Monday, December 13, 2010

Another spy in the cab.

Today sees the activation of another spy in the coaches of the nationwide company. The spying device is provided by Traffilog . This technology from Israel collects data in real time and gives transport managers tremondous real time information on what their drivers and coaches are doing. All this information is relayed to a website and stored for future analysis. Transport Managers can view this data in real time or analyse the complete journey records at their leisure. There are 3 seperate types of data collected.

Temperature: One of the most frequent complaints from passengers is that their coach is too hot or too cold. The interior temperature of the coach is monitored by the Traffilog system and the temperature recorded. When the passenger complaint comes in this record is checked and the passenger is informed what the recorded interior temperature was. If the passenger was making a silly complaint then their complaint will not be upheld. If the passenger was making a valid complaint then the operator will be contacted and forced to repair their coach.

My past experience is that operators are reluctant to spend money and repair air conditioning systems and heater shut off valves when they fail. Then the coaches get very hot indeed, the drivers report the defects but they are ignored by the operator until the nationwide company responds to passenger complaints. In the winter I have never been cold on a coach but quite often women will complain that the coach is cold. I look at them and can see that they are only feeling cold because they refuse to dress sensibly for the weather. They get onto my coach feeling cold because of their lack of clothing and their bodies will take a long time to warm up, so they start nagging. I welcome the temperature monitoring system by Traffilog because it will refute these nagging women in the winter and force operators to fix the air conditioning and heater shut off valves in the summer.

GPS locating: Traffilog transmits the GPS location of the coach every 90 seconds. I welcome this facility because it should stop Service Support telephoning the driver whilst he is driving, to ask where the coach is and if he has serviced a particular stop. Service Support can then advise the complaining passenger where their coach actually is and when it may arrive at their stop. It will also stop passengers from lying that the coach never turned up at a particular stop. This GPS locating and recording will show the nationwide company just how unrealistic their published journey times actually are in practice. Forget the claims made by the nationwide company that most of their coaches arrive at their destinations on time, these records will demonstrate just how late the coaches are running every day!

D-MAS - Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System: Now this is the controversial part of the Traffilog technology. A quick glance on the internet will show you a newspaper story written by Yoav Kaveh of the Jewish, Haaretz national daily newspaper...

Traffilog's Israel operation manager, Yoav Megged, relates the difficulties involved in getting the monitor installed in high-tech companies in Israel. "At this point in time," he says, "when demand for quality human resources is greater than supply, the managers of companies are wary of employees protesting or quitting, and refuse to install our system." On the other hand, Traffilog monitors has been marketed successfully to trucking companies. Jafora-Tabori, which maintains more than 100 trucks, has managed with the help of the system to reduce driver aggressiveness dramatically, saving an average of 12% in fuel costs since the system was installed, or about NIS 2.5 million annually, that's 300,000 liters of fuel.

The company's management has decided to use the monitoring results more as a basis for incentives for good and economical drivers, and less for sanctions against aggressive and wasteful drivers, by offering outstanding drivers flight tickets for overseas vacation once a month.

...So what is D-MAS - the Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System? All drivers MUST log in before starting a vehicle by entering their unique 4 digit pin number. The D-MAS is a display with 5 illuminating lights, designed on the principal of a traffic light (red, amber and green). The D-MAS indicates to the driver in real-time the severity of acceleration, braking and turning manoeuvres. At the end of each journey the D-MAS also provides an overall score based on the total number of acceleration, braking and turning events conducted. - How to use D-MAS - Whilst driving: The D-MAS display will light up to inform you of any excessive accelerating, braking or turning immediately after the event has taken place. To dim the lights hold down any button for 3 seconds. - At the end of each journey: The D-MAS will bleep twice and light up one of the coloured buttons continually, this will signify your overall score for the journey. The overall score is calculated by assigning points to each event with red events being assigned more points than amber events etc.

My opinion of this Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System is that it will not affect the majority of drivers. The Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System is not a gimmick that the drivers can use, it is compulsory and I assume that any driver who does not log in with his pin number for each and every journey will be disciplined. Most drivers drive for their own comfort and safety, it is not a race to get to their destination at the advertised time! However the industry does have a problem with a very small minority of drivers who behave like boy racers. We all know the ones, the drivers who claim to get to their destinations on time, the drivers who tailgate other motorists on motorways, the drivers who violently switch lanes in traffic, the drivers who brake and corner hard. I do not have any time for these aggressive drivers and this Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System will record every journey these cowboy drivers complete. The data will be there for the transport managers to analyse and further training or disciplinary action will then follow. Also if a passenger complains about a particular driver's driving, then the recorded journey can be analysed and if the report shows green, then clearly the passenger is lying in an attempt to gain a money-off voucher and the nationwide company can refute their allegation. This Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System should enable transport managers across the whole network to get rid of by further training or disciplinary action the bad apples in the industry who are damaging the public service that sensible drivers should be proud of. This Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System should lead to smoother driving by the whole workforce and lengthen journey times to the embarrassment of the nationwide company. Smooth, safe and longer journey times, bring it on! The nationwide company has decided to invest in this Jewish technology because I believe that they do not trust their drivers to do a professional job. They clearly suspect that drivers are driving like boy racers and are missing registered stopping places, this Traffilog system will be the control measure of their authoritarian dreams. The big brother of Birmingham, who monitors your whole working day with the help of the Jews. The Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System also reports if the coach is stationary with it's engine running for longer than 15 minutes. Drivers who leave their engines ticking over are one of my pet hates. Did you know that their selfish laziness actually costs £8 an hour is wasted fuel oil? Transport managers can now stop this anti-social behaviour when drivers leave their coaches ticking over. This will make rest periods in London's New Covent Garden Market a much more pleasant affair as those ignorant drivers will now have to switch of their engines. Peace will return to this concrete jungle of South London thanks to the Driver Manoeuvre Awareness System. I will be very surprised if the top drivers receive any bonus for their good driving unlike the truck drivers working for Jafora-Tabori in Israel.
Sounds like 'Drive Green' which First use. I have to say this system makes me take more risks as regard amber traffic lights as a 'brisk stop' will trigger an 'event' even if the passengers don't notice anything.
I noticed the same problem about traffic lights and a firm stop. Going into Bradford on Monday night the traffic lights changed but these lights at the Inner Ring Road have a red light camera, so I applied firm braking. The traffilog system recorded an event but when I switched the engine off I was awarded a green light. So it shows that if your normal driving is smooth, then the occasional firm stop within your 4 hour 30 minute driving block will not see your status drop below green. I agree with you though that this Jewish technology will sadly encourage drivers to view all traffic lights as "nationwide company green". It is no use saying that you were going too fast before the traffic lights turned amber, because even at 15 mph I expect the system would record an event. That would really annoy the passengers if the driver approached every traffic light at DANGER, all because of this Jewish technology that the nationwide company has decided to invest in.
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