Drivewyze has announced it will offer a free service providing drivers with crucial in-cab safety alerts.
The new service, dubbed Drivewyze Free, sends critical alerts to the driver via tablets, smartphones, or the more than 100 telematics platforms the company has integrated its service into.
Advisories include warnings for: high-rollover risk areas; low bridges; mountainous grades; and parking availability at rest areas. It will also warn drivers of approaching traffic slowdowns in states and provinces where partnerships exist with the Departments of Transportation.
“This is a monumental day for our company, our safety partners, and the industry,” Brian Heath, CEO of Drivewyze said in a press release. “In collaboration with our telematics and transportation agency partners, we are excited to be giving this essential safety service to the trucking industry at no cost. There are no strings attached. We’re a safety-driven company joined by like-minded agencies and telematics partners to leverage vehicle-to-infrastructure networks to improve highway safety for everyone. We know many of our Essential Alerts and Advisories modify behavior – drivers slow down and apply less hard braking. It makes them safer behind the wheel. We’re hoping all fleets will utilize this free offering to give their drivers technology that can truly make a difference to their safety.”
Drivewyze released research findings that indicate its in-cab alerts work. For instance, when approaching a high-rollover area, Drivewyze says its alerts reduced speed by an average of 7.3 mph among trucks traveling more than 5 mph over the posted speed limit.
“Advance notice for routes experiencing sudden or unexpected traffic slowdowns give truck drivers time to prepare,” Heath added. “In North Carolina, where we partnered with the North Carolina DOT, studies found that 70% of drivers that received an alert slowed down ahead of an incident. And the slowdown was significant – on average by 11 mph compared to 2 mph in a control group.”
Zero crash vision
In an interview with TruckNews.com, Heath said offering the alerts to any driver or fleet for free aligns with its safety vision.
“Our vision is zero crashes, zero fatalities,” said Heath. “We want to move the needle at a large scale and making Drivewyze Free available, getting together with our partners in the telematics world and in the government agency world, and giving back to the community with a free service that has no strings attached is our way of doing that.”
The service exists right across North America, but in Canada only about 250 locations are covered so far. But it’s not lost on the company that Canadian truckers could benefit from the service, particularly in B.C. where bridge strikes have been in the news a lot lately.
“Our goal is to be able to alert the drivers, using our geofencing technologies, that these risk hazards like low bridges are coming up in time that they can actually find a route to get around it,” said Martin Murtland, vice-president of product at Drivewyze.
Heath said work continues with states and provinces to add the number of alerts that can be provided to drivers – and to ensure their reliability.
“We’re partnering with state [and provincial] agencies as they become aware of the power of connected vehicles to message drivers directly with real-time information about safety conditions that are right in front of them on the highway,” Heath explained. “That’s not easy work to do, because you have to heavily curate the data. You’ve got to make sure the data quality is good enough because you don’t want to message a driver with information that is stale. If you tell a driver there’s a work zone ahead and it’s an inactive work zone, what good have you done? You undermine the driver’s confidence in your safety and compliance platform.”
Drivewyze Hub also free
Also included in the free platform is Drivewyze Hub, where fleet managers or safety directors can review alerts, benchmark against other fleets and generate reports. The company views Drivewyze Free as a complementary service to in-cab truck navigation systems, not a replacement for them.
“When you’re using navigation, you’re counting on it for direction and time to arrival,” Heath said. “But you’re not sitting there staring at the small little map trying to look at every tiny icon on there. That’s not the purpose of that interface. Drivewyze is complementary to it because when you’re coming up to a real-time event you’ve got something that comes on top of that screen visually and audibly and tells you ‘This is what you’ve got to look out for,’ then it disappears again behind whatever app is running.”
Drivewyze Free was announced this morning at the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C.
Drivers and fleets interested in enrolling in Drivewyze Free can do so at www.drivewyze.com.
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