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Car Tech: Innovation Improving Road Safety

May 23, 2014

The UK has some of the safest roads in the world, however, accidents still happen – and vehicle manufacturers are looking to innovative solutions to improve road safety. According to the Department of Transport figures, on average there are 17 traffic collisions every hour, resulting in five fatalities per day on UK roads.

 

It is estimated that a full 90% of these accidents are caused by human error, and that means many collisions are preventable. Many automakers are looking into mechanical ways to make cars safer or respond more quickly to hazards. However, Lytx has pioneered a new approach to reducing collisions by addressing the ‘human factor’.

Lytx developed video-based safety technology called the DriveCam Programme. This Programme identifies poor driving habits and helps fleets and their drivers correct them. We got the chance to interview Caroline Russon from Lytx about their innovative product:

 

What is the DriveCam Programme?

Developed by Lytx, the DriveCam Programme combines sophisticated data analytics with in-cab video review to predict the type of risky manoeuvres and collisions that drivers are likely to be involved in based on their driving habits. We then work closely with customers to help them coach their drivers to become safer on the road and prevent collisions from occurring.

Globally, Lytx has more than 950 commercial and government fleet customers who between them drive more than 20 billion miles a year.  We have been providing fleet safety solutions for more than 16 years and our customers include leading waste, distribution and passenger transport companies in the US. Our UK customers include DS Smith and Riggotts.

How does it work?

The DriveCam Programme combines a dual-facing video-based device with data from multiple on board sensors, predictive analytics and a fully managed driver safety programme.  This enables fleet and transport managers to quickly identify the real root causes of poor driving behaviour within their fleets, saving valuable time and resources without data overload.  

Lytx minimises the operational impact of our driver safety programme by capturing 12-second clips triggered by risky driving manoeuvres, eight seconds before and four seconds after the event. Because our technology is exception-based, it is able to filter out any events that do not include risk. By optimising the length of the clips we save, the DriveCam Programme is extremely driver friendly. On average we capture only five minutes of footage per vehicle, per month. Many drivers can go days or longer without triggering a single event. 

All too often we have seen businesses get inundated with telematics data when they simply don’t have the time to review it all, let alone establish the real root cause of the poor driving behaviour.  Additionally, companies that rely on telematics data alone only get half the story. For example, telematics may tell you that a driver swerved, but it will not tell you why or give your context around the incident.  For example, was this incident due to following another vehicle too closely or because a child ran into the road and the driver was forced to take evasive action? Without the insight that fleet managers can gain through a managed service like the DriveCam Programme it is difficult to improve driver behaviour.

 

What are the benefits of the technology when it comes to road safety?

More than 90% of collisions are caused by driver error and are therefore preventable. We’re dedicated to using our technology to help professional drivers adopt safer driving habits and measurably reduce the risk that is happening on our roads every day. Our unique approach of using video to prevent collisions before they happen can cut the costs associated with collisions by 50 to 80%. Most importantly, Lytx saves lives.

What other benefits does the technology offer to businesses investing in DriveCam on a commercial scale?

By developing a world class safety culture, businesses investing in DriveCam will benefit in a number of ways.

  1. In addition to helping drivers get home safely, our on-board exception-based video and multi-sensor Programme protects businesses and drivers from fraudulent or other errant claims.
  2. The increased efficiency that the DriveCam Programme delivers can also reduce fleet fuel consumption by up to 12%.
  3. The DriveCam Programme can also help companies protect their brand and demonstrate good corporate and social responsibility. The basic fact is that by using DriveCam to improve driver safety business can also contribute to a safer and more environmentally conscious community.

Where would you like to see the technology progress in the future?

Driver safety is always our number one priority, but there are a number of ways that the DriveCam Programme can be used to help transform businesses.  For example, a recent report by Shell found that driver behaviour is a key component of reducing fleet fuel consumption.

Two-thirds of UK fleet managers said that improving driving behaviour is the primary way to reduce fleet fuel consumption. This statistic mirrors Lytx’ own analysis of the data it has captured over the last decade from hundreds of fleets.

However, the report also identified that many haulage companies struggle to implement change.  In fact, nine out of 10 admitted they act on less than 60% of the insights offered due to resource issues.

This is where Lytx can make a difference with the DriveCam Programme – a fully managed service combining our experience with the latest technology to enable fleet managers to implement crucial changes without losing valuable time.  

 

It’s clear that advancements in technology are making big steps towards safer roads. If you fancy getting your hands on a high tech car, check out the Car Loan Warehouse, our quick and easy car finance calculator makes it easy to get a quote – you’re next car could be more affordable than you think!

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.