Big Data: Getting drivers to use less fuel, increase performance

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Updated May 22, 2013

big data 2This is the second part of the second installment of CCJ’s Big Data series. Click here to see Part 1.

2.Self-service for drivers

Fleets historically have digested information in the back office before they shared the results with drivers. Today, the same type of scorecard report used by managers is displayed in the cab.

Vital Signs from McLeod Software offers real-time KPI monitoring with drill-down capability to identify positive trends and root causes.Vital Signs from McLeod Software offers real-time KPI monitoring with drill-down capability to identify positive trends and root causes.

Drivers can see their overall scores and drill down into categories such as mpg to find how their performance for shifting, idling and speed affected their overall score. They also can see statistics for several safety and compliance areas.

PeopleNet’s soon-to-be-released in-cab driver scorecard system will provide real-time feedback to drivers while the vehicle is in motion through text-to-voice. The alerts will highlight areas where drivers aren’t performing well; drivers also will be able to see an overall score while driving. When drivers stop, they can view the score in more detail, says Rick Ochsendorf, executive vice president of operations.

Zonar plans to release a “MyDriving” app for its 2020 in-cab computing platform that will allow drivers to see their real-time driving score and how it compares to those of their peers or against the company’s goals. Fleets can customize the information based on their company’s operational needs and goals.

Rand McNally offers a stats menu in its TND 760 and TPC 7600 systems. Drivers can click on an icon to see how they are performing for the day and over the past month for mpg, idle time, hard braking, shifting, speeding and other areas.

3. Enterprise data

Dispatch and enterprise software systems capture a vast array of information through integration with third-party systems such as onboard computing and mobile communications. Using BI tools, executives and managers can get timely information to make course corrections.

McLeod Software offers Vital Signs, a BI module for its LoadMaster and PowerBroker enterprise systems for asset- and nonasset-based transportation providers. The module displays KPIs in a dashboard that is updated automatically. “You can see everything that is taking place in the organization,” says Randy Seals, customer advocate for McLeod.

The module provides insight into the time-based load profitability. Rather than analyze loads solely on rate per mile, Vital Signs displays results for load “velocity,” a measure of the load’s mph load from pickup to delivery. Revenues, costs and profits also can be broken down by the hour. Load velocity and cost per hour can be analyzed from different perspectives such as driver, trailer or dispatcher.

TMW Systems’ Data Warehouse is designed to make it easy for people to find data from multiple sources, including the TMW Suite enterprise system, TMT Asset Maintenance software, accounting software and third-party onboard computing platforms. It also can import roadside inspection data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

“Anything that is generating information that is useful to make business decisions is fair game,” says Steven Pembridge, TMW’s dimensional data architect.

Companies can use any reporting tool to get information from the Data Warehouse. TMW provides a Data Warehouse Explorer, a Web-based tool, for users to select information they want to analyze. The company also delivers information through its Visual Solutions dashboards of predefined metrics deployed via the Web.

Part 1 of this story was published last month. Click here to see it.