Why an app? The benefits of mobile telematics
Written by Gabrielle Sias
Telematics solutions have long been available for student transportation. Historically, telematics was conducted by hardware solutions installed in the vehicle. Today, mobile telematics solutions can far surpass hardware solutions.
Thanks to the ease of access and scalability of these solutions, mobile telematics is a field hitting rapid acceleration in the transportation space, with school transportation being no exception. While many are aware of available on-board diagnostics (OBD) systems, mobile telematics is still a comparatively new field.
In this article, we’ll dive into mobile telematics, as well as how HopSkipDrive’s use of mobile telematics benefits all HopSkipDrive users, including CareDrivers and the school districts, schools and other organizations that partner with us.
What is mobile telematics?
Mobile telematics (and telematics SDK) is software installed onto a device that allows for visibility into rides-in-progress and the identification of safe — or unsafe — driving behaviors. Mobile telematics provide insights into the performance and/or efficiency of transportation service, and can also detect collisions.
Benefit 1: Driving behavior data and feedback
Founded by working mothers, HopSkipDrive has always let safety take the lead as a driving principle. That's why we value the visibility that mobile telematics provide into various behaviors such as device use while driving.
The HopSkipDrive CareDriver app integrates with an industry-leading, third-party mobile telematics solution, which helps promote and implement safe driving behaviors. In fact, mobile telematics can detect the five top predictors of distracted driving behaviors that can put Riders at increased risk.
The ability to do this is unique to mobile telematic solutions. This type of driver feedback cannot be tracked by many installed telematic devices as of the time of this writing.
Since mobile telematics detect and record the five most risky driving behaviors — device use, speeding, hard turning, hard braking, hard acceleration (as well as collision detection) — we are able to share the results with HopSkipDrive CareDrivers on a weekly basis to support iterative driving improvement. By providing visibility and feedback to CareDrivers about their own driving patterns, we can help them identify areas of improvement.
This strategy, coupled with various other safety processes at HopSkipDrive, is paying off. HopSkipDrive CareDriver driving scores show that they are some of the safest drivers on the road. The CareDriver safe driving score was 87 out of 100 in 2021, compared with the average driver score nationally being 79 out of 100 in 2018.
“The use of a telematics solution has provided our team with critical insights to better understand the CareDriver community, assess risk and help prevent future crashes,” says Senior Manager of Trust & Safety at HopSkipDrive, Mike Hernandez. “Using this data, in combination with other available data such as motor vehicle record information, allows CareDrivers to have timely insight into their driving patterns on a consistent basis in comparison to a one-time approach other transportation solutions may take, and allows HopSkipDrive to continuously adjust and improve our safety practices.”
Benefit 2: Highly qualified drivers
Thanks to the scalability of mobile applications, HopSkipDrive CareDrivers can immediately access the HopSkipDrive app to begin driving as soon as they are certified. This means there are no long windows of onboarding due to device delivery, vehicle installation and more.
Safety is our number-one priority at HopSkipDrive, and we have strict guidelines for what it takes for CareDrivers to access the platform. Requirements for our 15-point CareDriver certification process include several layers of background checks, at least five years of caregiving experience and more.
By reducing onboarding challenges and timelines for qualified drivers, we make it easier for HopSkipDrive CareDrivers to access the platform and begin driving immediately. This, in turn, enables us to provide a scalable solution to bus driver shortages by giving schools and districts access to a flexible — and scalable — driver supply.
Benefit 3: Dynamic driver supply
Thanks to the scalability of mobile telematics technology, the number of CareDrivers available at any given time is not tied to the number of devices installed in vehicles. This means that as transportation needs grow or vary, the HopSkipDrive CareDriver network can dynamically adapt to the number of rides that are needed versus being limited by a set number of devices.
Because mobile telematics devices are portable, a CareDriver can continue driving with HopSkipDrive if their vehicle is out of commission by simply updating the vehicle on file with us. (The updated vehicle would, of course, still need to meet established HopSkipDrive safety standards before being approved for use.) OBD systems, on the other hand, would need to be uninstalled and reinstalled in a new vehicle, or a spare vehicle with OBD would need to be used.
Taking the lift off of you
As the telematics industry continues to accelerate, so too does our vision for how we can continue to move the needle on safe driving practices.
Using our long-term roadmap in partnership with the HopSkipDrive CareDriver community, we are relentlessly focused on making sure that everyone who uses the HopSkipDrive platform always has the safest ride experience possible.
Learn more about how safety drives everything we do.