The City of Worcester, Mass., should expand telematics to its entire fleet in order to “collect data that can offer now-hidden optimizations and cost savings that cannot be uncovered by human oversight alone,” according to a report from the Worcester Research Bureau, a non-partisan research group.
The city already has telematics on nearly 50 sweepers and sanders, which GPS Insight, the vendor, claims saves the city $10,000 per year in time and material costs.
Benefits from GPS tracking can include cost savings from optimizing routes, better fuel efficiency, improved maintenance scheduling, and eliminating underutilized vehicles, according to the report.
The report cited public agencies that have benefited from telematics — Baltimore County in Maryland added telematics to 850 vehicles and saw a reduction in miles driven, saving nearly $30,000 in fuel expenses in one year. The cities of New York and Chicago allow the public to see real-time data of select vehicles, including during snowstorms. The City of Augusta, Ga., saw a 29% decrease in accidents in which municipal employees were at fault in the first year of its tracking program. And a Verizon study of the North Carolina state fleet reported a reduction of more than 1,700 lbs. of greenhouse gas emissions per vehicle.
It also noted drawbacks, including per-unit and ongoing costs for the systems, objections from workers and unions, and training needed for supervisors.
The report concluded that as the second largest city in New England, Worcester should be a leader in implementing telematics.
The full report can be found here.