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Drivewzye, in big expansion of product offerings, rolls out Safety+

Drivewyze is launching one of the biggest initiatives in the company’s history as it builds on its foundational business of weigh station bypass.

A new product offering, Safety+, is being announced and rolled out Wednesday after beta testing. The multifaceted product offers several disparate services, including parking notifications, safety alerts and driver coaching.

Ultimately, the product is built on what Drivewyze already does: telling drivers of something ahead. Traditionally, that was a weigh station and whether a truck could bypass it. Now, that communication function will be expanded to tell drivers about a lot of other things up ahead. 

“Weigh station bypass was for the longest time our core product,” Doug Johnson, Drivewyze’s vice president of marketing, told FreightWaves in discussing Safety+. “As we expanded the network and became more ubiquitous on ELDs and with an increase in our law enforcement network, it was an easy migration to get into safety alerts.”

“This has been on our road map for quite a long time, and it is a significant addition to our portfolio,” Johnson added. 

Charlie Mohn, the company’s director of product innovation, said the system has been beta tested with eight fleets that he said range in size from mega fleets to 10 trucks. 

Johnson said the one beta tester that is being revealed is C.R. England. In a prepared release announcing Safety+, Derek Ohata, C.R. England’s senior director of compliance, was quoted as saying that he “can’t recommend Safety+ enough.” “Not only does it allow me to take control of in-cab safety messaging, it gives me access to fleet-wide and driver-specific safety insights and proactive driver coaching too,” he said. 

One aspect of Safety+ already was rolled out earlier this year: parking spot notifications sent through the same notification ELD-based software that provides weigh station bypass alerts. In the next phase of the parking spot notification rollout, the services will be added for Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Virginia. 

Speed alerts are another part of Safety+. When a truck enters an area that data has determined tends to be part of a road where speeding citations are handed out frequently, the Safety+ system’s Proactive Speed Alert will notify the driver of that, according to Mohn. 

“The driver can go into a zone based on our data and be told what the speed limit is, and how long that stretch is where the citations are handed out,” Mohn said. He added that data is also provided to customer back offices to be further analyzed.

In the Drivewyze announcement of the Safety+ system, Brian Heath, the company’s president and CEO, said the beta testing showed a 27% reduction in speeding “events,” where the truck driver was going 5 mph or more over the speed limit, for companies using Safety+. 

Other offerings in Safety+ are similar in nature: using a baseload of data and alerting drivers as to various risks on the road ahead.

For example, Risk Zone Alerts were created by working with state and Canadian provincial safety officials, according to Drivewyze. The Risk Zone Alerts have identified more than 2,500 areas where there is a tendency for truckers to get into trouble, like areas of high rollover. 

Custom Safety Zones are also a feature of Safety+. They allow companies to identify their own individual areas of safety concern. For example, Mohn showed FreightWaves a demonstration where a fleet may have identified an area near a shipper’s depot as problematic for some reason, and Safety+ allows a custom safety zone to be established, warning the driver of the risk as their truck approaches it. Mohn called it a “geofence.”

The Insight feature of Safety+ is an area that numerous companies have been pushing to get into. For example, SmartDrive, expanding off its primary business operation as a provider of camera systems inside and outside the truck, offers the ability to use what cameras record to provide coaching to drivers who have made some sort of error on the road.

Mohn says Insights is complementary to safety solutions such as SmartDrive, though without the camera. As Drivewyze’s public announcement said, “Safety+ generates data-rich information that can be mined and put to use as a stand-alone service or integrated with existing safety programs.”

Insight allows fleets to “access underlying driving behavior, how drivers are behaving in these high risk zones,” Mohn said. Those zones might not only be the custom zones that a user of Safety+ sets up, but also standard zones that are part of the underlying system. “It’s a pretty nice coaching tool,” Mohn said.

Johnson noted that a fleet that chooses to use Safety+ does not need to be a user of Drivewyze’s system. 

A visual demonstration of Safety+ features can be found on YouTube. 

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John Kingston

John has an almost 40-year career covering commodities, most of the time at S&P Global Platts. He created the Dated Brent benchmark, now the world’s most important crude oil marker. He was Director of Oil, Director of News, the editor in chief of Platts Oilgram News and the “talking head” for Platts on numerous media outlets, including CNBC, Fox Business and Canada’s BNN. He covered metals before joining Platts and then spent a year running Platts’ metals business as well. He was awarded the International Association of Energy Economics Award for Excellence in Written Journalism in 2015. In 2010, he won two Corporate Achievement Awards from McGraw-Hill, an extremely rare accomplishment, one for steering coverage of the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the other for the launch of a public affairs television show, Platts Energy Week.