivers who have the least hilly routes or who drive “empty miles”.

“When we got the system installed, we realized that everything was not perfect! For example, through the system we noticed that the trucks were idling one hour in average per day! The idling was during loading and unloading to keep the reefer going so that the temperature should not rise. We decided to connect external power to the reefers and then we could get rid of most of the idling. With just this initiative we managed to save 12% idling!”

Allan HVIDBERG, Logistic Manager, AB Catering (DK)

Parameters and criteria that are convenient for eco-driving should be relative, and they should be possible to compare with the driving time and driving distance. There should be feedback in real-time (For exemple: “right now values”: coaches the driver while driving) and if possible pedagogic indications that are easy to understand (Red indicates a worse behavior, Green indicates a good behavior, Yellow indicates that you are getting close to the limit). Further it is easy to understand and relate to measurements in percent; red percent should be reduced, and green percent should be increased.

“Our drivers also use the eco-driving module; they look at it in the truck all day long. In the office, we put up the eco-driving results on a note board every week. We have a competition called “The driver of the week” where we list the driver who has the best results. With this competition and a good communication, we can see that many of our drivers have improved very well. Since we have some quite different types of routes (long/short trips), we have created groups to be able to compare drivers in a fair way. Some of the drivers are really interested and wonder what they should do to become number one. I think it´s interesting to see how fast they can improve!”

Claus GRAAKJÆR, Dispatcher, BC Catering Grossisten A/s

 

EXAMPLE OF DRIVING PARAMETERS FOR ECO-DRIVING

Vehco’s eco-driving solution make it possible to evaluate the performance of the drivers independently of the vehicles and the terrain. We use six criteria that allow this objective analysis. These are Wasted energy, Harsh breaking, Over- speeding, Idling, Roll out and Coasting. Further the solution offers pedagogic and graphical reports that can be used to display or communicate directly to drivers. Below we briefly go through the parameters.

WASTED ENERGY (BRAKING)

The energy that is consumed during acceleration to a certain speed is compared with the energy that is lost as heat in the brakes when the speed is reduced

HARSH BRAKING

Harsh braking is calculated when the speed is strongly reduced with a brake. The measurement shows how many harsh brakes of the total number of brakes that has been performed. Harsh braking is especially interesting for when transporting people or sensitive goods in dense traffic situations. To minimize harsh braking: Focus on planning the driving and braking ahead and that braking is done in a smooth way. Good performance: 0%

OVER-SPEEDING

Going more than 83 km/h with the use of the accelerator. Note! If the vehicle is driving downward a slope faster than 83 km/h no overspeed is calculated since no fuel is consumed. To minimize overspeed: Focus on keeping the right top speed and not driving too fast and keeping a constant speed. Good performance: 0-3%

IDLING

Standing still more than 60 sec with the engine on. (If the stop is less than 60 sec, or if we receive a PTO-Signal, we do not calculate any Idling). To minimize idling: Focus on turning off the engine when the vehicle is standing still. Good performance: 5-8%.

ROLL OUT

Roll-out measures how well the driver adapts to the traffic around, how exits are approached, etc. This is only measured when the speed is decreasing. Rollout  is calculated when the vehicle speed decreases slowly (less than 1 m/s²), the brake pedal is not applied, and the accelerator pedal is not applied (no fuel consumption). To maximize rollout: Focus on planning stops ahead and lower the speed in a preferred way when possible without braking. Good performance: 75-100%.

COASTING

Here we are measuring how much the truck is coasting without interference from the driver (accelerator/brakes). Coasting is calculated when: the vehicle is moving without fuel consumption, the brake pedal is not applied, the accelerator pedal is not applied (no fuel consumption) and the cruise control is not used.  To maximize coasting: Try to keep this value as high as possible. Focus on using the topography or other possibilities that to bring the vehicle forward – without using the accelerator pedal or cruise control. Good performance: 75-100%.

 

DASHBOARD AND REPORTS

For efficient follow up of the drivers’ performance, dashboards, reports and good possibilities to export the data from the system are required. A proper dashboard presenting a holistic view of the drivers, the ranking and the trends are useful to get a bird’s eye of the status of the fleet. Since it is common to use several driving parameters to measure the driving behavior, a common and smart way is to combine the parameters in an eco-driving index. See the example below where Vehco has combined six different parameters into one index.

 

vehco-mobile-driver-cabin-bring

On a company level, each parameter can be analyzed to identify the most important improvement areas. Using this kind of index, it is possible to compare companies, groups and drivers with each other. Successful transport managers typically review the ranking and start focusing on the drivers with the largest improvement potential. See example of a driver ranking below.

vehco-office-ecodriving-computer

For more detailed analysis, the eco-driving data should be available in more detailed reports, preferably with features for scheduling and distributing to other users in the organization. The data should also be possible to export in different formats, for further analysis in reporting tools, such as MS XLS. See below an example of a report from the Vehco system.

DRIVER COACH IN THE CABIN

As pointed out, drivers benefit from being coached in the cabin. If they can  spot their driving behaviour in real time on their screens, it will get them more encouraged to improve their performance. Nicolas Laporte who runs Transports Laporte means that one of the factors of success of eco-driving in his company were the pedagogic user interface for his drivers showing the eco-driving performance in real time. His view is that the drivers like to use the application and that having the results in front of their eyes really pushes them to improve.

 
vehco-mobile-ecodriving

“Having their own results under the eyes really encourages drivers to improve”

Nicolas Laporte, MD, Transports Laporte

 

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