Once a niche feature, telematics is now entering the mainstream for light commercial vehicle fleets with the launch of Renault Trucks VANTELLIGENCE – powered by Verilocation, the first LCV OEM telematics system. We take a look at how intelligent connectivity is transforming logistics.

From improving driver style and boosting fuel economy, to vehicle tracking and route optimisation, telematics helps you to control your day-to-day operations and reduce operating costs.

Yet, while connected fleet management solutions are firmly embedded in the truck world, on-board telematics solutions designed for LCV operators have been patchy at best, with fleets missing out on the intelligent, real time data that helps optimise every journey, improve customer service and drive workforce productivity.

For Grahame Neagus, Head of LCV for UK and Ireland at Renault Trucks, bringing telematics into the LCV sector was an absolute priority – and an opportunity not to be missed.

“If you can measure it, you can monitor it – and improve it,” says Grahame. “Just like trucks, every van is a profit centre, with every penny saved on every journey going straight to your bottom line.”

Using its truck heritage and ethos that an LCV is a small truck, not a large van, Renault Trucks has harnessed its HGV knowledge and applied this to its LCV range. Renault Trucks VANTELLIGENCE – powered by Verilocation is a turnkey fleet management programme that provides LCV operators with the same levels of data and fleet performance their truck colleagues have enjoyed for years.

It is a completely modular system suitable for any Renault Trucks Master Euro 6 vehicle. The system can monitor driver behaviour to improve safety, fuel efficiency and performance, track vehicles in real time for improved fleet efficiency and customer service and monitor environmental performance for eco reporting. In addition it can integrate with existing on-board weigh and camera systems to record and report meaningful data, quickly and effectively.

Available in two modules, ‘VANTELLIGENCE Control’ for vehicle tracking and mapping and the more integrated ‘VANTELLIGENCE Optimum Control’ for vehicle and driver performance, the new telematics system comes with a host of upgrades and a tailored suite of functionality that can be specified to a fleet’s particular application.

“At the simplest level, you can geo locate your fleet and track your vehicles at all times, with Vantelligence Control. The Optimum Control pack monitors individual driver performance and behaviour, processing 20 driving style parameters including MPG, fuel consumption, idling time, over revving and harsh braking,” he explains.

And when driving style is the most significant factor affecting the fuel consumption of any vehicle, helping your drivers adopt a more efficient style behind the wheel will pay dividends.

“Some LCVs can notch up to 50,000 miles or more per year, so fleets could literally save thousands of pounds in fuel costs by monitoring their fleet data. We have fleets using VANTELLIGENCE that are typically achieving an 8-10% gain in fuel efficiency and as well as promoting better driving through league tables on driver performance, it promotes safer driving too,” says Grahame.

As well as providing information on the van, the system can integrate with the whole vehicle including any ancillary equipment such as cranes or fridges, reporting back on performance. For chilled or frozen distribution, the temperature control pack includes body temperature sensors for live temperature recording, tailored threshold alerts and door opening reports.

Compliance and safety in operation are also designed into the VANTELLIGENCE system, with a digital alco-lock that prevents any chance of drink driving. “You don’t need to worry about drivers who have had a heavy night – the van won’t start if they’re still over the limit when they arrive for work,” he says. “The integrated on-board weighing system also reduces the risk of an overload situation, keeping the Health & Safety team happy.”

“Our LCV telematics solution helps to optimise every journey, improve customer service, driver performance and safety, fuel efficiency which all helps an operator to become leaner, greener and more cost-effective.”

“Introducing VANTELLIGENCE is a real step forward for van operators,” concludes Grahame. “It allows managers to stay connected to their fleet, check status and track performance of vehicles, and manage unforeseen events more swiftly, which all adds up to better productivity, profitability and customer service.”

All VANTELLIGENCE modules are available with a wide range of options and packs tailored to your operation. Talk to your local Renault Trucks dealer or visit www.renault-trucks.co.uk for more information.