By December 2015, Coach USA, Coach Canada and Megabus had completed the deployment of the GreenRoad system throughout its North America locations.
Sean Hughes, director of corporate affairs North America, said that the traffic light LED system on the dashboard relays the driving alerts. “If a driver's doing great, it’s green, if he’s going a little too fast it turns amber and when he’s going to fast it turns red.”
Hughes said that they decided to go with the system after it was tested in the United Kingdom and proved successful at monitoring speed, acceleration, breaking and lane handling. All together, GreenRoad monitors 120 maneuvers, the results are sent to the GreenRoad Engagement Portal where both drivers and management can see why the drivers are getting the alerts that they’re getting. Drivers can also choose to receive weekly email summaries. The Engage Portal also provides drivers with instructional videos and useful training materials.
GreenRoad also deploys the use of camera integration to capture any moments of unsafe driving, including the event of an accident. The event can then be saved by the system and used for further investigation by management.
“They went through in-classroom training, where they were able to ask any questions they had. We’ve seen our operators within a month or two and they became better drivers. Many of them welcomed it,” said Hughes. “The driver knows what is going on, and how to fix it.”
Working with the program to increase driver safety, Hughes said that they established a Green Driver incentive program. Giving awards and recognition for safe drivers — including bonuses. Each year they can adjust the goal to reach higher levels of Green Driver safety, explained Hughes, they can aim to get to the point where every driver is at the highest level. GreenRoad keeps track of drivers safety scores by taking risky events and putting them into a metric. The lower the safety score, the better the driver. The driver data allows for management to identify areas where drivers are idling to often or being unsafe. It combines aggregated data which can help in discovering external factors impacting driver behavior with the goal of making management easier and providing increased fuel efficiency.
Since the conception of GreenRoad, Hughes said that the concept hasn’t been altered as they’ve seen its success. GreenRoad, however, does allow for some fluidity. To determine if drivers are traveling at the speed limit the system deploys the use of GPS tracking. In the event that there is a factor such as a construction zone, where the speed limit has been reduced, the driver then contacts the managers and safety officers to alert them of the change.
"It’s part of our safety program; we go above and beyond state mandates," Hughes explained. "We make safety our top priority."
Besides monitoring speed; Coach USA, Coach Canada and Megabus also have its safety officers watching the central support system of the bus, using a SmartTire alert system. They can get instant feedback on tire pressure and tire heat. In the event that a tire is going to blow out, the driver can be contacted immediately through an alert on the dashboard which lets the driver know to pull over. The central support system also identifies if any low bridges are approaching on the planned route — and automatically lowers the buses suspension. Drivers are also outfitted with an ear piece that prevents drivers from drifting off. When a driver gets into a comfortable position or starts nodding off, the ear piece buzzes or plays music.