POLICE Magazine Supplements

Special Report 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1088351

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C orporate fleets have been using telematics for years to col- lect data on everything from a vehicle's fuel consumption to the driver's braking habits. Law enforcement has been much slower to adopt this technology that automatically gathers in- formation about how a vehicle is used. But this is a missed op- portunity to harness data to improve fleet operations. DRIVER BEHAVIOR "Telematics for law enforcement can monitor details like speed, seat belt use, even whether or not the vehicle's flashing lights are engaged. is offers administrators and officers behind the wheel feedback on their driving," says Mark Wallin, vice presi- dent, product management at Verizon Connect. While officers might not like the idea of their driving habits being monitored, Wallin says this data can be used in a positive way as the basis for incentives for officers displaying good driving habits. It can also serve as a starting point for improving driving behavior to increase safety. is includes wearing seat belts and not taking turns too quickly, especially in inclement weather. Telematics solutions can also report if an emergency vehicle has been involved in a crash, and locate it. is feature allows agencies to quickly bring aid to officers that might otherwise lie injured or dying for hours. Avoiding a crash if possible is of course always best. e Snohomish County (WA) Sheriff's Office has installed the Ver- izon Connect telematics platform in more than 300 emergen- cy response and other vehicles at the sheriff's office. Collisions deemed preventable decreased from 40 in 2015, to 32 in 2016, and then fell again in 2017 to 13, Wallin says. As a result, the agency's litigation expenses dropped year over year from $2 million in 2015, to $32,000 in 2016, then to $5,000 in 2017. According to telematics data, the average speed squad cars and emergency vehicles are traveling when col- lisions occur decreased 70% since installation of the Verizon Connect platform. "Telematics-based active tracking is oen used as the back- bone for efficient first responder field operations and dispatch- ing, helping to improve driver safety and reduce response 12 | SP E C I A L R E P O RT | U PF I T T I NG & F L E E T M A N AG E M E N T Telematics for Law Enforcement Agencies are starting to see the benefits of collecting and using data from department vehicles to improve fleet safety and efficiency. MEL A NIE BA SICH Derive Systems Derive Systems has a different approach to improving driver behavior, fuel economy, and vehicle performance for law enforcement fleets. The company's device plugs into the OBD2 port found under a vehicle's steering column to recalibrate the onboard computer's settings to achieve the agency's desired goals. The whole process takes about 20 minutes per vehicle and can be done at a department facility or by an upfitter. "This is a really simple and affordable way to add technology to an existing vehicle to get better results," says Charlie Mahoney, business development for Derive Systems. "It's not telematics per se, it's a one-time calibration. And you change nothing about driver behavior or the vehicle itself." The changes take place automatically. Derive programs its device to recalibrate the vehicle computer to reduce fuel consumption and emissions while the vehicle is idling, which is roughly six to eight hours of the average 12-hour shift. "Derive stands behind its fuel savings guarantee of 6%," says Mahoney. "If we don't deliver, we cover up to the cost of the product in savings." Other adjustments can improve the performance of the vehicle for times when officers need to get up to speed quickly. This can provide a shorter duration of time from 0-60 mph or 0-100 mph, for example, and provide additional horsepower and torque so the vehicle can perform better in a pursuit situation. Any recalibrations can be reset to the original factory settings using the same device. Derive's goal is to improve the driving experience for the officer while decreasing costs for the fleet manager. "With telematics, you get data, but you then have to act on it," says Karl Weber, Derive Systems' senior vice president of enterprise sales. We can actively solve many of the concerns with autonomous vehicle operation." PHOTO: VERIZON CONNECT

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