How Can Government Fleets Save Money? | Public-Private Partnerships

The use of innovative technology in government fleets is providing public officials the opportunity to save taxpayers money and improve services by operating more efficiently. The public-private partnership between government fleets and telematics providers saves money and leads to a higher quality of life for area residents.

The chance to use the advanced technology in connected devices leads to better maintained vehicles, improved risk management and reduced costs. Telematics help government fleets save money and provide better service by catching mechanical issues before they cause vehicle breakdowns, supporting better coaching for drivers and reducing the risk of accidents.

Innovative telematics provide ways for government fleets to save money. It’s a public-private partnership that is gaining in popularity.

How Telematics Help Government Fleets Save Money

An example of how government fleets can use telematics to improve their operations comes from Franklin County, Ohio. Charlotte Ashcraft, the country’s director of fleet management, told Government Fleet she originally became interested in telematics over concerns not enough drivers paid heed to the check engine light.

Advanced software systems constantly monitor the performance of a vehicle’s engine and drive system. Fleet managers can receive real-time information from every vehicle, including alerts on needed maintenance or signs of impending malfunction.

Ashcraft said it worked in her case because “most employees just want to drive the vehicle and get their work done. If it doesn’t impact their driving, they will ignore it. While it could be something simple, it could also be something major, and we’d rather not take that chance.”

She said that after installing telematics on 380 vehicles, 67 of them reported check engine lights. None had previously been reported by drivers.

Public-Private Partnerships

Government agencies increasingly turn to outside contractors to support and improve public services. It’s something that’s happened for years at the federal level. The practice now happens more often at the local and state levels.

Companies hired as contractors can help governments do more with less money. For example, telematics suppliers can not only connect fleet managers with the devices they need, but also give them the after-purchase support that helps them install and make the most use of telematics.

Private companies especially help public agencies in three major areas: digitizing operations, setting up systems for remote operations and optimizing efficiencies. In telematics, connected devices can be used to coach drivers, monitor vehicle performance, receive real-time video both inside and outside the cab, improve driver safety and lower the chance of accidents.

Some also use tech to better meet regulations. For example, Peter Bednar, fleet director for the City of Albany, Ga., told Government Fleet that telematics devices on city buses allowed for collection of accurate mileage data. That’s critical because state funding for public buses depends on an accurate mileage count. With affordable telematics now widely available, government fleet managers can make use of the benefits connected devices provide. It’s a public-private partnership that allows public agencies the same advantages high tech offers private fleets.

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