Street Sweepers, Garbage Trucks, and Formula 1® Cars Have This ONE THING in Common

Formula 1 cars are technical rock stars. They’re expensive, noisy and cool.

And they’re fast.

Let me blow you away with three numbers about F1 cars:
– 1,000 (horsepower)
– 746 (kg, their minimum weight)
– 375 (km/h, their top speed)

But here’s an F1 car’s most dramatic figure (for a data geek like me):

A Formula 1 car has around 200 sensors. And they can measure over 1,000 data channels at any time in a race.


Imagine having 1,000 gauges in your car’s dashboard. And that dashboard is beamed back to a pit garage – and to the car’s factory on the other side of the world – in real time.

This, my friend, must be the most extreme version of Telematics.

Now, the dictionary defines telematics as:

The branch of information technology which deals with the long-distance transmission of computerized information.

This is clever stuff.

Telematics devices in the world of vehicles and machines can do these things:

  • Track a vehicle’s location
  • Monitor its speed
  • And keep watch on other behaviors – like acceleration, braking, fuel use, and technical faults

All in real time. As they’re happening.

So, this has to be the perfect data solution. Right?

Well, not so fast.

Yes, it can tell you what’s really going on as it’s occurring. It’s data-rich. And it speeds up your data capture.

But without cross-referencing the data, there’s a risk it might not be as accurate as you expect.

In the case of F1 racing, swimming pools of cash and NASA-level engineers create microscopic accuracy.

In the real world, you still need to ensure you’re measuring what’s really going on.

And telematics is often the most expensive way to capture vehicle data.

So, what’s my view?

On balance, telematics can be hard to beat.

Investing in the right telematics technologies can be the best way to find your real efficiency short-falls.

And the best part about finding these short-falls is they open the door to the biggest efficiency gains.

This is true on expensive mobile assets – the ones measured in kilometres, engine hours, fuel consumption, and maintenance.

Cars and commercial vehicles of all kinds fall into this group.

Here are some real-life examples I deal with:

If you’re a city council running street sweepers, telematics can reveal:
– Brush down-time (to understand the true productivity of this expensive asset)
– The rate of incoming volume of waste (for improved route planning)
– And improved load discharge plans (for better work scheduling)

If you’re running waste collection trucks, telematics can reveal:
– Better route options (to reduce driving time and fuel use)
– Harsh vehicle use (to target operator training and reduce maintenance and repair costs)
– And time spent at locations (such as waste transfer stations)

Emergency services fleets use telematics to:

– Locate vehicles at all times
– Optimize dispatch planning
– And enhance route solutions

Telematics can reveal a lot of truth about your mobile assets.

Knowing it lets you tailor staff and contractor training needs.

And this improves asset productivity and reduces costs.

It can also make a safer workplace for everyone.

But if you want to achieve these things, this rich data needs to earn its keep.

Because a terabyte of data sitting in a hard drive is only useful when you unpick its story and get it working for you.

Many of our customers use Uniqco Fleet Data Analytics to apply their telematics knowledge. It pinpoints cost savings and efficiency gains with their mobile assets.

It helps them get the Return on Investment (ROI) they need. You can benefit from it, too. Get in touch and I’ll show you how.

See you next week for a new topic: risk.

Stay safe.
Grant Andrews
Managing Director

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