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IntelliLink – benefits for a driving instructor

Exploring IntelliLink and How It Improves ‘Office Life’

 

As a driving instructor, your office is your car, you spend anywhere up to 16 hours a day in your ‘office,’ so comfort and convenience is a must. Time spent between lessons is a valuable opportunity to check in and organise future lessons with your pupils. In 2016 Vauxhall introduced its all new and improved IntelliLink infotainment system. This introduction was arguably the biggest change by Vauxhall in a decade. It allows you to effortlessly organise your day, week and month. The 7” screen allows you to safely get the most out of your Android or Apple device.

 

What is IntelliLink

 

What IntelliLink gives you is AM/FM/DAB radio stations along with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to make and receive calls along with stream music straight from your media device.

The real show stealer is when you connect your iPhone or Android via USB cable. This launches Apple Car Play or Android Auto. Apple Car Play and Android Auto will display Apps and turn the 7” touchscreen into a central hub. Key Apps will be displayed and read to you, such as Phone, Messages, Audible, Podcasts, Spotify and the most practical one, Maps.

Few people know that when using Maps, it is not actually too data intensive, modern phones have GPS built in, the only data used is the download of the actual route you are taking. GPS in the phone takes care of the rest. Check out this Reddit post where users of Maps back this up. So, plugging in your phone to the USB slot gives you a GPS displayed on the screen to get to your next pupil’s address.

Maps and Google Maps also track addresses in your texts, emails and recent history to try and predict the location you’d next like to go.

If you’re still worried about using data, check back for the next blog that will look at Vauxhall’s OnStar assistant.

 

How is this different from using a mobile phone while driving?

 

Voice commands, long gone are the days of failing with in-car voice commands, instead you have the billions of Dollars invested by Google and Apple, understanding your every word. These companies invested heavily in making sure the commands can understand different dialects, click here for more information.

On the steering wheel, there is a button that will activate your Android or Apple “assistant.” Here are a few commands as an example of how your day can be made easier.

“Take me home.” This command using an iPhone will load up, on the 7” screen, the fastest way home, avoiding heavy traffic and other delays meaning that you are home in plenty of time for tea, or stopping you from been late for that next lesson.

“I need some fuel along the way.” This will give you options to set as a way point, simply give the voice command of the option you’d like to go to, for example: “Take me to Shell.”

“Send Chloe a message saying, Are we still on for the 1pm lesson tomorrow.” When using an iPhone, Siri will read the message back to you and confirm that you would like to send the message, reply “Send” and the message will go. As she replies Siri will tell you that a new message has come in and play it out aloud for you to hear and give you the option to reply. Imagine she asked to move it to 2pm you can then command Siri using the button on the wheel to “Change Chloe’s appointment tomorrow to 2pm tomorrow.” What you have done is effortlessly reorganised your diary, safely, between lessons.

Conveniently as well, Calendar will display any appointments on the screen with a warning time as set by you.

 

Is IntelliLink really the best thing since sliced bread?

 

Whilst I am not a driving instructor, I still have a varied day that requires organisation. I also spend a lot of time going to instructors across the country. The IntelliLink system has revolutionised what I can get done in a day whilst on the road.

Firstly, I don’t have to lug a GPS around with me anymore. Secondly, I can now text and drive (it still feels wrong to say that), which is a key communication tool with instructors, I can send an ETA without having to pull over into a service station or on the side of the road, this decreases my time spent travelling between destinations. I can even take part in the weekly customer account manager conference call that is done through Skype, albeit without the video. Thirdly I can safely command different podcasts to play, along with music and audio books. Finally, I have the benefit of having a 100% unobstructed view whilst driving, I have no need for a phone or GPS holder.

 

For more information on the IntelliLink system follow these links:

FAQ’s – http://www.vauxhall.co.uk/owners_services/help-and-advice/intellilink-faqs.html

Apple CarPlay Apps and more info – http://www.apple.com/ios/carplay/

Android Auto Apps and more info – https://www.android.com/intl/en_uk/auto/

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Should Driving Instructors do the work of the Police?

Driving Instructors doing the Police’s Work?

 

The BBC reported that Essex police are trialling a new (or is it) method of catching criminal behaviour. They are asking driving instructors to sign up a scheme that will see their cars fitted with GoPro cameras. The intention is for instructors to be an “additional resource”.

