ORLANDO -- Vnomics announced that its driver coaching system, which analyzes each vehicle's performance to identify the potential mpg then coaches drivers in the cab to help achieve that, is now available to be used by any fleet, regardless of what in-cab computer system they may be using, through the new Core product.

During the American Trucking Associations' annual Management Conference and Exhibition, Mary McGowan, director of product management, explained to HDT that the patented technology uses information such as engine make model, year, torque, horsepower, back end ratio and transmission, plus information direct from the truck databus to compensate for factors such as load and weather to determine a more accurate and more fair mpg target for drivers.

Not only is there a scorecard developed at the end of each trip, but while driving, if drivers are wasting fuel by speeding, idling, hard acceleration, or, most commonly, shifting improperly, the In-Cab Advisor alerts them with a tone.

"What's different with our system is that we're able because we have so much data in there. we're able to normalize that shift score, so someone that's driving heavy isn't penalized compared to someone pulling lighter," she explained."We are able to account for temperature, road grade conditions, etc. Drivers like this because it's a fair system, because they know the score reflects on them, not the load or the truck. That's where our patent lies, being able to do that type of analysis in real time for the driver. Once they've run that trip it's too late, the fuel is already burned."

Previously, this was available in the Vnomics full-suite solution, along with other safety and compliance tools. Fleets that have implemented the Core system have seen 20% or more improvement in fuel economy, 70% safer driving miles and significantly reduced maintenance costs, according to the company.

These savings are not just the results of the in-cab technology.

There's a back-end website where the fleet can view metrics, dashboards pull up lists such as the top 10 or bottom 10 drivers in shifting.

On top of that, the company works with companies on best practices for coaching drivers, does training for customers' drivers on fuel-efficient driving, analyzes customer equipment to help them make sure they have the right vehicle doing the right job, etc. They can dig into the data and alert customers to problems such as a driver who's speeding, even in a governed truck, because he's putting it in neutral and flying down hills.

There's an up-front cost for the hardware, plus a monthly subscription fee. McGowan says the payback is less than a year -- sometimes as little as six months, if you have drivers who really need improvement.