Accident damage assessment, visual capture of violations, and tool tracking to cut theft and loss among them
By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
Fleets have dozens of telematics companies to choose from these days, and the competition is fierce. That’s why systems makers are adding new features to their offerings every day. But one in particular fleet managers should take a closer look at – especially those who manage service and construction fleets — is CalAmp.
CalAmp, the parent company of LoJack, the proven stolen vehicle recovery system, is a global telematics provider but not the largest player in the market, and so seeks leading-edge features to differentiate itself. And this year, the company came out with some compelling new services that add to an already attractive suite of functions.
As with most telematics systems on the market, CalAmp’s helps fleets track vehicle locations, optimize routes, monitor compliance with scheduled preventive maintenance, manage fuel consumption and expense, and enables them to detect high-risk drivers through driver behavior score cards that count the number of times a driver exceeds the speed limit, engages in jack-rabbit starts and harsh braking. The company markets its technology both directly to fleets as well as through telematics firms.
One pre-existing feature of CalAmp’s offering is CrashBoxx, which provides near-real time fleet management notification of a collision. The company claims that it can determine whether an accident has occurred with 96 percent accuracy — in other words, it’s able to distinguish collisions from other events that create anomalous g-forces. This year, CalAmp enhanced CrashBoxx by integrating it with video recordings captured via road- and driver-facing cameras with CalAmp’s robust CrashBoxx technology immediately before, during and after an accident occurs. The company calls the integrated video intelligence system CalAmp iOn Vision.
CrashBoxx was already capable of creating accident reconstruction reports, complete with data that shows when and where a collision occurred, as well as the fleet vehicle’s speed and the force and location of impact. But with CalAmp’s integration of video, fleets have, within minutes, a comprehensive collection of evidence it can use to help determine who was at fault, expedite claims processing, maximize loss recovery and mitigate frivolous lawsuits and fraud.
But with the application of edge intelligence, CalAmp’s telematics suite goes even further. For one, it provides an assessment of physical damage to expedite the repair process. Kinana Hussain, CalAmp’s vice president of product line management, explains that CrashBoxx’s sensors are able to accurately pinpoint not only the force of collision impact but precisely where on the vehicle the impact occurred. This enables CalAmp’s system to determine how severe the damage is, which can help fleet management to decide to declare the vehicle a total loss.
Another benefit of CalAmp’s video integration is to supplement the accelerometer data — which can tell whether a driver is speeding or braking harshly — with internal and external video recordings. This can put the incident into context to determine, for example, if the driver may have braked harshly because they were tailgating or because another vehicle cut them or a pedestrian jumped out into the road from between parked cars.
iOn Tags: A key benefit for service fleets
As the owner of LoJack, it may be no surprise that CalAmp has come up with a way for service fleets to cut the cost of asset thefts and lost technician equipment. The company also introduced this year its “iOn Tag” service, which involves the attaching of smart sensors to the vital equipment and tools that service fleet drivers carry to do their jobs.
The genius in the technology is that CalAmp’s telematics system senses whether the equipment is on board the vehicle any time the driver pulls out of a company depot or away from a job location. If the item isn’t in the vehicle, the telematics system quickly notifies the driver and identifies the last known location, so the driver can retrieve it.
For service and construction fleets, this is no small problem. Industry experts say that lost and stolen equipment costs organizations up to $1 billion a year.
The bottom line
Adoption of video solutions is a recent and on-going industry trend. What separates CalAmp from its competition – at least for now – are new features that deserve a look by managers of all kinds of fleets, but particularly those in field service and construction. For more information, visit https://www.calamp.com/.