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SPOTLIGHT: Steve Warne, technical director, CameraMatics

With around 15 years’ experience, Steve Warne, technical director at CameraMatics is no stranger to the fleet sector.

Alongside Mervyn O’Callaghan and Simon Murray, Warne set up eDrive group to provide a range of vehicle safety technology to the fleet sector. eDrive Group was sold in 2016, (having grown to 10,000 vehicle installations per month) to focus on growing and developing ProVision (now CameraMatics) and the fleet branding business, Universal Graphics.

Warne’s fleet story began where it did for many of his era, with an original Mini. Warne commented, “I loved the freedom that came with having my first car”. In stark contrast, he is, “now a 4×4 truck driver, so the opposite end of the spectrum!” Nonetheless, Warne wouldn’t hesitate to step into a certain Mr Bond’s shoes and his Aston Martin, if he could, although perhaps in a nod to his fleet career, he says it’s the gadgets that entice him.

Speaking of gadgets, when asked what he couldn’t live without, Warne answered that technology in general and the internet have made things that were previously laborious easy and instant.

What is CameraMatics’s focus for 2019 onwards?

Expansion is our focus; we’re going global. We’ve recently opened our first US office and won our first US contracts and we’re also expanding our UK and Ireland team. It’s really in response to demand – the US markets have some of the largest fleets in the world and it has always been one of our goals to launch over there.

How much have you found the fleet sector is changing?

For a long time, the fleet sector lagged behind in the adoption of new technologies – relying on dated solutions. Now, technology is at the heart of the sector like never before. It’s about so much more than vehicle tracking now – complete connected solutions are required. We saw there was a gap in the market and that’s why we launched ProVision (now CameraMatics) in 2016.

Our technology is constantly evolving and our aim is to offer exactly what fleet managers and operators need – a fully connected and complete real-time solution allowing a fleet operator to manage fleet intelligence, fleet safety and compliance in one simple-to-use platform – and all in real-time. It has been compared to the vehicle equivalent of a plane’s black box.

What’s keeping today’s fleet manager awake at night?

Safety (both of drivers, other road users and pedestrians) and efficiency are at the top of the list, I think. And insurance claims and premiums! And perhaps the need to adopt new technologies in order to be compliant and safe. I think some fleet managers thrive on the need for change and embrace it with open arms whilst others struggle to keep up with the developments. In terms of solutions I increasingly find they want a high-grade solution that they have complete confidence in, not one that’s cobbled together to just tick boxes.

How do you see that continuing to change over the next 5-10 years?

I think that connected technology will continue to evolve and standards expected of fleets will continue to rise. Clearly alternative fuels and new mobility will play their part, but I think one of the biggest developments will be in what fleet managers do with their data – particularly around using it for driver training and development.

What sort of challenges and opportunities could this present?

There is a real opportunity for improving fleet efficiency and safety and in turn reducing costs and especially insurance claims and premiums. There’s a chance to improve driving standards and implement training and re-training programmes.

We know that, for instance, CameraMatics is about much more than having footage of accidents and incidents – it can be about avoiding those things in the first place. One of our UK customers, Dynes Auto Services, was able to address 73% more non-compliance and infractions (speeding, mobile phone use, erratic driving) after implementing the system and experienced a 32% overall reduction in accidents/incidents, saving them an incredible 49% in claims and legal payouts. And they’re not alone!

And obviously I would say this, but fleet managers can prepare by equipping their fleets with the best connected-technology solutions – they can’t afford not to!

What would you like to see change in that time?

I’d like to see CameraMatics in every fleet, of course! Seriously, I’d like to see the fleet industry tackle the challenges of safety, efficiency and new technologies/smart mobility head-on and come out the other side even stronger. Fleets are the backbone of the UK.

What should we look out for from CameraMatics in the coming year?

Our expansion, including to the US, and our rebrand has recently happened so we’re now simply ‘CameraMatics’. It makes sense as it’s what we do, what we invented and what we’re known for! We’ll continue to roll our innovations to the technology, particularly around the apps that give drivers and fleet managers everything at their fingertips. Do give us a call or request a demo to find out more about them.