Instructors will record crimes and be asked to provide their own report of the incident.

Should the police work be left to the… Police?

The BBC reported a similar story back in 2003 when West Midlands Police tried something similar back in 2003. Back then there was wide criticism as such a scheme could be seen as a cost cutting method. It wasn’t well received then, why is it now? One theory could be that the worst of the cuts have already happened. It’s no secret that there’s less patrol officers on the road now.

Another theory is that there is a correlation between traffic officer numbers dropping and the number of deaths on the roads rising, as reported by the Independent. With the cuts, already having happened, unconventional methods of policing should be trialled. Yorkshire police are already allowing submissions of incidents caught on dash cams.

With most patrol cars that are left, being highly visible, driving instructors may hold the key. Driving instructors are highly trained to be aware of the surroundings, primarily for the safety of road users. Tapping into this awareness may well lead to more prosecutions.

Do driving instructors have more opportunity to catch crime?

We have all been in a rush to go somewhere before and ended up getting stuck behind a slow moving vehicle, lorry, cyclist, learner driver etc., some people have patience and let it slide, others get riled up and enthralled with road rage. AutoExpress reports that the UK is the road rage capital of the world. Discussions with instructors have brought some unbelievable stories to light.

One instructor had a learner who missed an opportunity to enter the roundabout, eventually the learner entered and exited the roundabout with the enraged road user in close pursuit. The enraged motorist continuously flashed their lights and sounded their horn until the instructor advised the pupil to pull over and allow the angry motorist to pass. Instead of passing the motorist also pulled up and got out of their car and started swearing at the instructor and the upset pupil. The angry motorist then went back into their car and sped off, with complete disregard to any speed limit in place.

Another instructor reported being on a dual carriageway with a pupil doing the 70mph speed limit, they pulled out into lane two to overtake, once the manoeuvre was complete they pulled back in to lane one. Another motorist that was behind them then pulled in front of the instructor and slammed their brakes on almost causing a rear end shunt.

If instructors were fitted with cameras with clear signs stating that cameras were in use do you think these two incidents would have occurred? They might have, but the chances are they probably wouldn’t. If people know they’re being filmed it soon makes them think for a second. In these instances, both instructors said they would be willing to work with the police if it helps to drop the intimidation placed on their pupils.

I say bring on the cross-profession cooperation. Make it as easy and stress free to report crimes and I’m sure instructors will have no problem acting as informants for the police forces of our land.

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Benefits of a franchise

Benefits of a Franchise

No matter what stage you are at in your instructing career a franchise always has something to offer. It’s an opportunity to relieve some of the pressure so that you can focus on what’s important; the day to day teaching. This week we will take a look over the key benefits of taking on a franchise. We will look through the eyes of three different types of people.

Key Benefits

Spend more time teaching – A franchise will save you time, initial leads come through to a central booking line, the best are then weeded out and sent through to you, it’s amazing how much time is spent explaining to potential pupils that you can’t complete a 20-hour intensive course in a single day!

Support network – Taking a franchise also gives you your own personal account manager along with a dedicated team that are there to help you any way they can. Whether it’s checking to see when you are due a service or talking you through the online systems they will always work to ensure your day is hassle free.

Written pupil guarantee – There are some parts of the UK where the modern, conventional, advertising just doesn’t cut it alone. Some parts of the UK need more than PPC google ads. Surepass therefore look at other opportunities, if the need arises we will advertise in local newspapers, billboards and Facebook. We will pull out all the stops to get you the work you need and we promised.

Your own website – Optimised to appear high on google rankings organically.

Accounts service – professional advice along with a full preparation of your tax return.

Stationary pack – personalised just for you, this will include things like appointment cards, business cards and progress sheets.

More information on Surepass Franchises can be found here.

Different Viewpoints

We will call person A Joel, person B Susan and person C Rose, see if one of these sounds similar to you.

Joel has just learnt to become an instructor with Surepass and has now sent off for his pink badge so that he can get ‘on the job’ training for his Part Three. Joel is a confident driver that sailed through his first two exams. Joel however sees that starting this new career, he will not have any referrals or existing customer base of his own. He therefore opts to have Surepass sponsor him for his pink badge thus getting him busy and test standard as quickly as possible. Joel soon ends up with a “Full Diary”.

