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The car industry is changing. Cars and other vehicles are increasingly becoming electrified and autonomous, even delivery fleets and other commercial vehicles. For manufacturers, this is an opportunity as well as a challenge. Using 'gamification' methods can make driving a more enjoyable experience. It can also help make driving safer, something of particular interest to fleet managers everywhere.
Perhaps it is no surprise that consultants Roland Berger said the car is becoming "a computer on wheels." Once a feature of high-end cars and trucks, computer games and the technology associated with them are now a lot more common in vehicle dashboards.
“Suddenly, this time is getting freed up for new experiences, because the driver doesn't have to keep an eye on the road, they can do other things," explained Carsten Hurasky, Head of Industry Solutions at HERE Technologies. “And these other things allow different monetization options, such as infotainment-driven experience or automation-related features."
Games have also influenced the way we nudge drivers towards certain behavior. You can see gamification in the way we use fleet telematics to make drivers safer, and in how some manufacturers encourage more eco-friendly driving. Let's take a look at some examples.
Technology enables driving to become more fun, but also safer.
Fleet telematics can refer to a set of tools such as HERE Routing which help fleet managers to plan their journeys and give them useful data about how each journey went. Perhaps less well-known is the way fleet telematics tools can be used to give drivers rewards for good driving behavior, and even to create a league table of the best performers as an incentive. Turning the process of making driving safer into a game in this way can be a powerful incentive.
“Telematics data is effective in encouraging behavior change among drivers to improve fleet safety," said Lisa Dorn, associate professor of driver behavior at Cranfield University, speaking to Fleet News. Fleet managers can then target training programs to focus on the specific areas that need improvement.
Companies such as Raxel Telematics, which uses HERE Location Services, create ranks of drivers to encourage safer habits. As fleets look to digitize more urgently than ever before, this process is frequently being used as part of the driver training program. One program of this kind saw 50% fewer accidents and a 60% reduction in accident-related costs.
Gamification in ride-hailing will take on a new force once taxis are automated.
In a world where every industry is undergoing disruption, competition is everything. Ride-hailing companies have long used gamification to keep their drivers in a crowded market. Bonuses, ratings and competitions encourage drivers to stay with a particular company, in the same way a gamer might keep playing to advance to the next level. Once robo-taxis are added into the mix, prices will become even more competitive, and drivers/owners could potentially stay at home while their vehicle makes money for them.
How do you encourage people to use less fuel and make it enjoyable? The Mercedes Me app lets drivers see their rating for fuel consumption on their smartphones. They can even compare this rating with other drivers of the same model on a virtual scoreboard. The S-Class has an eco-score built-in on the dashboard. It is a fun way of using data to encourage a more sustainable approach. Mercedes Me users can also get software updates to their vehicle without having to go into a dealer's, in much the same way people update apps and games on their devices. Not only is this approach useful during times of COVID-19, but it will also be convenient for all drivers in the future, as this kind of technology moves to the mainstream.