SmartDrive Systems recently announced the release of SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions and Sitting Duck, both of which offer new capabilities to increase driver safety.
The combination of purpose-built sensors with computer vision, engine telematics, and accelerometer data gives fleets new levels of risk identification and collision mitigation, according to SmartDrive. The systems have been tested by nationally recognized fleets, including Knight-Swift Transportation, which has been piloting the new SmartSense features and have seen a marked improvement.
“Commercial drivers often must deal with less than ideal conditions as they ensure essential goods are delivered,” said Brett Sant, senior vice president, safety and risk management, Knight-Swift Transportation. “SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions allows us to proactively notify and remind drivers of these fast-changing weather conditions and recommend safe driving practices to help ensure they are operating safely in these changing environments.”
The Speeding for Conditions feature alerts fleets when drivers are traveling at speeds deemed unsafe for specific road conditions, which could include snow, rain, or sleet. Using real-time weather information, the system notifies a fleet if a driver is either speeding or driving faster than the speed limit set in the SmartSense system for different weather conditions. This allows fleets to then alert drivers of not only the adverse driving behaviors, but the inclement weather conditions that could be affecting them.
“With insurance premiums, nuclear verdicts and everyday driving risks skyrocketing, fleets must be able to identify hidden dangers and proactively address them,” said Steve Mitgang, CEO of SmartDrive. “When the country’s leading fleets came to us with these concerns, we knew we had to challenge the status quo to find a solution.”
The lack of available truck parking due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, along with frequently full truck stops and rest areas, can create a dangerous dilemma for drivers, who can be forced to park in undesignated and unsafe locations. These “sitting duck situations” put both drivers and the motoring public at risk. The new Sitting Duck feature detects and reports vehicles that have stopped, parked, or stalled in a potentially hazardous location; provides real-time data to assess the incident; and delivers video of where the driver is stopped or parked.
“Many times, drivers find themselves in circumstances where they need mechanical assistance or need to stop in a heavily-traveled area,” said Sant. “SmartSense for Sitting Duck technology helps us protect our drivers by alerting management that they may need help. We can then quickly advise our driver on how to handle the situation and, if necessary, provide support — or send assistance — and get them back on the road safely.”
The new SmartSense features are available with SmartDrive’s Transportation Intelligence Platform, which can be integrated with a fleet’s existing telematics messaging system. The system can also alert drivers prior to entering an area impacted by weather and also alerts dispatch about drivers who are parked longer than necessary or in adverse situations. Manager notifications are triggered if corrective action is not taken by drivers, and the real-time, interactive dashboards provide at-a-glance data, so fleet managers can quickly identify trends and intervene.