SmartDrive, Geotab collaborate on single-source, connected hardware platform

An example of how the SmartDrive hardware platform routes information to the correct party.

Seeking to deliver cost-efficient solutions for fleets and take advantage of the new trend toward openness and convergence, SmartDrive Systems in collaboration with Geotab has introduced a new platform designed to lower costs and create a single point of connectivity.

“[Fleets] have individual departments that want to do something best-in-class but are forced to do something else because another department [has a legacy system],” explained Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO.

Known primarily as a video safety company, SmartDrive is hoping to use its new data collection platform as a single source for fleets to connect solutions, from vide safety, telematics, ELD/DVIR and analytics applications, into a single control box. Calling it a “first-of-its-kind” integration that will allow bring-your-own-device solutions for fleets and their drivers, the new platform will be available in the first quarter of 2019 on both SmartDrive’s SR3 and SR4.

One of the drivers toward the concept of openness and connectivity is the number of devices that will become unusable once 2G and 3G networks are shutdown. SmartDrive said that by 2023, 71% of today’s connected vehicles will face obsolete connected on-board devices.

“It’s time to break the shackles and give [fleets] the kind of flexibility they need,” Mitgang said.

SmartDrive is collaborating with Geotab on this initial launch of the product, but Mitgang said future collaborations with other companies will follow.

The new platform will eliminate the need to have different control boxes for various systems, simplifying hardware and maintenance tasks and providing fleets the option to choose the solutions they want rather than becoming locked into a single provider’s technology.

Mitgang believes this approach will reduce the hardware in cabs, lead to fewer monthly subscriptions for fleets, less downtime and fewer installations of devices.

“Our goal is to save these companies hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years,” he said.

The single box will offer a single integrated and aligned understanding of time, location, and driver and vehicle performance to third-party applications. Reporting will feed from the truck, through the control box, to SmartDrive or Geotab data centers that will route the data and information to the appropriate parties, whether that would be in the back office of the driver.

The ability to integrate and operate applications from a single data collection platform breaks through significant technology and operational barriers—unlocking efficiency gains for fleets across routes, drivers and risk,” Mitgang said. “Collaborating with Geotab allows us to make good on the promise of convergence with a company that shares our commitment to providing open, connected and flexible solutions for fleets of every size. We believe this is a transformational shift—and it’s only the beginning of what is possible for our customers.”

The collaboration with Geotab will open new benefits for fleets, SmartDrive said, providing access to:

  • The SmartDrive video safety program

  • SmartDrive SR3 or SR4 video hardware platform

  • “Single box” architecture enabling the convergence of data, devices and network connectivity

  • Analytics powered by SmartDrive SmartIQ

  • Geotab tracking, which delivers real-time and historical visibility to location, speed and geofencing information

  • Geotab regulatory compliance, including hours of service, driver vehicle inspection reports, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) recording and tax reports

  • Access and integration to Geotab Marketplace partners

“Geotab’s open platform centers on a reliable, scalable and secure approach to data access for business solutions,” said Colin Sutherland, executive vice president of sales, Geotab. “We have always said that our hardware is agnostic. The SmartDrive video hardware integration is a solution that not only leverages Geotab’s platform strength to incorporate data from non-Geotab hardware, but it is a great example of telematics solutions that extend the capital investments across multiple solution providers.” 

SmartDrive said that its unified video and telematics data stream can leveraged by third parties to power their applications. This same data stream powers the SmartDrive video safety program, ADAS and transportation analytics applications. Through this collaboration, Geotab telematics and compliance offerings take advantage of the single box architecture and unified data stream, eliminating redundancy across hardware, cellular connectivity, GPS modules, connections to the ECU and cabling.

Geotab collects more than 3 billion data points from over one million vehicles globally, providing business intelligence and benchmarking data that helps increase productivity, reduce fuel consumption, improve driver safety, and strengthen compliance. 

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.