Drivers of the latest Citroën panel vans can be certain that somebody will be listening if they ever need to make an emergency call via the standard fit Trafficmaster Smartnav system. The Smartnav system’s E-Call function uses both satellite and voice communications to allow a driver to summon help if their vehicle is involved in an accident or if there is a medical emergency.
Systems of this type will be mandatory on new vehicles from 2015, but Citroën has complied three years early with the latest Trafficmaster Smartnav system, which is fitted as standard on all Berlingo, Dispatch and Relay panel vans.
Unlike systems recently highlighted by The AA, where an E-Call could go unnoticed, Trafficmaster’s control room is already up and running, and monitoring E-Calls from Smartnav systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including any sent from a Citroën van.
When the driver of a new Citroën panel van touches the SOS icon on the Smartnav screen, the vehicle’s GPS location is transmitted directly to Trafficmaster. The control room then liaises with the emergency services. This enables those providing assistance to be directed to the exact location. If the emergency occurs on a motorway or dual carriageway, the system can even detect the direction of travel. Details of the driver or the fleet owner are also transmitted to enable employers to be alerted to the incident.
Pat Gallagher, Trafficmaster’s Director – In Vehicle Products, says: “Very often when an incident occurs on a motorway or trunk road, the driver doesn’t know their precise location – at best it might be between two junctions. With any other system this could add vital minutes to emergency teams arriving at the scene. But, with the Trafficmaster system automatically transmitting this information, we can remove any confusion about the driver’s location and get help to them in the fastest time possible.
“The controller can continue to monitor the E-Call until the emergency services arrive on the scene and have the situation under control,” he adds.
Martin Hamill, Citroën UK’s Fleet Director, says: “We not only see this type of service as helping drivers needing assistance, but we also believe it enables van operators to fulfil their statutory Duty of Care responsibilities towards their employees.”
Trafficmaster’s Smartnav is also a benefit during normal vehicle operation, as it provides Citroën van drivers with the fastest route to their destination. This includes re-routing to avoid traffic congestion or road closures, which become apparent during the journey. There is also the option to upgrade to Trafficmaster’s Fleet Director, a full telematics real-time fleet management system.
“These are the operational reasons why we specify Trafficmaster Smartnav,” continues Martin Hamill. “But as an added benefit for operators, it will be comforting to know that if a driver is unfortunate enough to need assistance, then somebody will always be monitoring their E-call to ensure they get the help they need as quickly as possible.”
To date over 60,000 Citroën Berlingo, Dispatch and Relay panel vans have been fitted with Trafficmaster Smartnav, with the following benefits:
the equivalent of 11,904 working days regained in 2011 due to congestion avoidance
up to 12% improvement in fuel economy
up to 10% reduction in vehicle running costs
up to 33% reduction in driver stress levels, with an associated reduction in risk and safety gains
greater vehicle security