The time spent idling can be measured in your driving log – how does it work?

In our newest version of Driving Behaviour, you can measure how long your employees spend with the engine idling, and there is a lot of money and CO2 emissions that can be saved. How does it work, and why is it profitable for you? We talked to the product owner, Stig Fossum.

Jack Finlay·4 min read
cars idling in traffic

What is unique about ABAX’s version of idling measurement?

Fossum says that few suppliers in the industry are able to measure exactly how many hours are spent idling without being connected to the engine. With our connection, the measurement will be accurate and will not affect the car's electronics in any way. 

‘Our units are not connected to the OBD port, and they fit all cars.’ 

The ABAX units are easy to install, so you can do it yourself easily and quickly. This will save your business money and you avoid having to take the car off the road for large amounts of time. You can install the units when it suits you, in other words. 

How does the sensor know if the car is idling?

All cars are different, but our software includes machine learning, which means that it will familiarise itself with your car. This is an algorithm we have developed ourselves. The measurement is based on the battery voltage and vibration in the engine, our algorithm can differentiate between whether the car’s movement is due to idling or whether the car is exposed to weather, wind or waves when on board a ferry. You will thereby get detailed idling times broken down by the company's drivers. 

‘We have tested the units by measuring idling in harsh Nordic weather conditions, and with an IP certification of up to IP69K, you can rest assured that it is also waterproof.’ 

How does the employee see his/her time spent idling?

We have updated the Driving Behaviour service to include idling, which means drivers can see their own driving behaviour in the Driver mobile app. As one of five parts, engine idling is shown as a separate factor with a score ranging from 0 to 100. The best score is 100, which indicates little idling in proportion to the total driving time. The lower the score is, the more idling.  


Actual messages that pop up in the app: 

Points between 81 and 100: You very rarely idle (almost never, in fact)! 
Well done! Your driving style is environmentally friendly, safe and economical, thereby contributing to good maintenance of the car. 

Points between 41 and 80: You idle regularly.  
Use the start/stop system in the car. Turn off the ignition in the car if you are stuck in traffic. Warm up the car by driving instead of putting it in idling mode. Idling for 10 minutes is equivalent to emissions of 500 g of CO2.  

Points between 0 and 40: You idle all the time.  
Turn off the engine as soon as you arrive at your destination. Do not idle, but warm up the car and use the vehicle’s air condition. Think about the environment! Idling leads to polluted air when you put on the warm air at the same time. Idling for one minute can fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals. 

What about idling in a traffic jam?

Our algorithm differentiates between when the car is driving in slow-moving traffic, and when the vehicle is standing completely still. Idling will not be registered when the car is driving slowly in backed up traffic. Only engine vibrations when driving at less than 4 kilometres an hour and when stopped for more than 2 minutes will be registered as idling, not unlike the start/stop function some cars have to avoid idling. 


Why is it important to measure idling?

- The management sees how much time and money is spent idling 
- The company reduces its emissions from the business’s fossil-fuelled cars 
- Cheaper maintenance of cars 
- Environment an increasing concern for end users 
- The function improves the company’s image 

Use the Driving Behaviour service as a marketing opportunity 

More and more end users are concerned about the environment. If you start using the Driving Behaviour service, you include automatic measurement of the time spent idling and the company can use the fact that it takes the environment seriously in its marketing. What about advertising this on the cars? If you do this, you show that your company is keeping up with the times, which is good advertising on the road and on assignments for paying customers.  
If you have our driving log, you are ready to start! 

Driving Behaviour and measurement of idling can be used in your existing driving log, also known as ABAX6S. If you have already installed this in your cars, it is even easier to get started with Driving Behaviour. 

Want to know how we can help your business reduce risks, costs and admin time?

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