Providing roadside assistance has become easier and more efficient with the use of telematics. Connected vehicle data enables service providers and app developers to provide peace of mind to individual drivers and fleets with services powered by the data generated by the cars they drive. Imagine the time and resources that can be saved when mobile applications for roadside assistance leverage vehicle data to support flat tire change, battery boost, fuel delivery, winch and lockout services.
Unexpected Breakdown Events are Common
Data from Highways England, a government-owned company that operates UK’s main roads shows 224,225 car breakdowns on Britain’s busiest roads during a one-year period (April 2018 and March 2019). It’s roughly 25 vehicles every hour. A leading commercial roadside assistance company in the United States reports that they receive over 5,000 calls a day for fleet roadside assistance. That translates to 35,000 calls a week, 147,000 a month and 1.76 million calls for help a year.
Vehicle breakdowns on the side of the road create traffic obstruction and may endanger lives. It also ruins drivers (and passengers) day that spend hours waiting for tow trucks, losing precious time, and disrupting their schedule.
The most common breakdown causes include battery and alternator problems, flat tires, electrical issues, overheating, and mechanical failure related to the engine, transmission, or brakes.
Drivers Rely on Roadside Assistance Services to Provide Emergency Help
Roadside assistance is an optional addition to drivers’ personal auto insurance to help them when their cars break down, providing a much-needed assistance with flat tires, fuel deficiency, battery failure, towing, etc.
There are many factors in determining how long it takes for a roadside assistance service provider to arrive at a reported breakdown – weather, traffic, road conditions, time of day, etc. However, if the provider does not have enough vehicles to service a particular area or region of the country, it will not be able to help drivers in a reasonable amount of time. And when the roadside assistance finally arrives, it needs to guide drivers with safety first in mind – move the car to the side of the road, alert other drivers by making the vehicle visible, and ensure all persons are safely positioned before attempting to fix the car.
Vehicle Data is a Game Changer for Roadside Assistance Companies
Connected cars are generating large amounts of vehicle status and usage data that can provide roadside assistance service providers with crucial information about the vehicle, including location, engine status, error codes, fuel level, tire pressure and many more. Such data can be used to analyze the underlying breakdown cause and the required action and promote quicker engagement for improving quality of service and driver’s experience.
So, if a car breaks down on the highway, car data puts the roadside assistance company in a better position to understand the reason and assist in fixing it in the shortest time. It can also be used to prevent a breakdown, saving time and money for drivers and service providers. For example, monitoring and alerting on tire pressure status could predict and prevent flat tires from happening. If a driver does get a flat, data could assure it was changed properly. Advanced car data services could then direct the driver, using the car’s location data, to the nearest garage, where the tire would be fixed properly. Monitoring the battery status can predict breakdown and the provider can then recommend a preventive measure to replace the battery and literally save the driver’s day – a breakdown never comes at a convenient time or place.
Sometimes, however, cars need more professional servicing. Automotive data is even more crucial in these cases. By remotely analyzing the vehicle status, roadside assistance services can determine what is needed, be it battery charging, gas filling, changing a flat tire or towing the vehicle, and then communicate it to a professional garage where the car is towed.
Location data can indicate exactly where the car broke down, ensuring the roadside service provider arrives faster. Car data can also minimize the time spent on the side of the road when trying to understand and fix the problem. This reduces safety hazards, both to the driver and to other cars driving in the area.
In some cases, a trip is saved; data can help determine if roadside assistance is even needed. When a breakdown happens car data can be used to identify the problem and provide the quickest remedy, without the need to send a tow truck. With enough data, representatives could guide the driver or passengers over the phone on how to recover from the breakdown.
Advanced Roadside Assistance Services Powered by Vehicle Data
Roadside assistance services can also use car data to create partnerships with insurance companies. From the driver perspective, the driver provides consent to use vehicle data ito fix the problem preventing them from driving. From the insurer perspective, the data can be used to determine how to execute the driver’s insurance policies and for dealing with insurance claims.
Another potential partnership utilizes preventive maintenance and enables dispatching the necessary parts to the repair-shop. This improves the efficiency of the aftermarket parts value chain inventory. For the car owner it means immediate time and cost savings.
Finally, these roadside assistance providers (towing and car maintenance services) could cooperate with governmental agencies to provide data that can be used for statistics and analysis. As a result, municipalities and agencies could manage traffic better, fix and rebuild roads, and plan smarter cities.
Gain a Competitive Advantage With Otonomo Vehicle Data
Connected car data makes a real difference in accelerating roadside assistance services and saving lives. Harness Otonomo vehicle data to achieve faster and better roadside services, improve drivers experience and reduce operational costs.
Learn more about vehicle data used for preventive maintenance. Schedule a meeting with our data expert.