At the highest level, True Fuel helps drivers and fleet managers work together to improve driving habits, saving fuel costs for the fleet, helping transportation companies evaluate their drivers in a normalized and fair manner, and providing a rock solid and fair basis for driver-welcomed incentives for them to improve fuel economy. True Fuel assesses each driver’s fuel economy in real time in the cab, normalized for all the factors outside the driver’s control (such as vehicle make, model and age, load, the external environment etc.) and provides subtle audible tones for the fuel wasting behavior outside of boundaries set by the fleet. Each driver also receives a comprehensive scorecard that fairly measures only those things they could have controlled, and more importantly, easy to use reports that illuminate the steps they can take on the next trip to achieve a better score and fuel efficiency result for the fleet. The scores of each driver, fuel consumption rates and data, and prescriptive reports—available in easy-to-follow pre-configured templates—can be accessed easily by fleet managers through a web portal.
What resonates with fleets and drivers is that the reports completely avoid the coarseness and unfairness of driver fuel performance appraisals that are purely based on MPG data, which is heavily influenced by several factors neither the driver nor the fleet can control on a day in, day out basis. True Fuel even recognizes cases where trucks might be configured incorrectly or require maintenance and generates detailed reports.
We analyze and precisely quantify the impact of driver behavior on fuel economy and provide fleets and their drivers tools to work together to improve fuel economy
Vnomics recognized and overcame the complexities and challenge of precisely mapping driver behavior to fuel consumption with a unique solution that utilizes data collection, machine learning, and digital modeling to create a quantified view of driver performance and its impact on fuel economy. By capturing, interrogating, and processing in real time the streams of data flowing in from onboard sensors, Vnomics builds a “digital twin”—a quintessential virtual model of the truck itself—to assess the impact of driver behavior on fuel economy. The simulated digital twin is a comprehensive view of the truck’s fuel economy performance range that incorporates all the factors impacting fuel economy outside the purview and control of drivers—vehicle operating condition, the route being taken, cargo weight, and so on.
“We analyze driver behavior under actual operating conditions and study its effect on fuel economy by comparing it to the digital twin—the ideal fuel consumption model— on a continuous real-time basis,” explains Lloyd Palum, Vice President, Engineering and CTO, Vnomics.
Farnsworth explains that True Fuel could be analogized to a combination of game day coaching (the in-cab coaching elements) and review of the films after the game (for the continuous improvement analytics). Vnomics provides all of this information and insight without inundating the user with vast or unmanageable amounts of data in incompatible formats.
As implied by the company’s name, Vnomics has a relentless focus on vehicle economy, particularly targeting fuel consumption, which is one of the biggest cost factors for any transportation fleet. The ongoing innovation in Vnomics’ research and development activities focuses on three major aspects: accounting for all parameters impacting fuel consumption, assessing how efficient the consumption was in comparison to the ideal scenario, and altering driver behavior to improve fuel efficiency using real-time coaching and ongoing analytics. Using directed data capture for a given class of trucks, the company’s data scientists analyze various sensor data profiles to track their impact on fuel economy. Different modeling techniques are then applied to establish the accurate values of impact and a reliable and unbiased scoring system is established for the studied factors. “The results are institutionalized within the True Fuel platform, both onboard and in the cloud, essentially transitioning from a data science and R&D focus to a software development activity leg of the process,” says Palum.
Over time, Vnomics plans to add additional dimensions of driver behavior and its impact on fuel consumption to their modeling techniques to give drivers and fleets an idea of other instances where they could have made a better judgment in terms of handling the truck from a fuel economy standpoint. The accurate, granular nature of the Vnomics approach and reports can catalyze and fortify decisions in many crucial fleet operations including drivers’ incentives, vehicle purchases, maintenance schedules, and other significant cost and investment areas. “We know and recognize that transportation companies are very crucial to our economy,” Farnsworth outlines. “We will continue to empower drivers with tools that would help them drive trucks more efficiently from a fuel economy standpoint and help our customers make decisions that increase profitability.”