In Beverage Industry’s most recent Fleet Study, 58 percent of respondents indicated that “collision repairs” were a significant source of unplanned downtime — second only to engine-related issues. In a perfect world, beverage fleet managers would be able to eliminate collisions all together, but the world is far from perfect.
However, it’s possible to inch a bit closer to that goal with the cutting-edge vehicle safety systems that are available today. Here’s a snapshot of some of the latest solutions that are arming distributors with not only the most up-to-date safety features, but with real-time intelligence that enables them to run smarter.
AI Dash Cam
Samsara’s AI Dash Cam — which the company calls “the next leap in fleet safety” — offers a camera with artificial intelligence (AI) that analyzes road conditions and driver behavior to help prevent accidents. It detects traffic violations, potential near misses and proactively coaches drivers with in-cab alerts from a high-quality speaker. The system will tell drivers in real-time whether they are driving recklessly, speeding or engaged in other unsafe activities. Its computer vision capabilities recognize posted speed limit numbers and automatically update map data, so speeding alerts are never outdated. The system offers HD imagery, a 170-degree ultra-wide-angle lens and optimal low-light performance. The Samsara software distills hundreds of hours of video footage of the most critical events, minimizing the amount of excessive data fleet managers have to sift through.
Another popular option on the market is the SmartDrive system, which has been helping delivery fleets avoid collisions for more than 15 years. Outward- and inward-facing cameras help fleet managers identify risky driving and pinpoint what’s happening in the cab. SmartDrive delivers video evidence within minutes, giving drivers and local law enforcement an accurate picture of what happened and who’s at fault. Risky maneuvers like swerving, hard-braking, speeding and distracted driving trigger SmartDrive’s event recording system, capturing video and audio before and after an event and logs comprehensive vehicle data to provide important context for these incidents.
Meanwhile, the system’s SmartSense sensors accelerate risk identification and enable real-time driver-assist.
AB InBev distributor Virginia Eagle recently imbedded SmartDrive and has reported significant safety improvements, including a 71 percent reduction in mobile phone usage among drivers and a 96 percent reduction in seatbelt infractions. Additionally, the distributor saw an 18 percent reduction in the number of insurance claims and a 35 percent drop in the severity of such claims within the first six months of implementation.
Then there’s SafetyVision, which touts its 360-degree complete coverage — allowing drivers to maneuver and reverse more strategically and eliminate blind spots — as well as its continuous recording and live-streaming capabilities. Its live-look-in function enables fleet managers to instantly check in on the route, time and drop-off location of a delivery from their mobile tablets or smartphones.
OmniTracs offers a suite of safety solutions, including critical event reporting (CER), which monitors vehicles for safety-related events in near real-time. Its SpeedGauge function gives fleet managers access to a range of features for tracking and managing vehicle speed trends and driver behavior. And, like the aforementioned systems, OmniTracs offers critical event video for a complete window into any risky behavior that preceded an accident. There also is a driver vehicle inspection reporting (DVIR) component that automates the inspection reporting processing, eliminating wasteful and time-consuming paperwork and enabling drivers to complete accurate and detailed vehicle and trailer inspection reports across the United States and Canada. That, coupled with 24/7 access to stored reports and defect alerts, can help fleet managers improve the company’s compliance, safety and vehicle maintenance.
Sometimes accidents happen when the driver is not even in the vehicle. That’s why Bendix unveiled the Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake, which helps prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the brakes if the driver exits the vehicle while it is not parked. Its rollaway prevention capability is made possible through interlocks installed in such areas as the seat belt or cab door. It also can automatically disengage trailer brakes while the vehicle is moving and help the driver to come to a controlled stop if the parking brakes are applied while driving.
The Intellipark system replaces the traditional red and yellow push/pull knobs with easy-to-flip switches that require less effort and don’t deliver the popping “sting” that comes with manually activating a 120-psi hand-controlled brake valve. Because it’s electronic and connected to the truck’s communication network, it generates useful data for the fleet manager to help improve overall safety. Bendix says that Intellipark can be used on nearly any air-braked vehicle, including tractor-trailers and single-unit trucks. BI
For complete coverage of Beverage Industry’s annual fleet study, click here.