Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stagecoach monitor system - further details

A little more about the cowboy radar spotter. I realised afterwards that the description of the system didn't give a full picture of how it worked. This is how Stagecoach's own website "Greener Travel " section describes it;

"Stagecoach is also testing a hi-tech in-cab driver system to improve safety, reduce fuel costs and cut carbon emissions. The initiative is in partnership with GreenRoad Technologies, a leading driver safety [and high tech fleet management] company, on the bus network in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria. The system monitors up to 120 driving manoeuvres, such as speed, braking, acceleration lane handling and turning. Data is sent in a continuous stream to GreenRoad’s web server and analysed, providing information about a driver’s performance. Instant feedback is given to the driver using red, amber and green lights on the dashboard and optional SMS or email messaging."

Though not painted as such this is also a policing mechanism, though how overbearing this is would depend upon where the company draws the line in tolerance. For this reason it may be viewed dimly by some bus drivers!! As it gives drivers themselves the power to measure their performance and adjust their behaviour, is it really so onerous?

Personally I think just as air and rail travel is highly controlled by governing mechanisms and professional expectation parameters, if the bus industry wants to move in to the 21st century and become truly the sophisticated, high tech, quality service system it could and should be, then journey management devices like this are of major benefit, for all parties, not least of course the passenger.

A Footnote; Another habit that I believe belongs fifty years ago is the clumsy changing of drivers en route - which can take from two or three minutes on a good day, and occasionally five or eight if the relieving driver is late turning up! There has to be some better system.

When the public transport takes itself and quality standards seriously so might the rest of the world!

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