The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

DriveCam Inc. Leverages Texas Instruments Signal Processing Technologies within Automotive Driver Risk Management Solution

November 12, 2007

SAN DIEGO - DriveCam Inc., a global driver risk management company, recently announced that it has integrated Texas Instruments Incorporated's (TI) digital signal processors (DSP), analog components, microcontrollers (MCUs) and radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies into their innovative behavior-based risk mitigation solution.

DriveCam's risk mitigation solution is used by distribution fleets worldwide to predict and prevent risky driving behaviors and save lives.

DriveCam's event recorder and peripherals are governed by multiple TI processors including the ultra-low-power MSP430 processor and a multimedia-optimized DSP. The flexible and programmable TI DSP enables DriveCam to encode the video stream in compact MPEG4 format before wireless upload. Going forward, DriveCam's RiskPredict(TM) algorithm will also be implemented to run on TI's processor.

Texas Instruments was selected as the vendor of choice because it is a single vendor that answers all of DriveCam's complex processing needs, including excellent performance/cost ratios. "Texas Instruments provides not only the high-performing DSP that our solution needs at a reasonable price, but also the MCUs, analog and RFID components that allow DriveCam to differentiate its products in the market," stated Peter Ellegaard, vice president, hardware and firmware engineering, DriveCam.

"Being able to use multiple components all from a single vendor allows us to speed our time-to-market and makes life easier on our design teams. In addition, we have received valuable support from TI during the development, ramp-up and product introduction," Ellegaard added.

"Because TI offers a DSP integrated system-on-chip, it enables us to create a more compact system design for DriveCam's event recorder," continued Ellegaard. "And since we're running a Linux kernel, it has been an easy integration to get Linux up and running on the processor because it works directly with existing Linux libraries."

DriveCam's exception-based video event recorder is card-accessed by the commercial vehicle driver through TI's embedded RFID reader integrated circuit (IC), TI's TRF7961 which is integrated with the MSP430. Once the system recognizes the driver, the vehicle's video event recorder, which is mounted on the windshield behind the rearview mirror, is able to capture sights and sounds inside and outside the vehicle. Exceptional forces such as hard braking, swerving and collision cause the recorder to save the critical seconds immediately before and after the triggered event. Saved events are analyzed and used in ongoing driver coaching programs to improve behavior and mitigate driver risk.

DriveCam's solution combines predictive software and analytics capabilities, tens of thousands of actual events demonstrating risky driving behaviors and deep transportation and behavior-based safety experience.

"DriveCam offers an invaluable automotive solution that has the potential to save many lives on the nation's roads and highways," says Brooke Williams, worldwide automotive vision marketing manager, Texas Instruments.

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