Xata to build ‘Car Fax’ report for drivers

Xata, a provider of compliance and fleet optimization software, is in the process of building a social networking tool for drivers. The company plans to release this new tool as Xata Passport within a year.

Drivers will be able to use Xata Passport to track their personal fuel performance, safety, compliance and other elements. This information can be used by drivers as a personal resume and make them more marketable to carriers, says Christian Schenk, Xata’s vice president of product marketing.

“It is going to be a ‘Car Fax’ report for drivers, ” Schenk told a roomful of fleet executives Thursday, May 5, at the ALK Technology Summit held May 4 and 5 in Princeton, N.J. “It is going to tell how profitable (drivers) are going to make you.”

Whereas current fleet management solutions are focused on helping companies improve compliance and performance, Xata Passport will shift the focus to the driver — to show them how they are complying with current regulations, and provide data to highlight their record of safe driving and good behavior.

The new tool will provide drivers with the ability to track personal success in monitoring idle time, speed, safety and driver behavior.

A key distinction of Xata Passport is that drivers will own the data, not just the fleets. “By providing (drivers) those tools, it will empower them to take control of where they are going to work and stay connected with other drivers and peers,” Schenk says.

There is a significant marketplace in the trucking industry for drivers with a proven record of performance, Schenk says. “We will be building a lot of stuff to help them be safer and better,” he says. “This is a strategy to create a portal, a social medial tool that will allow drivers to interface with one another. The tools that Xata is putting together for these types of companies and drivers will help them do that.”

Fleets that use the Xata wireless fleet management system will be able to offer Xata Passport to drivers, but giving drivers ownership in the data might be a controversial idea. Because carriers have to pay for technology to obtain this data, they will not just give it to drivers to use as they want, such as to create an online resume, says Mike Gabbei, chief information officer of Celadon Group, a large truckload carrier based in Indianapolis.