Fleet management is a complex job. Prioritizing driver safety, profitability, vehicle efficiency, and productivity, while also trying to monitor driver behavior, optimize routes, communicate with drivers, streamline processes, collect data, and continuously educate drivers.

Traditionally, making improvements to fleet productivity relies on driver-centric management. By monitoring, correcting, and educating drivers on effective driving behaviors, fleet managers can reduce fuel costs, efficiently maintain vehicles, minimize downtime, keep drivers safe, and increase productivity. The problem is, managing driver behavior is a difficult and time-consuming approach that, when conducted traditionally, requires time and money to guarantee success. Additionally, driver turnover makes the process an endless cycle.

How A Solely Focused Driver-Centric Approach Will Cost You

The financial ramifications that come with only focusing on driver behavior modification rather than a combination of vehicle-centric and driver-centric management can significantly impact your fleet’s bottom-line. 

High Fuel Cost 

Idling, speeding, and aggressive braking are all significant fuel wasters. Idling alone can waste up to 0.50 gallons/hour, depending on the size of the engine. In a driver-centric fleet management approach, the only way to increase fuel efficiency is to review, assess, and analyze telematics data to understand how each vehicle and driver are performing, then make reactive data-driven decisions on how to improve efficiency. Leveraging a vehicle-centric approach, you would be able to modify the engine parameters –like speed, idling, and throttle sensitivity – of each vehicle to customize the way that vehicle operates, regardless of who is driving.


Unsafe driving habits put your drivers, vehicles, and company at risk. Whether it’s driving while distracted, speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt, or other dangerous behaviors; accidents and tickets impact your bottom-line. Monitoring and modifying driver behavior alone are not enough. By pairing driver education and corrective action with specific safety-focused vehicle parameters, you will be able to shift the responsibility of safety from strictly the driver to the vehicle as well.

Vehicle Maintenance

While all fleet vehicles experience standard wear and tear and need required maintenance, aggressive driver behavior and incorrect vehicle selection can reduce the longevity of their use and increase the maintenance required. Adjusting the parameters of a vehicle’s engine to minimize fuel waste during vehicle acceleration reduces redline shifting and engine wear-and-tear with more certainty than trying to modify driver behavior. By focusing on vehicle-centric management, you will have the ability to customize your vehicles to perform the same despite the style of driving. 

How To Implement A Dual Approach

By transitioning to a dual approach of driver-centric and vehicle-centric management, you can leverage driver insights and make adjustments to your vehicles, to achieve the same outcomes more efficiently. When the profitability of your fleet is reliant on the effectiveness of your vehicles, instead of only the behaviors of your drivers, your fleet will become more profitable, efficient, safer, and sustainable. 

What Vehicle-Centric Used To Mean

The fleet management industry has seen significant evolution over the last several decades. From the introduction of telematics, fleet managers were able to gather data and insights into both driver and vehicle performance. GPS and cameras help fleet managers track and monitor the behaviors and efficiency of their drivers. Safety features, like cell phone blocking, keep drivers safe by minimizing distracted driving opportunities. 

While each piece of technology provides vehicle-centric insights and paints a clearer picture of productivity, fleet managers are still limited to modifying driver behavior to increase fleet efficiency and profitability. 

Until now.

What Vehicle-Centric Means Now

Rather than just relying on corrective action to modify driver behavior, you can leverage engine calibrations to keep drivers safe, maintain reliable vehicles, and improve the profitability of your fleet. Engine calibrations are a way of modifying engine parameters like speed governors and shifting patterns to produce meaningful safety improvements and fuel savings.  

Based on the insights gathered from telematics data, you can use calibrations to determine the best way to make each vehicle work in line with its intended use and limit the reckless behavior drivers are able to conduct.  

How It Works

It starts with telematics and using data to understand vehicle performance and make strategic decisions. With an abundance of data available, you have to determine which metrics are the most important to focus on for your fleet and company goals. Once you analyze your data you can determine which engine modifications will be most effective for your vehicles. 

To make these modifications, leverage an engine calibration solution. You can tune the engine parameters to align each vehicle with its intended use. The modifications will be loaded into a customized device, or tuner, and installed into each vehicle. After the calibrations are complete, the vehicle will operate to your desired settings such as idle RPM, shift points, and speed limits. 

Active vehicle management takes fleet management one step further by allowing you to implement Automated Driver Assignment, Distracted Driving Prevention, Cell Blocking, and Seatbelt Compliance features to completely remove the need for driver behavior modification in these core areas.

Three Solutions, One Device: Meet Derive VQ®

Derive has developed a comprehensive and fully customizable fleet management software solution that combines telematics, calibration, and safety into one cutting-edge vehicle-centric solution, empowering fleet managers to manage their vehicles rather than their drivers.

You are just one simple solution away from being able to tune engine parameters to align each vehicle with its intended use, use data to understand vehicle performance, and customize vehicle parameters to shift responsibility from the driver to the vehicle. 

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet