Compiled by Antonio

‘green’ tech

First UK Bus chooses GreenRoad

Britain’s largest bus operator First UK
Bus aims to reduce fuel consumption by 500 litres a year per bus
with a recently introduced technology-based service by

The technology, called GreenRoad 360, is an
“automated driver coaching service” that is said to increase safety
and reduce CO2 emissions, by identifying and correcting drivers’
unnecessary driving behaviour while it occurs, enabling them to
sustain improvements over time through constant reinforcement.

First UK Bus drivers are expected to change their
driving behaviour through a combination of automated feedback in
the form of a red-amber-green LED display in the cab and online
coaching tools, GreenRoad said.

To give them even further incentive, the
Aberdeen-headquartered bus operator is providing a £2 million
reward pot for those drivers who achieve and maintain the highest
standards of driving.

The bus operator started using GreenRoad’s service
in 5,000 buses in mid-November, less than three months after the
launch of its DriveGreen programme.

It has said it plans to deploy GreenRoad’s service
across all of its 9,000-strong fleet – involving as many as 20,000
First bus drivers – when the programme will be fully functioning by

“The rapid deployment at First demonstrates that
GreenRoad 360 easily scales to support even the largest fleets,”
said Aidan Rowsome, general manager of GreenRoad Europe.

According to the two companies, when the bus
operator trialled GreenRoad 360 earlier this year, it saw a
significant decrease in the amount of CO2 emitted by its buses, and
a 70 percent decrease in the number of unnecessary driving

First Group now estimates that each bus’s fuel use
will decline by around 500 litres per year, which equates to 1.2
tonnes less of CO2.

The company said it aims to reduce bus CO2
emissions by 132,000 tonnes over the next three years.

systems review

NetSol wins deal with BMW FS

Software house NetSol Technologies has
signed an independent system review (ISR) and testing services
contract with BMW Group Financial Services.

The contract, which currently covers the
Asia-Pacific region, is for the comprehensive testing of a newly
developed financial application suite to be deployed in at least
eight countries in Asia-Pacific, as well as South Africa.

NetSol said the ISR and testing services enable
customers to assess developed applications prior to full systems
migration, identifying application problems before an application
engages a full scale deployment.

NetSol CEO Najeeb Ghauri said: “Our ISR Testing
Services offering is an emerging business practice within NetSol as
a global business services provider.

“Developed and successfully deployed in the Asian
market, we see opportunities to expand this offering within our
North American, European and Middle Eastern geographies,” Ghauri

The deal is the second in a series of contracts
signed by NetSol’s ISR services group with BMW after the delivery
of ISR services to BMW Group Financial Services Japan last

data checking

Inchcape UK extends contract with

Vehicle data check company HPI has
renewed its contract with dealer group Inchcape UK for a further
three years.

The contract will see HPI providing the
international distributor and retailer with a suite of services
that include HPI Check, the company’s insurance product Driveaway,
and HPI valuations.

Cliff Deller, director for used cars at Inchcape UK
said the new services offered by HPI were expected to meet the same
standards set by HPI’s core vehicle history check.

“For example, Driveaway allows our retail centres
to streamline the sales process and bring added value to customers
with free seven-day insurance cover. It is innovations like these
that have cemented our relationship with HPI,” Deller said.


VW wins award for Portfolio-developed
‘used car locator’

Volkswagen has won the award for the
‘Best Motor Manufacturer Used Car Locator’ at the 2009 Autotrader
Click Awards ceremony.

The online used car locator technology was
developed for the manufacturer by Manheim Retail Services’
subsidiary Portfolio, a UK provider of automobile showroom and
online retail marketing services.

The Click Awards are based on the Autotrader
Website Usability Study carried out last summer, which used
feedback from 600 car buyers in the UK to assess a large number of
manufacturers, dealers and car supermarket sites.

Manheim Retail Services MD John Simpson said the
website “understands” that people may not have extensive knowledge
of the Volkswagen model range or options available, so vehicles are
presented in a highly visual way to make it easy for users to find
what they are searching for.

Volkswagen used car remarketing manager Ralph
Cadman added: “Since the launch of the enhanced used car locator in
2008, the number of cars viewed has almost trebled and as more
viewings mean more sales enquiries, our retailers are enjoying the