We've now fitted all our buses with DriveGreen, a clever little box of tricks which records G-forces impacting the vehicle as it is driven. Sensors analyse up to 120 separate driving events such as speed handling, cornering, braking, and acceleration. That data is transmitted in real-time to the red-yellow-green LED light display on the dashboard and is uploaded to a central server. Clever computer analysis allows individual drivers to see their own scores, see what went well and what didn't, whilst the company can compare this against route and garage performance.
I know from staff forums and correspondence that there are differing opinions about this.
For me the best thing is that individual drivers can track their performance on their home computer or at the one we provide at the depot. No need to involve managers or anyone at the company at all. You can look at it, think about how the day went, and move on.
It's also better, more objective and more comprehensive than the random travels of on-bus 'surveillance'. It saves fuel, reduces collisions and provides absolute positive proof against those individuals who seek to blame the driver, and claim off the company, for falls due to a 'sudden stop' which really never happened.
The outputs can be calibrated - so we can adjust the parameters depending on conditions. Some routes are tougher than others!
Some have expressed concern over this increased monitoring, although it is hard to see why it is any more intrusive than CCTV. In fact it provides the greatest possible level of defence against malicious accusations and can be a strong ally of the driver when it is 'his word against mine'.
Only those who enjoyed too much spirited driving might feel a little constrained. Sorry - in these days when people are quick to accuse, point the finger, criticise and claim, we have to do everything to protect our position. And with the relentless downward pressure on costs we have to make sure we're not wasting any money unnecessarily.
But most of all we must protect the safety of our employees, passengers and other road users. In terms of deaths, injuries and collisions we aim for zero.
DriveGreen has been a valuable tool in delivering improved safety and lower costs. One day the whole industry will have this, like we all now have CCTV, Real Time Information, assault screens and electronic ticket machines!
Do go and check out the website: http://www.greenroad.com/our_solution.html.
A quick screen-grab from the whole garage performance information for one of our locations. Individual drivers can have this for their own performance for every day and every trip if they want!