Susan was in Joel position six years ago, she qualified with Surepass and lives in Southampton where there is plenty of work. She has a full diary leading into May. Why does she choose to stay with Surepass? For Susan, it’s all about the support network, the support network means that she spends less time on her phone ‘selling her packages’ and more time doing what she loves… Teaching! She sets the days she doesn’t want to work and lives as her own boss.

Rose didn’t do any of her training with Surepass and has a terrible experience with other franchises in the past, often been sent way too far away for work she never had time in the day to do. Rose was put off by the lack of integrity shown by other schools and tried her hardest to go solo. However, she lived in a lowly populated part of the country where the competition for work was fierce. Just before giving up Rose found Surepass and spoke to one of our friendly account managers, from this 15-minute conversation she immediately started to feel the family vibe that didn’t just see her as another number. Rose soon decided to join Surepass on a 1 year standard franchise, whilst work did come in slow to begin with, intensive advertising campaigns led to her been in the position she is today of being on a full diary and having to turn work down.

No matter what your situation, Surepass will have your back. If any of these three-people resonated with you, why don’t you give us a call?

 

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How to become a qualified instructor

ADI Part One, Two and Three

To become a fully qualified driving instructor you will need to sit three tests in total. There is a theory test, an advanced practical test and a test to prove your instructional ability. All the tests have high standards to ensure that our roads are safer.

ADI Part One

The first test is a theory test sat at a theory test centre comprising of 100 questions divided into four categories;

  • Road procedures
  • Traffic signs and signals, car control, pedestrians and mechanical knowledge.
  • Driving test, disabilities, and the law
  • Publications and instructional techniques

In order to pass this section of the test you will need to score at least 85 in total and 20 out of 25 in each of the categories.

You will then move straight onto the hazard perception part which shows 14 different video clips. The point is to spot a hazard, the earlier you spot it the higher the score you will get. One of the clips will have 2 developing hazards. To pass this part you will need to score at least 57 out of 75.

Everything you need to pass this test will be given to you by your training provider. Click HERE for more information of the Part One test.

ADI Part Two

This is where you prove to the examiner that you are an expert driver. Your eye sight will be checked, you will be asked vehicle safety questions and you will be tested on your driving ability.

Your eyesight will be checked by a simple reading of a number plate from 26.5 metres away, if you need glasses, don’t forget them!

Following will be 5 vehicle safety questions, there will be three ‘show me’ questions and two ‘tell me’ questions. A list of all the questions can be found here.

Moving on you will be then tested on your driving ability in various driving conditions including motorways.

It’s a good idea to be with a training provider that can offer some Part Two training as despite thinking you are the world’s best driver it’s natural to pick up bad habits, you are allowed no more than 6 minor faults.

You get three attempts to pass your Part Two. If you fail the third attempt you will then have to retake the part one as well.  You can only retake your Part One after two years have passed since you first passed it. For the 2015-2016 year the national pass rate for this test was 56.9% (the data can be found here).

Passed this? You can now start thinking about getting a trainee license!

Trainee Driving License

Upon completion of the Part Two, you can commence the 40 hours training required to apply for your trainee license. Once the pink badge comes through you can begin to teach providing you have a sponsor i.e. a franchise with a driving school.

It is also important to be continually developing whilst you have your pink badge so that high standards are maintained. You must do at least 20 hours of additional training within three months of receiving your trainee license.

It is highly recommended to have a sponsoring company behind you to get the support you need. This is because the pass rate of the Part Three for the 2015-2016 year was a meagre 34.4% (Part Three pass rate data here).

ADI Part Three

The Part Three test is the most difficult of all. You will be tested on your instructional ability, it will last approximately one hour. The examiner will play the part of the pupil and will be examining core competencies, instructional techniques and instructor characteristics.

The examiner will play the part of two different pupils. This will be either a beginner or partly trained pupil, a pupil that is test standard or a licensed driver taking development training.

For both scenarios, you get a score out of 6, 6 being the highest. To pass you must score at least a 4:4.

Just like the Part Two, you get just three attempts at this test. For more information on the ADI Part Three click here.

Conclusion

Whilst the pass statistics are frightening, a good training provider will have much higher pass rates and the support network you need to get on the road to success. Next week we will take a look at the benefits of a franchise.

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