Utility Fleet

Houston Adds Telematics to Quarter of Public Works Fleet

January 13, 2015

A technician installs a telematics device on one of the City of Houston's fleet vehicles. Photo courtesy of City of Houston
A technician installs a telematics device on one of the City of Houston's fleet vehicles. Photo courtesy of City of Houston

The City of Houston has expanded its use of telematics on Public Works fleet vehicles following a successful pilot program.

The city will use telematics data to optimize its fleet size, improve routing, and manage driver habits, said Jedediah Greenfield, public information officer for the city’s Fleet Management Department. Taking out older units from the fleet and moving vehicles around could improve fuel economy. Improving driver habits could lower liability and improve safety.

Public Works initiated the pilot and has been leading the effort to use telematics on its fleet vehicles, but the Fleet Management Department is looking to expand use to other areas.

“We see the great results from the Public Works Department pilot and will expand the program by installing additional systems in vehicles in other city departments,” Greenfield said.

In November 2013, the Public Works & Engineering Department began a three-month pilot project testing the Networkfleet telematics program on 75 vehicles in the Street & Drainage Division. The goal of the pilot program was to determine the effectiveness of the program. The Public Works Department has purchased an additional 922 devices, and so far 834 of those have been installed on Public Works vehicles and equipment.

City technicians are installing the units on vehicles in order to reduce costs, Greenfield said. The Public Works Department has nearly 4,000 vehicles, and the department’s goal is to install more devices on vehicles as funding becomes available.

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