Over the past few years the availability of GPS has skyrocketed, surpassed only by the downward trend in pricing. The question arises: why is IVMS still required?
The answer lies in the fact that GPS and IVMS is not the same thing. GPS provides a speed and a position reading, IVMS is a comprehensive service. It starts off with measuring driver behaviour such as seatbelt usage, 4×4 mode, driver identification and, very importantly, driving style. Through solid state accelerometers we can now define settings per site and this can determine what is acceptable and what not in terms of acceleration, braking and cornering speeds.
All of the above then is combined with an intelligent review of data, partly by making use of exception reporting, but also by bringing in human intelligence. A good example is this: the speed limit may be 60 km/h on a mine site, but if a human being can see that the road simply does not allow that speed it can still be flagged as dangerous. A vehicle that stops for 10 minutes, then slowly crawls forward only to crash into a pole has done nothing in terms of a GPS measurement, but an experienced IVMS analyst will know that those are signs of an intoxicated driver falling asleep for 10 minutes, then wake up and drive on.
There are also other IVMS aspects that can be calculated and derived: a driver that drives non-stop for 4 hours would indicate a potential dangerous situation through driver fatigue, a 100km trip to work that starts at 6:00am and ends tonight at 11:00pm shows a risk of a driver that did a long trip after a full day’s work. A heat map analysis that shows a persistent driving style problem at a certain spot for most drivers, indicates a bad road surface, as opposed to bad driving style.
Add to this full-blown vehicle utilisation reports and accident analysis, and it becomes clear that a GPS unit bought on eBay and a high-end IVMS unit bought from a reputable IVMS supplier is simply not the same thing!