By Mark Boada, Executive Editor
One of the biggest safety challenges for pooled fleets is monitoring and assessing their drivers’ behavior, both over the long-term and in real time. Now, there’s an ingenious safety device that can accomplish that, and much more.
Introducing Raven by Klashwerks, a double-facing, streaming dashcam and telematics device that uses facial recognition to identify the driver piloting the vehicle. Originally launched in 2017 as a consumer-only device to enable parents to keep tabs on teen drivers, the fleet-enhanced version is being rolled out this week in Las Vegas at the CES 2019 show.
Raven plugs into a vehicle’s onboard diagnostic port and incorporates mobile phone technology for two-way communication with a home base. Like standard telematics systems, it employs a GPS system to track a vehicle’s location and to detect unsafe driving behavior, like speeding, excessive acceleration and harsh braking. It also continuously records videos of both the road ahead and the cabin, including the driver and other passengers, and saves the imagery when the vehicle experiences sharp g-forces, like those created in a collision.
Unlike typical dashcams and telematics systems, the fleet version of Raven has been equipped with a facial recognition program so that the data it collects is tied not just to the vehicle, but to the driver. This enables asset-based managed fleets to compile safety profiles with fine detail for each individual driver, which is otherwise difficult if not impossible for them.
Russel Ure, Klashwerk’s CEO and co-founder, says the company stumbled into the fleet market. “A fleet operator in Miami has bought 40 units, but he didn’t appear on our radar until he bought his eleventh,” Ure relates. “So, we contacted him, and he told us he runs a security company and that Raven was perfect for his purposes.
“And then we went through our data and found that we had a number of small fleet customers, in spite of the fact that we had done no advertising, no message or outreach to that market. It turned out they were doing their own research into what was available and decided that Raven—which we believe is the only device that incorporates dashcam, telematics and cellular technology – was the best solution.”
To attack the fleet market, Klashwerks upgraded Raven to include facial recognition and a robust fleet management reporting system, accessible via a desktop computer, tablet or cell phone. Additional features and benefits of the fleet edition of Raven include:
• Customizable dashboard display – Raven’s dashboard displays can be configured in a number of different ways to suit fleet and driver priorities.
• Navigation guidance – Raven can provide drivers with turn-by-turn route guidance.
• Dispatch messaging – Fleet administrators can send short messages to display directly on Raven’s screens, eliminating the distraction of a cell phone and ensuring timely communication.
• Geofencing technology and tracking – The system can be programmed to establish important zones and receive notifications if drivers enter or exit.
• Vehicle diagnostics – Raven can send alerts whenever vehicle problems are detected.
• All-in-one advanced security and connectivity – Always-on security monitoring safeguards fleet vehicles from break-ins, theft, hit-and-runs and equipment misuse. Smart sensors detect break-in or security breaches and trigger automated security incident phone calls. Live video to cloud provides the security of ensuring that important video information is captured and stored safely to be viewable at any time.
Klashwerks is targeting fleets of up to 100 vehicles, Ure said. Pricing begins at $299 per unit, and volume discounts are available.
“In-vehicle technologies can reduce accidents and speeding by up to 97 percent,” Ure claimed. “Leveraging the next generation of connected in-vehicle devices can unite fleet owners, their vehicles and their drivers. Devices like Raven can also help fleet owners improve fleet management oversight at a fraction of the cost versus traditional tracking technologies.”
Raven is being exhibited at CES 2019 at Booth #50528 in Eureka Park from January 8 through 11.