Insurer to roll out own telematics system

Zurich, one of the world’s largest fleet insurers, has announced that its own Zurich Fleet Intelligence (ZFI) telematics system will be rolled out in Australia and New Zealand.

The ZFI telematics system was designed to take a “proactive approach” with the data obtained and provides an interface to monitor and manage driver behaviour, vehicle performance and environmental impact. It works by having an in-vehicle unit to notify the driver of hazardous driving in real time. Drivers and risk managers can log onto a secure website to analyse these incidents and the trends as well as pin point the location of each hazardous incident using Google Earth and Google Maps.

ZFI has been trialled by Zurich overseas, and according to studies conducted by GreenRoad Technologies in the USA and Europe, resulted in fewer crashes, reduced maintenance and operation costs and improved fuel consumption.

In Australia, Zurich Senior Risk Engineer Mervyn Rea said although the benefits of ZFI are three fold –improved safety, better business performance and less environmental impact – it was the safety improvements which would have fleet operators most interested.

“We know from past studies that being a professional driver or truckie are among the most dangerous jobs in Australia – it’s up there with mining and construction in terms of fatality risk,” said Mr Rea. “There are around 460,000 Australians working in the transport and logistics industry and generally speaking they are seven times more likely to have a fatality than other Australian workers,” he continued, quoting from Safe Work Australia and Australian Bureau of Statistics findings.

“ZFI reduces the risk of fatality, serious injury and vehicle damage by including risk-based driver monitoring and coaching. This means that when drivers break speed limits, take corners too fast, slam on the brakes, accelerate excessively, and so on, they’re alerted immediately and the events recorded. Once drivers improve their driving technique, they not only avoid crashes but they also reduce the frequency and severity of them,” Mr Rea added.

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