Digital tools help bus operators cut accidents, reduce bad driving habits

SINGAPORE: Less than a year after adopting an app to track and assess driving behaviour, public bus operator Tower Transit said it has halved the number of incidents its bus drivers are involved in.

A few weeks ago, operator Go-Ahead Singapore too, adopted the same fleet safety software, GreenRoad, which assesses driver behavior through an RFID tag that the bus driver wears on a lanyard.

The system assigns each driver a score based on the number of incidents the driver has been involved in over the previous 10 hours. Drivers are assessed on braking, speeding, accelerating, cornering and lane changing, and safe drivers are given monetary rewards.

“If a driver has fewer than two events in an hour, they are classed as a green driver, and a very low risk to driving standards,” Go-Ahead Singapore’s chief operating officer Andrew Edwards told Channel NewsAsia. “The more events they have, it changes to either an amber or red driver.”

“So when we see that a driver may have more ‘events’ than the rest of the group, and could be associated as red driver, what we do is that we then go and see that driver and have a look at their performance.”

Mr. Edwards added that GreenRoad was also good for the environment. “We can see where our idling hot spots are, and coach our bus captains to turn our engines off when they’re not actually using the vehicles,” he said.

Tower Transit said it has been using GreenRoad in Singapore since July 2016, after using it for about five years in London.

It said that since July 2016, the number of “incidents” had halved, down to about 150,000 bus driver “incidents” a month.

“Having seen the scores we’re getting from our BCs (bus captains) here in Singapore just over the course of the last year, which are now doing better than those scores we’ve seen previously in London – that’s been really, really pleasing,” Tower Transit’s operations director Stuart Thomas said.

SBS Transit told Channel NewsAsia that it would be installing a telematics system similar to GreenRoad, which would provide audio and visual alerts to its bus drivers.

The bus operator currently uses in-vehicle cameras, sensors and a mapping software, among other features, to assess their drivers’ behaviour. A third of its buses are also equipped with an anti-collision system called Mobileye, which monitors road conditions and alerts drivers to pedestrians or vehicles in its path.