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Omnitracs technology targets distracted driving

Next-generation of SmartSense uses cameras, sensor, AI and computer vision to stop unsafe behaviors

Distracted driving leads to 10% increase in fatalities in 2019 (Photo: Jim Allen/FreightWaves)

Fleet intelligence and telematics provider Omnitracs announced Thursday the release of SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+, which identifies distracted driving and aims to reduce accidents.

The next generation of the company’s SmartSense technology uses cab-facing cameras and a sensor to engage AI and computer vision to detect drivers who may be drowsy or using their cellphones. The system monitors changes in head position and blinking to alert drivers when they are distracted or nodding off.

“Inattention is a pandemic — and one that has become increasingly worse,” said Ray Ghanbari, Omnitracs CTO. “SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+ addresses this problem head on using advanced technologies and analytics to keep our drivers safe and help all of us get home safely.”

Using technology picked up in its acquisition of SmartDrive, SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+ has two cameras built into one unit, which provides full cab visibility and driver monitoring through wide-angle and zoom-in views. The technology can give context of an event and help fleet owners address systemic issues with drivers.

“It is only with two cameras that a fleet truly knows if a driver is attentive or not, even if the driver is wearing sunglasses,” the press release stated.

The system advances risk detection already built into the SR4, “continually making the thousands of vehicles on the road equipped with an SR4 smarter with each and every mile driven.”

System updates can be made over the air without equipment changes.

The next phase of the SmartSense technology is already being utilized by some fleets.

“We needed a solution that proactively alerts drivers and notifies me when a situation occurs,” said Mike Goldberg, safety manager for Conico Oil. “SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+ has helped us reduce both inattentive and drowsy driving. I won’t let any of our drivers hit the road now without it.”

Goldberg oversees nonstop fuel distribution across some of the most congested urban areas in Southern California.

SmartSense for Inattentive Driving+ will be widely available this summer.

Omnitracs was acquired in May by Solera Holdings, a global data intelligence and technology company digitizing the vehicle life cycle.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Todd Maiden.


    1. Tom

      While this sounds wonderful, it will turn into more drivers quitting. Just what we need during a driver shortage.

      Who wants safety listening to a hands free call. Who wants a call from safety because you were looking at something along the highway for too long and the sensor picked up your eyes off the road.

      I have one of those wonderful sensors that tells me I am too close to something by hitting the brakes automatically. I have had too many incidents where this so called safety device slams on the brakes, yes, Slams on the Brakes hard, just because it thinks I am going to hit a bridge overpass 15 feet in the air.

      If you cannot trust your drivers, quit the trucking business.

      Of course I might change my mind if you were to tell law enforcement would write tickets to people in four wheelers who use their hand held cell phones while driving.

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Todd Maiden

Based in Richmond, VA, Todd is the finance editor at FreightWaves. Prior to joining FreightWaves, he covered the TLs, LTLs, railroads and brokers for RBC Capital Markets and BB&T Capital Markets. Todd began his career in banking and finance before moving over to transportation equity research where he provided stock recommendations for publicly traded transportation companies.