Airtel will be providing connectivity solutions to Frotcom Fleet management solutions that will be deployed to 2NK Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO) matatus (Public Service Vehicles). This was announced on Wednesday afternoon at an event held at Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani, where a number of matatus were flagged off. The solution will be deployed in 550 vehicles that make up the SACCO.
Airtel will provide machine to machine solutions that will see Airtel SIM cards provided in every vehicle and also on smartphones that Frotcom will issue to matatu owners to monitor their vehicles. Airtel will provide data and GPS connectivity.
In addition, the SACCO will benefit from a closed user group rate that provides unlimited calls to all calls made between SACCO members at a fixed monthly rate.
2NK SACCO Chairman, James Kahiro, says the SACCO decided on the Brazilian fleet management to help in tracking of speed vehicles, which will go towards improving road safety, which is a big challenge in Kenya.
Traffic Commandant and Deputy Police Commissioner, Benson Kibui says 3,101 were killed on the spot in road accidents in 2012 while 3,141 were killed in 2011. The figure excludes those who died later as a result of injuries sustained. 66 people passed away on the first two days of 2013 in road accidents involving matatus in the country. To date, 27 drivers, 27 motorcyclists, 17 pedal cyclists, 10 motorcycle and bicycle passengers, 130 pedestrians and 104 passengers have died in road accidents this year.
85.5 percent of road accidents in Kenya are attributed to human error, 10.5 percent to faulty vehicles and 4 percent to environmental conditions.
Frotcom will offer GPS based monitoring solutions in each vehicle that will send alerts to a central system when a vehicle exceeds the set speed limit. The solution offers a notification of the location where the vehicle exceeds the limit, the actual speed and for how long the vehicle drives about the limit. The solution also alerts when a vehicle is stopped, and the length of time that the vehicles has been off.
Kahiro said that the solution would also offer geo-fencing solutions, alerting managers when a vehicle is operating outside its designated route, which will also help in management of vehicle theft incidents. The system is expected to save the SACCO up to KS. 40 million annually in lost revenue.
Drivers who go a couple of kilometres above the speed limit will not have any action taken against them, while going a few kilometres above the limit would see warnings issued. Those way above the limit would have the SACCO take action against against them.
The SACCO decided to deploy the solution in a bid to improve road safety, following a road safety campaign dubbed "Toa Sauti" spearheaded by Airtel's competitor, Safaricom. Kahiro said that claims from road accidents were eating into shareholder contributions in the SACCO as insurance companies limited themselves to amounts they were willing to pay. In addition, due to being dimmed risky, many insurance firms have shied from insuring matatus while the few that do charged high premiums.
Representing the Minister of Transport, Francis Mejja said that it was encouraging to see SACCOS taking self regulatory measures that would ensure safety of road users. "Speed governors have outlived their usefulness," he said. He said that the government had recently established a National Transport and Safety Authority and was also working on a Transport and Information Management System.
Planned in the Transport Information Management System are digital driving licenses that would store driver's information in them, which would be useful in determining the past conduct of Public Service Vehicle drivers. The Nairobi Metropolitan was also in plans to deploy CCTV cameras that would be capable of detecting vehicle registration plates and in turn enforce parking and traffic rules.