Technology convergence

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Updated Mar 12, 2018
Photo by Steven Diaz, courtesy of SmartDrive.Photo by Steven Diaz, courtesy of SmartDrive.

Many fleets are presently cobbling together safety and performance data from multiple hardware and software platforms. This activity can lead to having data that is incomplete, inconsistent and formatted in a way that makes it difficult for managers to make the best possible decisions, explains Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive’s chief executive.

With the release of SR4, Mitgang says SmartDrive is leading a technology convergence of vehicle telematics, OEM and third-party ADAS technologies and mobile fleet management systems. With this convergence, fleets are able to reduce costs and get a “single source of truth” for all of their driver and vehicle performance information.

Oakley Transport orders its Volvo trucks equipped from the factory with a Bendix lane departure warning system and Bendix Wingman Fusion system. The latter combines adaptive cruise control with active braking and collision mitigation technologies.

Kelly McDowell, Oakley’s director of safety and compliance, describes the SmartDrive platform as “one package to measure safety.” Photo by Steven Diaz, courtesy of SmartDriveKelly McDowell, Oakley’s director of safety and compliance, describes the SmartDrive platform as “one package to measure safety.” Photo by Steven Diaz, courtesy of SmartDrive

Bendix offers a subscription service, SafetyDirect, that provides a Web portal to review videos of severe events along with fleet and driver performance. After Oakley installed SmartDrive in its tractors, the company decided to shut off the Bendix SafetyDirect service, says Ty Sherman, chief financial officer.

Its Bendix systems are integrated with the SR3 and SR4 platforms that detect risk by using lane departures and following distances to trigger video event records and to assess driver safety performance.

Oakley Transport also uses the Omnitracs IVG fleet management system for electronic logs and driver communications. After implementing SmartDrive, Oakley shut off its Omnitracs Critical Event Reporting (CER) service that gives alerts for hard braking, speeding and other safety-critical events.

“We really don’t need it,” says Kelly McDowell, director of safety and compliance. Everything managers want to know about driver behaviors and risk is available through the SmartDrive program, he explains, which brings all its data together into “one package to measure safety.”

SR4 units being configured at SmartDrive’s office prior to shipping. Photo by Tim Peacock, courtesy of SmartDrive.SR4 units being configured at SmartDrive’s office prior to shipping. Photo by Tim Peacock, courtesy of SmartDrive.

The SmartDrive SR4 platform can also utilize new cameras and sensors from third-party ADAS systems such as Wabco’s next-generation OnLane. SmartDrive also uses data it captures from OEM and third-party systems to continuously develop and refine its own machine vision technology to detect additional patterns of risk, says Ray Ghanbari, chief technology officer.

As technology convergence takes place, Mitgang believes the forms of consumption of telematics will change as more fleets leverage tablets, smartphones and bring-your-own-device strategies to run a range of applications powered from a unified, or converged, source of data.

With its new architecture and computing power, SR4 can serve that function in the vehicle and enable other on-board systems, such as telematics, to integrate via SmartDrive’s APIs to provide that data to power their applications. This convergence will make it possible for fleets to replace redundant hardware and on-board connectivity and use best-of-breed applications from solution providers.

“The devices and applications you are using today are going to change,” he says.