Liz Eller, Lytx senior manager, product marketing, discusses driving accidents in the industry and Lytx’s solution: The ActiveVision Service
One of the best ways to hemorrhage money in the industry is through vehicle accidents. While there will always be vehicle accidents—we’re all only human, after all—there are ways in which the industry as a whole can work to mitigate such occurrences. There is a slew of telematics systems available that determine driver habits and behavior, such as speed, hard stops, and quick acceleration. The Lytx ActiveVision Service goes a step further, targeting distracted and drowsy driving and offering driver behavior counseling.
MWS: What is the focus and mission of lytx?
Lytx has been around for more than 17 years; our focus has been on the idea of driver behavior improvement. We work with professionals in multiple industries—distribution, long haul trucking, waste, construction, just to name a few—with a key focus on improving driver performance. We devise and install technologies to help clients learn about how a driver is performing. Lytx also collects information about the vehicle, as well as the environment, including weather, traffic conditions, and highway conditions. We understand as much as we can about the driver’s performance, then try to add information about what’s going on with the vehicle and the environment to help our clients improve that driver’s driving performance.
MWS: Driver safety is moving to the top of the list for manageable monetary expenses thanks to technological advances. Why is driver safety—and safe driving—such an issue in the industry?
Statistics show that 95 percent of all accidents are driver related. People need to understand a couple of things, one of which is: things happen. You can’t control everything, so being the best driver you can be helps you intervene in those moments when another human on the road does something wrong or something happens that’s a natural occurrence. Second: a good driver can drive in a way that reduces their own risk of an accident—avoiding things like following another vehicle too closely or not looking far enough ahead down the road system. The challenge is finding out which accidents are driver related. When an accident occurs, there are a variety of ramifications for a company, from having to manage that accident and the immediate cost payout for repairs, all the way up to potential litigation costs. Companies want their drivers getting home safe, every day.
MWS: As evidenced by the amount of products on the market targeting driver safety and correcting bad or unsafe driving habits, the industry is taking a proactive step regarding driver behavior. Has Lytx seen a decline over the past couple of years for wrecks/injuries/deaths?
When we implement our program with our clients, we absolutely see a reduction in incidents. When we go meet with a client, we typically take data to find out what the accident and incident rated are. The program is trialed—and ultimately installed—and we continue to track those rates over time. The number varies over the client, but we’ve seen up to an 80 percent reduction with some clients using our industry-leading DriveCam program. The return on investment for this has proven very effective for our clients.
MWS: While distracted driving is something that can be curtailed, drowsy driving seems like a harder issue to tackle. Do you think product and technology advances alone can boost safety regarding drowsy driving?
There are a lot of terrific technologies that help the driver. Within the depth of those technologies, at the end of the day—just like on an airplane—there is no replacement for an attentive, well-trained driver. These technologies can and will make sure the driver is the best s/he can be. The people I’ve talked to in the industry don’t want their drivers drowsy. Putting in programs like Lytx’s DriveCam program or another program—and especially with the ActiveVision Service—gives companies the ability to sense when something is going on. That is dedication on the companies’ part; taking an active role and finding out what is going on and when and managing it themselves.
MWS: When did Lytx decide that additional driver/driving condition monitoring needed to be targeted in regard to distracted and drowsy driving?
Over the years, we’ve captured and reviewed an astonishing amount of footage—more than 28 billion miles driven in total. When we reviewed the clips, we were able to see a clear connection between driver behaviors—somebody may be eating lunch, drinking, reading, changing the radio station, it could be so many different things—and driver performance. Because these types of behaviors are difficult to detect and coach in real-time, but are often found to be major contributors to crashes after the fact, we wanted to develop a system that could help us understand and coach those types of behaviors even earlier, before they have a chance to manifest in close calls, collisions, and losses of life. The result is the ActiveVision Service.
MWS: What other projects are in the works for Lytx concerning the advancement of driver safety?
At the beginning of next year, we are releasing an ECM-based fuel solution. We’ve added a fuel management solution based on GPS technology, where we’ll be able to tie in with the vehicle and get a lot more information about what’s going on with travel, idling—a lot of engine-based feed. Fuel consumption can come from a lot of different sources—something as mechanical as tire pressure—but it also comes from the driver’s behaving habits. By hooking in and collecting all this additional data, we can really start to understand when a particular driver is exhibiting certain habits, such as sudden acceleration, a lot of stopping, starting, idling the vehicle for long periods of time when it doesn’t need to be in use, things like that. With this, we can deliver our clients a fuel score and extra data that’ll potentially make drivers drive in a way that’s more conservative. That’s something we’re very excited about bringing to the market next year.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Find out more about the Lytx ActiveVision Service, visit www.lytx.com/our-solutions/activevision.