Home > ORIX Story > Realizing a Richer Urban Environment and Ensuring That it Remains Safe. The role of the Telematics service.

ORIX STORIES  |  Fujitec Co., Ltd.

Realizing a Richer Urban Environment and Ensuring That it Remains Safe
The role of the Telematics service

Among all of the parts of the complex infrastructure that makes our daily lives possible, spatial mobility systems (people-movers) such as elevators, escalators, and moving sidewalks, are certainly some of the most essential. Japan’s Fujitec, Co., Ltd is one of the leading companies in this field thanks to a comprehensive approach that includes everything from R&D and production to sales, installation, maintenance, and replacement. With bases in over 25 countries and regions, including Japan, East Asia, South Asia, North and South America, Europe, and the Middle East, among others, Fujitec continues to be a name associated with safety and security in transportation equipment worldwide.

These safety and security professionals receive support for their domestic operations thanks to real-time monitoring of their company cars via Telematics (e-Telema, e-Telema PRO), a service offered by the ORIX Auto Corporation. Fujitec’s fleet is outfitted with onboard communication and GPS systems so that any improper or dangerous action by the driver (speeding, sudden acceleration/deceleration, etc.) is instantly reported to management via e-mail. This equipment allows managers to observe the status of each car in real-time, which helps the company to achieve its goals in areas such as heightened compliance, environmental protection, safety, and operational efficiency.

Fujitec stands out among the many companies employing the Telematics service today. It is a shining example of how a business can not only drastically reduce both dangerous driving and car accidents in its fleet, but actually contribute to better road safety in the community outside of working hours.

One of the key factors behind the excellent safety and reliability of Fujitec’s people-moving products is a strong support system. Fujitec is able to prevent accidents and equipment malfunctions thanks to a proprietary central control network called MIS (Maintenance Information System), which provides 24x7x365 remote monitoring by their Safe Net Centers in Tokyo and Osaka. The most essential factor in maintaining optimal operating efficiency, however, is the “people power” that enables Fujitec to provide consistent, on-time routine checks and inspections, and rapid responses to emergencies.

Takayoshi Ikeda

Fujitec Co., Ltd.
West Customer Engineering Department, Ibaraki Service Center

Takayoshi Ikeda is in his seventh year at Fujitec, and currently works as a maintenance expert at the company’s Ibaraki Service Center located in Osaka Prefecture. Using a company car equipped with e-Telema technology, Mr. Ikeda handles maintenance of elevators and escalators in facilities within his service area.

“Maintenance includes conducting routine checks and periodic inspections, as well as responding to malfunctions and emergencies, and that requires sending one of our people out directly to customer locations. I generally make the rounds at five or six locations each day in a company car equipped with e-Telema. Ibaraki has a major highway that offers good access to many of my stops, so I use it quite often. It’s a busy route, so sometimes traffic can get very backed up. Until we started using e-Telema, there were more than a few times when I found myself fighting traffic and rushing to reach my next stop. At the time, I wasn’t even aware of how fast I was driving.

But once we got e-Telema in our cars, our managers knew instantly whenever I accelerated suddenly or drove too fast, and this data would show up in reports. This made me much more aware of how I was driving, and in fact led me to think differently about driving in general. Going to the sites where I conduct maintenance is of course part of my job, so I really began to think about the ‘safety first’ principle during every part of the work day.”

Kunihiko Tsutsui

Kunihiko Tsutsui

Fujitec Co., Ltd.
General Manager of Safety Control HQ, Operating Officer

Maintaining absolute safety and security in elevators, escalators, and vehicle

“The spatial mobility systems we handle are used by many people, so providing security and peace-of-mind in our systems must always be our top priority. However, in addition to focusing on the safety of the products themselves, we must also guarantee the safety of our employees who are involved with these products and services. Eliminating sources of work-related injury or death is every bit as crucial for a company as providing high quality products and services.

We use company cars at Fujitec in many tasks, such as delivering products or responding to emergencies. This means all of our cars are on the road pretty much every day, but the ones that are used the most are our service cars, the ones used for maintenance duty. We decided to introduce e-Telema technology in our cars in 2013 so that our maintenance staff could safely get to their work with the very same peace-of-mind that they provide to end-users of our mobility products. We started with e-Telema in 60 cars, and gradually increased this number over time, until today our entire fleet of more than 600 vehicles is equipped with the technology.

