Safety is a top area of concern for fleets where technology continues to play a large role in improving the well-being of drivers and making safety risks easier to control.
“Despite a recent decline in U.S. auto accident-related deaths, over 36,000 people still die on American roads every year. In 2020 and beyond, we anticipate fleet safety will remain top of mind for every transportation company and in turn, technology innovation to support these safety initiatives will be more important than ever,” said Eleanor Horowitz, safety product marketing manager of Samsara.
Telematics technology has played a major part in contributing to driver safety, with capabilities that allow managers to monitor driver behavior and observe overall road safety.
Video/dash camera technology was mentioned by several companies as a state-of-the-art technology that will greatly influence improved safety for fleet managers in the future.
“Smart video makes safety programs easier to manage and more effective than they could be with traditional telematics only,” said Ryan Driscoll, VP marketing, of GPS Insight. “Video takes telematics to another level by being able to give context and identify positive driver behaviors that telematics cannot detect.”
Some actionable information fleets can assess with this technology include alerts and playback on accidents, hard braking, rapid acceleration, distracted driving, traffic signal violations, stop sign violations, tailgating, seatbelt compliance, U-turn violations, etc.
“But the real game changer will lie within technology that enables managers to be proactive about these incidents,” said Horowitz of Samsara. “For example, leveraging sensors that can warn about safety-related events before they happen. Or in-cab alerts that engage a driver if they’re displaying distracted behavior.”
Driscoll added thoughts on regarding the benefit of AI with the video technology.
“For example, if a driver slams the brakes to avoid hitting a child that ran into the street to chase his ball, with regular telematics data, the driver would be dinged for hard braking and it would negatively affect his score,” said Driscoll. “With video, the AI on the camera would see that the hard braking was to avoid hitting someone, so it would give them a positive score.”
Mathew Long, product success, Verizon Connect, echoed sentiments emphasizing the capabilities of this technology, particularly in how it can communicate event significance to managers using AI.
“When powered by AI, smart video solutions can automatically classify events by severity and minimize the burden of even more data on fleet owners and managers of situations by only alerting them to events that require immediate attention,” said Long of Verizon Connect.
These safety benefits ultimately service the corporations that the fleets are operating for and may provide a deeper ROI than expected.
“The main feedback we get from customers is that dash cams have made a marked improvement across multiple areas of their fleet: reduction in insurance costs and litigation fees, increase in driver retention rates, and improvement in driver safety scores measured by accidents and harsh events,” said Horowitz of Samsara.
Like the advent and further development of telematics, further additions to the technology such as these, are becoming more ubiquitous aspects to fleet technology.
“Companies that are keeping pace with technological advancements here will start to gain a lead on their industry competitors and ultimately spur more widespread adoption,” said Long.
Another great example of contemporary technology that is continuing to impact not only fleet but every industry around the world is the ubiquitous smartphone.Smartphone apps have changed the way people go about their lives significantly in the last decade, and the same can also be said about fleet management. But it’s also brought about new levels of demand.
“Today, fleet stakeholders expect fast, easy-to-use, and context-driven experiences; and rightfully so,” said Spangler ARI.
Another company that is similarly taking advantage of this technology is eDriving. Ecolab, a global provider of water, hygiene and energy technologies, is utilizing eDriving’s Mentor app to track driver behavior, and monitor vehicle accidents and risky driving.