Warnings to stop motorhome speedsters
Automated warnings that dramatically reduced speeding by motorhome hirers in Australia is being extended to Tourism Holdings’ entire fleet world wide.
THL chief executive Grant Webster said the two-year trial in Australia had reduced speeding incidents by 70 per cent, and repair and maintenance costs had dropped by a quarter, earning the company a safety award from the Australian Fleet Management Association.
Automated messages warn drivers when they are over the speed limit, braking too hard or coming up to low overpasses or bridges.
The plan now was to put the system – currently in 1400 motorhomes and campervans – into all 4000 THL rental vehicles in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and US by 2020.
Webster said the telemetrics also provided geo-location so the company could track the whereabouts of its vehicles, which had proved very useful in the case of natural disasters.
‘‘We can identify where customers are and have been able to contact them and say ‘you’re heading towards a bushfire zone, please turn back,’ and we can watch and track, and make sure they do.’’
He said the tracking technology would have been helpful during the Kaikoura earthquake when the company had 50 vehicles among more than 300 motorhomes trapped by massive slips along State Highway 1.
Many motorhome hirers holidaying in New Zealand are not accustomed to driving on the left, and new technology may eventually help prevent crashes.
THL is trialling about a dozen German-made motorhomes with lane detection systems that warn drivers when they cross the white line, but Webster said the system was very expensive and not entirely proven. ‘‘It will come.’’
These motor homes were trapped by slips after the Kaikoura earthquakes but geo-location technology can now warn drivers of such issues.