*Changes in cases of dangerous behavior (one-month period)
Approx. 200 instances
1 instance
Before introduction of Telematics
After introduction of Telematics

The truth is, as soon as we introduced e-Telema we saw nearly 200 instances of dangerous road behavior in one month. Contrast that with today, where we might have just one in a month, but in general we have no instances of speeding or sudden acceleration at all. We have been able to achieve these results because, once our workers learned how they were driving, they became more aware of safety on the road. Analyzing this data has also enabled us to see the direct relationship between aggressive driving and the number of accidents. In other words, we can prevent accidents if we improve our driving based on the feedback we get from e-Telema.

The key factor in making all of this a success has been the understanding of our employees who make use of this technology. Our eventual goal is to have zero accidents or instances of reckless driving. People entrust their lives to elevators, escalators, and cars, so we aren’t fulfilling our obligations to society if we aren’t maintaining absolute safety and security in all of our operations. We will continue to work to prevent accidents, not only in our products and services, but also in our day-to-day operations.”

“Vehicle motion data” sent using communication channels
Reckless driving notification sent via e-mail
“Motion management data” provided
Verification of effects using data

Fujitec has even fine-tuned the system to suit its needs. For example, the e-Telema system is set to notify managers if it detects a momentum of 0.3 g.* However, their Osaka operations decided to use an even stricter setting of 0.25 g. Fujitec then takes their commitment one step further by having a manager ride along with any employee whose driving has generated an incident report. This is just the type of thorough practice one would expect from true professionals in safety and security.

* A “g” here refers to a unit indicating the force of acceleration, with a higher value representing quicker acceleration.

The positive effects of introducing e-Telema have extended beyond the workplace, as many employees now say that the system has caused them to think differently about their driving all the time, not just when they are on the job.

“At Fujitec we are conducting other experiments in safe driving besides e-Telema. One such experiment is ‘commentary driving,’ a technique in which the driver vocalizes all actions, such as stopping, looking both ways, speeding up, etc. Techniques such as this are now a natural part of our operations. And the positive effects have extended beyond the workplace, as many users now tell us that they don’t speed or accelerate suddenly as much as before, even when driving on their own time. In this sense, we believe that the system has helped our people to be mindful of their driving all the time, which naturally leads to better road safety in general.

It might be a case of ‘occupational disease’ on my part, but any time I see an elevator or escalator, even on my days off, I can’t help but wonder if it ever malfunctions, or if anyone has been inconvenienced as a result. Also, when I visit an apartment building for work, sometimes the residents will say, ‘Thanks for everything’. It’s those moments when I realize that my work is really benefitting other people, and that realization increases my motivation to work even harder.

I should admit that in the past I used to hurry in my work, since customers couldn’t use our products until I finished. Now I know that this sort of hurried mindset is exactly what leads to accidents, so now I always make sure to take a breath and focus before starting any task. I’m going to do my best to provide products and services that won’t let our customers down even a little.”

Offering even greater value to ensure safety and security

Masashi Takemura

Masashi Takemura

ORIX Auto Corporation
Department Head of Risk Consulting
Senior Consultant

“Leading up to the launch of e-Telema, in 1999 ORIX began conducting joint experiments with car sharing in cities like Yokohama. We built a system to monitor the status of cars remotely, and then looked for a way to apply this system to other things like inspections or repairs. Meanwhile, what was at that time ORIX Auto’s risk management office was consulting for companies looking to run driver’s education courses for employees or to better manage their drivers. But they had no way of telling if drivers were actually driving safely. Based on our previous experience and working from the perspective of risk management, we eventually created e-Telema, a system for monitoring and then visualizing a driver’s status as real-time data.

While e-Telema has received much praise for its effectiveness in regards to compliance and hazard reduction, it is now receiving even greater attention due to the effects it can have on environmental conservation, such as improved gas mileage and reduced CO2 emissions that result from more steady acceleration and controlled speeds. On February 1, 2017 we launched a new service called Anshin Unten Ever Drive (Ever Drive Safe Driving), designed for families with elderly drivers. Because the number of accidents in which senior citizens are at the wheel is increasing year by year, there are growing calls to revoke the driving permits of elderly drivers. However, cars are a necessary means of transportation for many senior citizens, and there are also older people who simply enjoy driving. We believe that we can at least help to resolve this dilemma and at the same time find new applications for Telematics services.”

Released 04/28/2017