High-tech management of the state’s fleet of cars will save the government fuel and maintenance costs, an account manager for Verizon Telematics told a legislative committee Monday.
Bob Boggio, a strategic account manager for Verizon Telematics, Networkfleet, pitched the system to the Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee.
Boggio presented results of a pilot program the company has been running in the state since February 2014 on 76 cars using Networkfleet. The system can tell when drivers are speeding, braking hard, or accelerating quickly. The system can also monitor idle times for cars. The cars in the pilot program are used by five agencies and schools: the Department of Administration, the state Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Transportation, N.C. State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
It seems state employees like speed. The Networkfleet report says drivers went 5 miles per hour over the posted speed limit 5,000 times each month and went 10 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit 2,000 times per month.
“By applying these numbers to the state’s entire set of vehicles and drivers it is apparent that the state has a significant amount of potential liability in the driver’s behavior as well as a real opportunity to save on fuel,” the report said. “With an active program of transparency, coaching and formal development of telematics data into a vehicle use policy we often see these drop by 90 percent or more for our customers.”
Boggio didn’t say how much the system would cost, but a brochure put the basic cost at $1 per day per car. The return on investment, based on 8,000 cars, is about $1.6 million in the first year, he said.
Kathryn Johnston, deputy secretary at the Department of Administration, said the department is testing wireless fleet management systems from four companies to use with the 7,600-car fleet the department oversees.
The companies offer services in “all kinds of price ranges,” she said. “The benefits have to be considered with the costs.”
The department would put GPS fleet management out to bid, Johnston said.
“There will be no preferential treatment here whatsoever,” she said.