Feb 07 2020

Why GPS Tracking Matters for University Fleets

Internet of Things support can improve service and management for campus transit.

Universities, especially those in urban areas, often have one foot in the transportation business as they operate buses and shuttles on which students, staff and faculty depend. Many institutions still prohibit freshmen from bringing cars to campus, and at urban locations, maintaining and parking a vehicle is often impractical and expensive.

As a result, reliable, university-provided transit is often essential for students to get to and from class. For institutions in cities without reliable public transportation, dependable university transport is even more critical for students to access food, healthcare and job opportunities.

From athlete transportation to off-campus rental services, university fleets include a variety of vehicles, each of which serves a critical purpose. But how can you be sure you’re making the most of your fleet data? And without access to that data, is GPS tracking worth the investment?

Across the country, more and more institutions are implementing GPS tracking into their fleets. GPS tracking, powered by a unified fleet management platform, can have a significant ROI for any university. In addition to offering vehicle location tracking, telematics systems provide data on maintenance diagnostics, fuel consumption and idle times, fleet utilization, and safety metrics — all of which can reduce costs and improve the quality of transportation services.

Here are the top four reasons why GPS tracking and a robust telematics platform should be top of mind for campus fleet managers.

1. Real-Time Visibility Enables a Better Rider Experience

The rise of ride-sharing in the consumer transportation space means that students have come to expect real-time arrival information for all forms of transportation, including university transit. But without insight into the location and expected arrival time of university shuttles, students can be left in the dark. With real-time GPS capabilities, students can rely on accurate arrival times. From a service perspective, this improves rider sentiment, which can reduce complaint calls from students wondering when the next shuttle is going to arrive. Not only does real-time arrival information improve students’ trust in your service, but it also saves time for administrators.

2. Digital Fleet Management Can Reduce Insurance Risk

By tracking the real-time locations and driver identities of university vehicles, university fleets can potentially save thousands of dollars in insurance costs. In fact, many major insurance providers provide discounts for organizations with GPS trackers installed in their fleets because of the reduced risk of theft or loss.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how smart city and campus partnerships are advancing IoT in higher education.

3. Better Driver Tracking Increases Visibility for Fleet Managers

In addition to tracking vehicle location, telematics platforms can track vehicle utilization and driver identities, which can be a massive challenge for university fleet managers without such technology. Without a centralized system to track actual vehicle usage, administrators need to cross-reference many siloed sources of information to determine who used a vehicle, when and for what purpose. An integrated telematics platform will optimize this process and ensure that managers can always determine who was using a vehicle, when and for what purpose.

4. Data on Fleet Usage Can Increase Safety for Campus Riders

The right fleet management platform can also help track and reduce safety events, such as harsh braking or rapid acceleration. With insight into driver behaviors, fleet managers are able to coach drivers on how to improve safe driving techniques and ultimately improve the overall safety of their fleets.

With universities often up against tight budgets, it’s no surprise that fleets need to be as cost-effective as possible. Fortunately, investing in a fleet-tracking platform has a great ROI for institutions and passengers. It increases accountability, efficiency and safety — all critical factors to the success of the campus community.

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