Go-Ahead Singapore uses GreenRoad to improve its preventable incident rate & fuel consumption.
In early 2016, soon after it won Singapore’s second public transportation tender, the UK-based Go-Ahead Group pulled together a tech-savvy, results-oriented management team to operate the new service. Six months after the company went live, it decided to introduce the use of telematics to help it improve fleet performance while reducing overall risk and operating costs.
Gavin Smith, GAG Singapore’s Operations Director, explained, “At the most basic level, we needed GreenRoad’s GPS bus tracking capabilities to code any mileage that may have been seen to be lost, but was actually operated. But having used GreenRoad in the past, we knew how effective GreenRoad is for reducing incidents and fuel consumption. We were keen to bring these benefits to our fleet as well.”
Deployment of the GreenRoad system was straightforward and successful. First, the system was installed in buses on a “blind” basis for 3 months to establish base-line data. Then, in June 2017, GAG Singapore’s training department briefed each bus captain, gave them a written guidebook, and issued personalised RFID identification tags on a lanyard. Then the system went live.
Our bus captains started out with an average score of 70+, which translates to over 7 events per hour,” explained Andrew Edwards, Go Ahead Singapore’s Managing Director. “When we gave them their RFID tags and they started signing in, the scores dropped to 30 within 2 weeks. We saw driving styles and behaviours improving day by day – just because of psychology of not wanting to be a bad driver, coupled with the feedback provided by the 3 LED lights in the cab.
Once the GreenRoad Driver Behaviour system is installed in a bus, a light flashes “green” as long as the driving is safe and calm. But when the system senses a potentially dangerous or inefficient “incident” (harsh braking, speeding, sudden acceleration, tight cornering or lane changing), it flashes yellow or red and makes a note in the driver’s record. Drivers aim to “stay in the green” in order to keep their Safety Scores (ratings based on the number of “incidents” accumulated during the past 10 hours) low, making them eligible for recognition and cash prizes. As driving behaviour improves, companies see a marked reduction in their collision rates, maintenance costs and fuel consumption.
“After slashing our average Safety Scores from 70+ to around 30 in a very short period of time, we aimed for even better,” continued Mr. Edwards.
“We began devoting more time discussing and coaching the bus captains that had not improved as much as the others, reviewing their records with them and giving them tips on ways to change their driving style and behaviour. As a result, the average score continued to drop – rather quickly – to 19. We’ve been holding at 16 for a while, but we want to be even better.”
To further incentivise safe driving, the organisation has instituted monthly driver briefings and a competitive Top 50 Green Drivers program.
Mr. Edwards continued:
It’s simply in human psychology to want to exceed when we are rated against our colleagues. We have seen a tremendous improvement. Our bus captains are definitely driving in a more ‘stable’ and safe manner: they’re not rushing, and they’re planning ahead to avoid any potential hazards. They’re not pulling out as aggressively into traffic, they’re not going too fast around corners, and they’re in better control of their vehicle. The local cultural desire to succeed has helped: our bus captains don’t want to be seen with a high Safety Score and are very willing to correct old habits. They have embraced the technology, and welcome the opportunity to self-correct and improve.
The tangible results of using the system have been impressive. During 2019, the company recorded
- a 22% reduction (year-on- year) in preventable collisions,
- a 20% reduction in accident spend, and
- a 3% reduction in fuel consumption.
“We look forward to using GreenRoad for other applications as well,” added Mr. Edwards. “We’re already using it to identify our idling hotspots, and coaching our bus captains to turn off the engines when they’re not in use. As soon as it becomes available, we plan to deploy the GreenRoad Start Inhibit solution, as well as the Vehicle Health Checker to catch component deterioration before they reach failure, and to enable automatic daily odometer readings for each vehicle. ”
“Taken as a whole,” concluded Mr. Edwards, “we are very pleased with the telematics system – and can’t imagine trying to run our operations without it.”