Visualizing Problem Areas Using Heatmaps

Posted on May 3, 2022
BlueArrow is always striving to find new ways to utilize the huge amounts of data your Geotab devices provide. Introducing heatmaps: The perfect way to visualize and gather insights about your fleet’s behavior. Our goal in applying heatmaps is to find target areas where improvements can be made. Popular areas of focus include high-idling, speeding, harsh driving, and even applications in the public works sector. Once we identify these problematic or high impact areas, we can begin to utilize custom rules, geofences, and general driver coaching for immediate results and improvement. Let’s look at some examples. Below is a heatmap of several hundred vehicles over a one-month period. This is an aggregate of all idling exceptions over 20 minutes. You’re looking at about 60 entire days of idling for just a single month… That’s not even counting events under 20 minutes.

Here, the dots shaded in red represent a fleet’s pickup and delivery locations where vehicles were recorded idling for greater than 3 days over the course of the month. Our goal at this point is to identify a handful of locations that we should pinpoint and focus on. We can pre-set these particular locations to send drivers and their supervisors a notifications during high-idle times, as well as implement audio feedback via the device or GoTalks once drivers hit a certain threshold. We can also even have these areas have a greater effect on the driver’s safety scorecard. Whichever route you take, having the ability to easily focus on just a few major problem areas will increase results and improve habits moving forward. With significantly rising gas prices, this will prove to be a major return on your investment. How about a deeper look into safety? With respect to causes/factors in traffic accidents, speeding tops the list. Look at the following heatmap, which highlights some highly trafficked zones by average vehicle speed.

As you can see, there are hundreds of speeding events in the region. While we want to reduce all speeding events, there is a direct correlation with the maximum speed and the severity of the accident. Even at just 55 MPH, the chance of severe injury or death if involved in an accident increases by 78%. And that’s at just 55MPH! The areas in red represent incidents where drivers were recorded traveling at speeds well over 80 MPH. These are immediate areas I would want to address. Accidents at those speeds are extremely dangerous, often fatal, and can present litigation nightmares after-the-fact. Just as heatmaps can be utilized to help reduce excessive idling, a similar approach can be taken to mitigate speed-related exceptions.

Proven BlueArrow Strategies:

– Implement driver scorecards with rewards programs – Utilize built-in Geotab notifications so supervisors can monitor dangerous behavior in real time – Setup geo-fences to focus and pinpoint on specific locations that can be worked on – Activate device feedback so drivers know when they’re approaching dangerous limits and can reduce speed immediately

Here at BlueArrow, we’re always looking for ways to help improve your fleet safety and efficiency. Schedule your account review today and let us guide you to a safer future.