For fleet managers, it is no longer enough to make sure vehicles and drivers’ schedules are maintained. While significant developments in the tech world have, theoretically, made managers’ lives easier, they have also driven up expectations. Managers are expected to be technically savvy, in addition to everything else, and to able to squeeze every efficiency possible out of their fleets – to make their fleets, in a word, smart.
Two of the most important advancements in the development of “smart” fleets have been the creation and evolution of, on one hand, telematics, and of, on the other hand, collision avoidance systems.
'Telematics’ describes a wide-range of technologies which allow vehicles to communicate while on the road. It is the technology underlying fleet management systems, allowing managers to monitor their entire fleet from the office or even while on the road themselves.
Collision avoidance systems, for their part, play an important role in fleet safety by helping fleets avoid accidents and subsequent losses from costly repairs, downtime and possible injury to their workforce. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “the average crash costs employers about $16,500 and jumps to more than $74,000 for a crash with injuries and even $500,000 or more if there is a fatality.” These are staggering figures. Needless to say, avoiding such costs by preventing collisions in the first place can play an important part in managing a fleet’s budget.
Collision avoidance technology works by proactively warning drivers of potential hazards before a collision can occur.
While both of these technologies are important, their combination is greater than the sum of its parts. One significant benefit is the ability to establish an objective driver scoring system (warnings issued by the collision avoidance technology are tallied and weighted by the telematics solution to give a ‘score’), giving managers a clear view of their drivers’ behavior on the road, putting up red flags when necessary and allowing the establishment of effective incentive programs for good and/or improved driving habits.
But interfacing these systems is not always simple. This is unsurprising; working with different technologies and suppliers means that things don’t necessarily mesh exactly and getting different systems to talk to one another may involve a fair amount of expense and effort in addition to buck-passing between/among the suppliers.
To solve this dilemma, the new Mobileye® 8 Connect™ is released in conjunction with an optional ‘integrated driver insights’ platform. The Mobileye 8 Connect is both a collision avoidance system and a telematics solution; a single device which can provide both safety features and telematics by both issuing the warnings and tallying them.
With Mobileye’s new platform, managers can, for example keep track of their vehicles and drivers, create geofences for fleet vehicles, and provide other fleet management functions. But it also has an important advantage over others - the ability to seamlessly record and take into account safety alerts, providing insights not found in standard systems.
As drivers travel their routes the system records incidents of:
- Forward Collision Warnings – When a vehicle is in danger of colliding with a vehicle in front
- Headway Monitoring Warnings – When a vehicle gets too close to a vehicle in front
- Pedestrian and Cyclist Collision Warnings – when a vehicle is in danger of colliding with a pedestrian or cyclist in front
- Lane Departure Warnings – When a vehicle departs from its lane without signaling
- Harsh Braking – When a vehicle stops suddenly
- Harsh Acceleration – When a vehicle accelerates suddenly
- Harsh Cornering – When a vehicle turns a corner at excessive speed
After collecting these warnings, the platform uses a proprietary algorithm to determine a score – a rating reflecting the safety level. This score provides managers with advance notice of behavior that may be problematic – before it ends in a crash. On a more positive note, managers can also identify safe driving.
The importance of including the alerts (as opposed to just incidents of harsh braking, accelerating and cornering) is critical in determining driver behavior. One analyst, for example, compared judging driving behavior by only referencing harsh braking, accelerating and cornering, to sitting in a car blindfolded and trying to judge a driver’s behavior based simply on the motion of the vehicle. Deprived of context such as location, traffic, and the presence of pedestrians and cyclists, any judgement would be arbitrary.
Without Mobileye 8 Connect’s warnings, a driver who tends to tailgate may not come to your attention until they have rear-ended another vehicle and a driver who neglects to use their turn signal may have this tendency unnoticed until they’ve sideswiped another vehicle.
It should be noted that the warnings provided by Mobileye 8 Connect, plus others, are not only recorded but are, of course, issued to the driver in real-time, helping them avoid collisions and improve safety as they drive.
Combining Mobileye 8 Connect with Mobileye’s driver platform requires one piece of hardware. This means no more trying to meld different systems from different suppliers but one system from one supplier, Mobileye, bringing all the benefits together. Not only that but only one installation process means reduced downtime for your fleet.
Mobileye 8 Connect supplies fleets with a simple, cost-effective telematics system seamlessly integrated with collision avoidance technology designed to protect fleets, increase safety and provide managers with a robust driver coaching tool.