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SmartDrive releases two new driver safety telematics offerings


Managing Editor of Fleet Equipment Magazine

SmartDrive Systems announced the release of SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions and SmartSense for Sitting Duck, new intelligent driver-assist offerings.

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According to the company, SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions helps fleets alert drivers so they can avoid driving too fast in poor weather or road conditions; while SmartSense for Sitting Duck assists drivers who may be parked in unsafe locations. Both make use of SmartDrive’s SmartSense sensors.

SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions

Driving faster than the posted speed limit is not the only speeding problem facing fleets. Driving too fast for road or weather conditions, which can change rapidly and unexpectedly, accounts for 23% of truck crashes, according to FMCSA data. Additionally, the severity and cost of collisions significantly increase in adverse weather conditions, often resulting in nuclear verdicts. With 70% of the nation’s roads located in regions receiving more than five inches of snow annually and vehicles requiring ten times longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement, it is imperative that fleets monitor and notify drivers of unsafe conditions, SmartDrive said. 

According to SmartDrive, SmartSense for Speeding for Conditions addresses these challenges by:

  • Measuring vehicle speed vs. a recommended, or fleet-specified, standard for safe driving in inclement weather conditions
  • Providing real-time data to assess the severity of driving too fast for conditions — particularly in fog, rain or snow
  • Alerting drivers of the risks within minutes and recommending the appropriate speed for the conditions

“Heavy rain, snow and fog can impact a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle,” said Jason Palmer, COO of SmartDrive. “This gives us an opportunity to alert the driver as weather conditions may be changing in and around where they’re operating the vehicle, and empower them to potentially slow down and understand these conditions.”

SmartSense for Sitting Duck

“‘Sitting Duck’ is a term that some in the industry use to identify a vehicle that may be parked on the side of the road,” explained Palmer. “In this system our sensors understand where the vehicle is located, how it is operating and whether it is parked in a potentially unsafe situation, so fleets can address that quickly.”

SmartSense for Sitting Duck addresses these situations that have continued to increase in recent months due to frequent, and uncertain, COVID-19 closures. According to the company, this system does the following: 

  • Detects and reports vehicles that have stopped, parked or stalled in a potentially hazardous location;
  • Provides real-time data to assess the incident so immediate, corrective action can be taken; and
  • Delivers video insight into why and where the driver is stopped or parked.

The new SmartSense features operate on the SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform, which allows data alerts to be integrated with a fleet’s existing telematics messaging system. This enables drivers to get alerts prior to entering an area impacted by weather so they can slow down for conditions and alerts those parked longer than necessary to contact dispatch. Manager notifications are triggered if corrective action is not taken.

Knight-Swift Transportation has been using these tools in some of its fleets as part of the development and testing process.

“The results that we’ve seen in testing have been very promising,” said Brett Sant, senior vice president of safety and risk management for Knight-Swift. “We have had some very positive examples of how these technologies can help us, and we look forward to growing this in our fleet.

“The driver is the most important part of the equation,” Sant added. “These tools are intended to support and help the driver make better decisions, be better equipped to make good decisions in those conditions, but never to second-guess them or take that decision-making responsibility away from them.”



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