DELAND, FL – Volusia County added new "green driver" modules to the existing GPS systems in more than 550 county vehicles to improve driver behavior to reduce fuel and maintenance costs. The county’s fleet consists of 2,300 vehicles and pieces of equipment, according to George Baker, director of Central Services.

“The program was rolled out in citizen-centric vehicles (vehicles that directly respond to citizen needs),” Baker said. “Fleet Management installs the devices on selected vehicles during preventive maintenance. This year we are installing a ‘green driver’ module on the GPS units.”

For the rollout, the county won’t require additional manpower as installing the module will be part of the regular preventive maintenance schedule. The rollout of the module is scheduled to take a year to complete, Baker said.

Baker explained the device tracks vehicle stop/start, idling, the routes traveled, each location where a vehicle stops, vehicle speed with a speeding report, and provides geo-fencing. It uses an accelerometer to track harsh acceleration incidents, harsh braking incidents, and aggressive cornering. The new module itself is installed by Fleet Management under the hood of each vehicle.

“We will disseminate this information to the County Departments for them to council their employees,” Baker said. “We are conservatively expecting the Green Driver modules to reduce fuel and maintenance expenses by 5 to 10 percent.” He added that the anti-idling reduction campaign associated with using GPS saved 32,000 gallons of fuel and more than $100,000.

The base cost for the GPS module, which the county sourced from a company called Ituran USA, is $108 per unit and $55 per unit for the “green driver” module. The county already approved the budget for this addition.

Baker said the County Council and County Manager responded positively to the addition of this eco-driving module to the county’s existing GPS technologies, and that county departments and divisions will pro-actively participate in this program. He said Central Services will work with its fleet customers to monitor the reports and take appropriate actions based on the data acquired.

By Greg Basich