Crane & Rigging Magazine - inthinc Targets Driver Behavior to Improve Fleet Safety and Efficiency
12/01/2012 - A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that driver behavior contributed to over 90% of crashes. While many fleets still approach safety with a series of policies and reactive measures, Salt Lake City- based inthinc Technology Solutions Inc.'s proactive system verbally coaches drivers in real-time to form safer driving habits. A global company centered on telematics, fleet solutions and driver safety solutions, inthinc is changing and managing driver behavior.
Touted as the only technology that uses in-cab verbal coaching to notify drivers of exactly what they need to do to correct their actions, inthinc’s waySmart technology utilizes verbal notifications. The notifications are triggered when drivers exhibit unsafe behavior, such as speeding, aggressive turning, hard braking and accelerating, or not wearing a seatbelt. The technology keeps drivers informed in real time, and gives them a grace period to correct their behavior before logging a violation in the web-based management portal. The result is constantly improving driving habits and performance.
According to the company, on average, the technology has shown to reduce speeding by 86%, aggressive driving by 89%, and crashes by 90%, and improve seat belt use by 88%. In addition, waySmart addresses drivers' impact on the environment by reducing idle time by 53% and carbon emissions by 30% on average.
“Creating policies does not equate to affecting change; policies cannot stand alone,” said Bruce Huber, inthinc’s vice president of safety services. “Giving drivers direct feedback in real time has proven to be far more successful. This gives poor or mediocre drivers the opportunity to improve their driving by allowing a grace period to fix their actions. It takes time and resources to hire new drivers; it is much easier and more effective to take the drivers you have invested in and coach them to improve their driving habits.”
Crossing industry lines
The company demonstrated its in-cab verbal coaching technology at the September 2012 MINExpo Conference in Las Vegas. The ride-along provided mining safety experts with the opportunity to experience real-time driver safety technology. But inthinc’s position is that the product can benefit any fleet management program, including that of mobile cranes.
WaySmart is a proven driver-behavior-based fleet management solution to improve driver safety, fleet efficiency and compliance—even in the most rugged conditions. Fleet managers can monitor driver behavior with features such as GPS- based vehicle and trip tracking, and in-cab verbal alerts for speeding, idling, seat belt use and aggressive driving. The technology communicates via satellite or
cellular signals, allowing fleet managers to monitor vehicles with real-time incident notification, regardless of how remote the location may be.
“Inthinc has grown to become the most advanced fleet management and driver safety solution serving the mining industry,” said Huber. “We have worked with the largest mining companies in the world to develop a solution to meet the industry’s unique business needs—and continue to collaborate and solve the challenges [fleet management] professionals face as their business evolves.”
With in-cab verbal coaching, automated in-cab verbal alerts are sent in real time when drivers are speeding or driving aggressively. Seatbelt use alerts ensure all drivers are wearing a seat belt on the road by sending alerts to those who are not. The Speed-by-Street feature sends automated verbal alerts to drivers when they exceed the speed limit on any given road segment. The emergency call button aids stranded drivers via hands-free GPS communication.
A driver-/fleet-scoring feature assigns scorecards to identify safe drivers and those who may be in need of additional training, while an electronic hours-of- service log helps avoid the hassles of erroneous paper logs and eliminates timely administrative overhead. Road hazard awareness opens communication between drivers regarding debris, construction, and severe weather conditions. Automated exception alerts offer instant notifications via text, email, or phone when a driver has been in a crash or committed a serious traffic violation.
Inthinc’s live fleet visibility feature monitors driver location and route details in real-time. The system includes distance and time traveled. Cell and text- use visibility identify when cell phones are in use while a vehicle is in motion. The technology also tracks fuel use and miles per gallon for each fleet vehicle, on a daily basis, for up to 12 months. It also notifies drivers when they have been idling beyond a preset time limit, via an idle monitoring and alerts feature.
A work-alone timer allows drivers to set up timers to warn management if they do not return to the vehicle in a given timeframe, while an automated IFTA tax reporting feature captures exactly when vehicles cross state lines, and calculates appropriate tax amount for gallons consumed versus gallons purchased. Vehicle inspection alerts send timed checklist alerts to remind drivers of pre/post- trip instructions and inspection requirements.
And, waySmart’s injury severity modeling system includes black box technology that offers detailed reports of every crash, including vehicle speed, GPS location, direction the vehicle was traveling, RPMs and more—recorded 20 seconds before and 10 seconds after a crash.