Allowing employees to drive company vehicles for personal reasons is a widespread practice. It is an attractive perk for employees, assisting business owners to hire skilled people and boost its competitiveness. But how to effectively monitor and manage this process, generate reports and avoid a car misuse trouble-free way? To assist businesses with this, Tracker4Fleet Telematics has developed a special GPS tracker mode which enables a private or business driving mode functionality to respect data privacy.
It is a quite common practice in many small and medium-sized businesses in most of the countries around the world to allow owners and employees to drive company cars, trucks, or vans for personal reasons. For instance, to commute between home and work regularly; allow trips unrelated to organisation purpose, work, or trade (e.g. hospital, shopping centre, funeral); use a vehicle on a holiday or over weekends; even allow occasionally to be used by someone other than an employee of a company and so on.
Use of a company car is often perceived as an attractive perk for employees, negating the need to own their vehicle and saving them a substantial amount of money or avoiding a need to take a car loan. Companies that want to attract, hire and keep the best and brightest staff members may offer incentives such as a company vehicle as an enticing part of a compensation package.
And there is even more to consider – when an employee uses a company vehicle for personal use, it becomes taxable in some countries and must be reported to authorities. If so, it must be some convenient and reliable report generating option avoiding excessive paperwork, errors, controversies and accepted by the appropriate authorities.
Also, how to effectively monitor and manage a ‘fair use’ personal use of company vehicles? How much is too much and how do you, as a corporate vehicle owner, know that for sure?
To sum up, there are a few uses cases to this:
- Track employees during work hours only by enabling some sort of Private Mode after work/office hours.
- Track in specific zones and exclude employees tracking when entering specified geo zones (e.g. home/residential areas).
Keeping all above in mind, here is a question – how the business owners and fleet managers allowing employees to drive company cars can monitor, supervise and, if necessary, restrain this process hassle-free way? To assist companies and organisations with this, here at Tracker4Fleet Telematics we have developed a pretty smart solution to this in its GPS trackers software – Private or Business Driving Mode.
So, what is a tracker Private or Business Mode, the best practices using it and how to get the maximum benefits out of it for your business?
Private or Business Driving Mode is a Tracker4Fleet GPS tracker helpful feature which makes it possible for drivers and/or fleet management to temporarily mask vehicle GPS data tracking, so to say – to disable GPS coordinates with a click of the button. Corporate fleets can use this functionality to handily accommodate situations where employees (drivers) require intervals of privacy while using a company car. Moreover, self-employed people can easily convert their own car into a business asset. We have implemented this feature as a Tracker4Fleet special software option.
In essence, it works like this – when the Business Driving Mode is activated, Tracker4Fleet GPS tracker electronic logbook keeps tracking and recording all pre-configured vehicle events automatically and sending data to a dedicated server. If the Private Driving Mode has been activated, odometer calculations (optional) and some other events will NOT be registered (aka GPS Data Masking). Also, this mode allows European businesses to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulations.
The Private Driving Mode can be turned on in a few ways (aka Triggers) such as utilising tracker digital input (DIN) connected to a button, GPRS/SMS command, Bluetooth 4.0 LE command, Tracker4Fleet mobile application. The mode can be activated by a driver or by fleet management.
Upon a tracker set up, there are three GPS Data Masking options:
- Normal – no changes are made to GPS data and GSM elements. All of them will be tracked according to a device configuration.
- Data sent as Zero – sends GPS data as ‘0’ to a server the following I/O elements: latitude, longitude, altitude, number of satellites, ‘GSM Cell ID’ and ‘GSM Area Code’ parameters. If this option is chosen and Private Driving Mode is activated, a vehicle tracking mark will disappear off the map in automatic vehicle location software until the mode is switched back to Business Driving Mode.
- Last good known position – last known tracker GPS position right before entering Private Mode will be sent in each record to a server, ‘GSM Cell ID’ and ‘GSM Area Code, I/O elements will be sent as ‘0’ to a server. In this case, a vehicle tracking mark will remain stationary, showing the last known location on the map until the mode is switched back to Business Driving Mode.
To serve company needs even better, this mode has a handy Weekly Schedule Settings functionality allowing to pre-set and automate Private or Business status activation/deactivation routine and a tracker digital output control (DOUT) option to activate external device such a LED to indicate a driver that the mode is up and running and some other handy settings.
Please note, if pre-configured accordingly, Private Driving Mode can be automatically deactivated in any Tracker4Fleet GPS device in the event of Towing, Unplug, Crash detection and if Autogeofence conditions are met and this scenario is triggered. This way, a vehicle owner will benefit from all tracker safety features and it will remain a less appealing target to auto thieves whatever the mode driver chooses.
Coming back to Private or Business vehicle usage reporting and/or detailed stats summary, any required reports specific to a particular country tax laws and regulations or corporate fleet management needs should be implemented in a company own developed software or Telematic Service Providers platforms based Tracker4Fleet GPS tracker events and I/O elements data.
- Hassle-free vehicle private or business usage monitoring and handling for any size fleets – easy to use and accurate Private or Business Driving Mode with Weekly Schedule Settings automation and multiple mode activation options to meet a company needs.
- Boosts drivers’ discipline and encourages desirable vehicle usage habits – constant fleet personnel routine tracking and monitoring in a combination with appropriate motivation system in place will optimise this procedure. All drivers kept accountable, no misuse or guesswork anymore.
- Keeps companies compliant to local tax laws and regulations – if applicable, the required reports can be timely generated and submitted to appropriate local authorities with a click of the button, thus avoiding unnecessary paperwork, errors, penalties for inaccurate or late report filing.