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The next big wave: how video and data will transform trucking

 

http://www.ccjdigital.com/the-next-big-wave-how-video-and-data-will-transform-trucking/Four large rooms full of cubicles join at the center of SmartDrive’s 25,000 sq.-foot office in San Diego’s Sorrento Valley neighborhood like the wings of a butterfly. Employees call this central area the “truckstop.”

This is no ordinary meeting area or break room. Anyone that passes by to grab a cup of coffee or snack can see that what they do in their cubicles ends up in the adjoining Configuration Room, and from there, goes into trucks all over the nation to increase safety and save lives.

The Configuration Room is visible through large glass windows. In here, racks are filled with SmartDrive devices that will soon be installed in vehicles. These recording devices and integration hubs are tested for quality and provisioned for specific customers before being shipped out.

SmartDrive has devices installed in refuse haulers, Class 8 tractors, taxicabs and many other types of vehicles, even rail. The technology is designed and configured to factor the size, weight, load, routes, and other characteristics of vehicles and fleets to detect risk. It also captures information from various sensors, electronic control units (ECUs) and third party safety systems to detect risky driving behaviors.

When it does, in the form of a driver making a U-turn, speeding, swerving, or any other number of things, the event data — including a video — is sent to servers in the cloud immediately and to fleet management for review.

SmartDrive is currently shipping between 50 and 100 of these recording devices from its Configuration Room each day. Developments are now underway to increase its capacity to between 250 and 500 units per day, says Wendy Wyatt, vice president of client services.

SmartDrive has been in business for approximately eight years, but much of its growth has come during the past two. This year, the company has grown by 90 percent and expects to double again in 2015 and beyond.

Its employees come from a diverse background. It has experts in data analytics, computer science, digital content and other high-growth technologies. They are all focused on creating a big data risk management platform for the transportation industry.

“Every industry on the planet has been impacted by video and data. It’s a transformational capability,” says Steve Mitgang, chief executive officer of SmartDrive. “We are starting the big wave of getting value out of data.”

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