Famed ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale closed out the 2014 PeopleNet User Conference opening session. Photo: Stephane Babcock

Famed ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale closed out the 2014 PeopleNet User Conference opening session. Photo: Stephane Babcock

ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- While PeopleNet President Brian McLaughlin was excited to honor the company’s accomplishments over the last two decades during the opening session of the company's annual conference Tuesday, he stressed what is yet to come ­– the future – and how PeopleNet is attempting to forecast the industry’s needs to meet any future challenges.

“We’re seeing a lot of big trends and a lot of major drivers that will change our industry and change the way that we serve you,” said McLaughlin during his speech kicking off the 2014 PeopleNet User Conference. “You guys have challenges that are greater than ever before, and we’re going to rise to the occasion to meet those.”

Some of those trends, which McLaughlin called macro-trends, surround connectivity and data that will transform how solutions are delivered to the end user.

“By 2020, there will be seven devices for every person. We are seeing this explosion of devices needing to communicate with each other, and we have to be able to enable that,” added McLaughlin.

One way the company will attempt to accomplish this goal is with its Connected Fleet Platform, including adding the Android operation system to its platform, offering a mobile gateway that will allow for connectivity of numerous devices, opening up the connected cloud to allow users to publish or subscribe data types and receive information in a simpler manner, and integrating video capabilities into the system.

By incorporating cameras all around the trailer and even inside the trailer, PeopleNet will create “surround vision,” according to Mike Nalepka, vice president of business development at PeopleNet.

“It’s not just a camera in one or two places, but anywhere you want it to be,” explained Nalepka. “There’s a multitude of value propositions when it comes to return on investment with our video intelligence, but the main one is that we’re one source for video and telematics.”

The video can be used as evidence in litigation, event recording, or even driver assistance technology. Cameras on the right and left side of the trailer can assist drivers when turning, giving them a 170-degree view of either side depending on the direction they are turning. The turning assistance was explained through a video featuring Andy Ludowese, an operations support specialist for Vusion who also has a CDL. After parking the PeopleNet trailer featuring this new technology on the video, Ludowese suddenly appeared on stage as if he had just jumped out of the cab and stood next to Chief Technology Officer Mark Botticelli, who was dwarfed by Ludowese’s 7-foot frame.

This entertaining moment segued into the arrival of the session’s closing keynote speaker, ESPN sportscaster Dick Vitale, affectionately referred to as “Dicky V.” After a quick introduction, Vitale explained what pride stood for in his eyes.

“Pride for me stands for people’s Perseverance, R for respect, I for intelligence, D for desire, and E for enthusiasm,” said Vitale, who related the description to the people he had met at the conference. “For me, passion plus work ethic, plus good decision-making equals ‘W’ – win.”

After relating a lifetime of “wins,” including his start with a fledgling sports station in 1979 called ESPN, Vitale closed his speech with a parting thought on life.

“Have pride in what you do, pursue your dreams to your best ability, extend a hand to one another, learn to say I love you, learn to say thank you, learn to reach out, learn to do what is right, because that’s what life is about, making good decisions. If you make good decisions, good things happen.”