Christchurch Red Bus drivers monitored

  • 07/05/2015

There's no denying some of Christchurch's roads are still a little worse for wear after the earthquakes and it can be rough driving around the city.

To help smooth the ride and save fuel, one bus company has installed technology that monitors drivers and lets them know when they could improve.   

Wendy O'Neil has been driving buses for 13 years. Now, when she's behind the wheel of a Christchurch Red Bus, Ms O'Neil says she is being monitored by a machine sitting on the dashboard.

"We get weekly feedback from the company on our driving," she says.

It's called telematics. It's a driver development tool which monitors speeding, harsh braking, sharp cornering and when there's too much revving or idling of the engine. 

Red Bus chief executive Paul McNoe says it is crucial to maintaining high business standards.

"It's about three things really: it's about business efficiency, customer service and supporting our drivers."

The machine uses a simple traffic light system; when the driver is doing everything efficiently the lights are green. If they break suddenly, or their driving could be improved the lights turn orange, or if they're really bad, they turn red.

Ms O'Neil says it's harder to keep those lights green than it may seem.

"It is quite hard to keep it green. I try not to focus on it too much too much, because if you do it's all you'll be looking at, I think."

Eighty Red Buses now have the technology on board.

And as driver behaviour changes, the buses are smoother, more fuel-efficient and there should be less vehicle wear and tear.

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source: newshub archive