SmartDrive Systems announced a collaboration with telematics developer Geotab at the American Trucking Associations' Management Conference & Exhibition in Austin, Texas, on Oct. 28. The new partnership will provide fleets with integrated telematics solutions that use the SmartDrive platform as a single on-board data collection hub.
SmartDrive and Geotab said a primary goal of their relationship is helping to simplify the on-board technology footprint, giving fleets the freedom to choose solutions that fit their business and their budget, and dramatically lowering the total cost of ownership. For the first time, the companies say, fleets will be able to select solutions without incurring the additional costs associated with managing and maintaining multiple onboard devices.
"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," said Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO. "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."
With the growth of technology in the cab, Mitgang said fleets are struggling with how to manage the number of devices on the windshield and the connection of those devices in the vehicle. Video-based safety cameras, electronic logging devices and advanced driver assist system (ADAS) sensors are causing fleets to look for integrated solutions that solve the hardware and data overload problem. Beyond the number of devices on the vehicle, fleets also are contending with the cost to install, maintain and train on each of these technologies. With the migration from 3G cellular networks to 4G, and resulting need to upgrade onboard hardware, fleets have an opportunity to re-think and streamline their technology strategy.
"For too long, traditional telematics systems have saddled fleets like ours with costly hardware that is expensive to maintain and upgrade, and monthly subscription costs that continue to escalate," said Matt Penland, vice president of safety, Cypress Truck Lines. "There has to be a better way. Fleets should have the same freedom and flexibility to consolidate devices and applications that we all now have on our cell phones. The technology is available to make this possible."
Mitgang said SmartDrive platform provides a unified video and telematics data stream that is easily 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 SmartDrive single box architecture and unified data stream, eliminating redundancy across hardware, cellular connectivity, GPS modules, connections to the ECU and cabling. It also provides data alignment across the two providers' applications, unlocking new fleet performance insights and eliminating problematic data discrepancies.
As a result of the SmartDrive-Geotab collaboration, fleets can now benefit from:
- 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."
The integration with Geotab will be generally available early in the first quarter 2019, and the SmartDrive convergence early adopter program is in progress. Current and prospective customers will be able to take advantage of the integration to Geotab from either the SmartDrive SR3 or SR4 platform.