The Greenroad Smartphone Edition, codenamed Asimov, which will cost about £12.50 per month per unit, makes use of smartphone functionalities, such as GPS and built-in accelerometers. Drivers download the service from the internet and place the smartphone in the cradle inside the van’s cab where it measures their driving behaviour much like an in-cab telematics device.

Using patented algorithms, Asimov gauges dangerous or inefficient driving behaviour across five categories – acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding and lane handling. It gives the driver instant audio and visual feedback via the smartphone screen. The device also includes a feature to prevent the driver making or receiving calls while the vehicle is moving.

Glenn Pereira, Greenroads’ product marketing vice-president, claimed the device “improves safety by 50% to 90% and improves fuel efficiency by 3% to 15%”.

He said by giving drivers full access to the data their managers back at head office get, the Smartphone Edition removed the “spy in the cab” aspect of some telematics systems.

Greenroad said Asimov would appeal to businesses with vans on short-term leases that did not want to invest in installed telematics hardware with long-term payback schedules. It claimed more than one-in-three fleet drivers were already using smartphones, thus reducing start-up costs for fleets adopting the service.

Andy Cozens, senior consultant on the development of the app, said research showed that 45% of drivers were “passionate” about achieving top scores in terms of efficient driving while a further 40% were “pragmatic”, wanted a quiet life and realised that if their driving behaviour remained in the green belt, as opposed to the amber or red, they would not be summoned to explain driving “events” that breached accepted safety or efficiency standards.