Desperate for a way to eliminate distracted driving across its fleet, Loram turned to an AI startup with computer vision and deep learning technology in specialist road and rail maintenance.

Safety is a big issue in the world of truck driving. According to his 2022 study by truck fleet software vendor GPS Insight, the average fleet driver has an average of 4.5 accidents per year.

And with approximately 500 fleet trucks across North America, Loram’s truck drivers drive a total of 14,000 miles daily, or approximately 9.4 million miles annually. It leads to many accidents.

Nauto’s AI technology

After considering about a dozen systems that could assist Loram’s drivers, Graham Rose, Vehicle Fleet Manager at Loram, decided to try Nauto. Based in Palo Alto and founded in 2015, the vendor has received investments from General Motors His Ventures and BMW i Ventures.

“At the time, they were the only ones with facial recognition and distracted driving,” says Rose. “While all other cameras were able to detect violations, their primary function did not include distracted driving.”

For customers like Loram, Nauto installs tiny camera devices that use computer vision to see what’s happening on the road and what drivers are doing. According to CEO Stefan Heck, the cameras don’t record every moment of driving activity, but only the 30 seconds before and after a crash or driving violation.

The device also measures the probability of a collision if the driver is distracted or in a rear-end collision and provides audible guidance to the driver when the collision probability exceeds 30%. An alarm will sound when the Nauto device recognizes an incoming collision.

The Nauto system also produces a visual enhanced risk assessment score that informs drivers of their driving situation.

pilot program

Loram started working with Nauto in 2018. Since then, according to Rose, the Hummel, Minnesota-based road and rail maintenance company has reduced at-fault accidents by 79% and changed the driving behavior of its drivers.

“Our tailgating and cell phone use has decreased significantly,” he said. “Employees are now hands-free and are not picking up their phones or being distracted while driving.” Drivers are also using seatbelts more, he added.

While some of Loram’s veteran drivers aren’t yet convinced to put camera devices with facial recognition in their trucks, most enjoy Nauto’s protection. Company.

Initially, the driver was told that despite there being cameras, the manager did not monitor all movements. However, administrators can retroactively pull footage of what happened at a particular moment in case of an accident or violation.

“We use it as a tool. When we detect a violation or detect a moment of coaching, we go out there and look at the footage,” says Rose. Camera footage can also protect drivers from inaccurate fault claims.

The vendor’s AI technology has made drivers more aware of the dangers of distracted driving and how far their trucks have traveled during innocuous moments like drinking coffee.

“The artificial intelligence aspect has been easily embraced because analyzing the video, analyzing the timeframe, analyzing the speed will always help us improve the video,” says Rose. “I always point out things I might not see without that data.”

Analyzing the video, analyzing the time frame, analyzing the speed will always help improve the video, so the artificial intelligence side easily falls behind.

Graham RoseRollam, Fleet Manager

Facial recognition also allows Loram to track which driver drives which vehicle if the truck is damaged.

One of the problems Nauto and Loram are currently solving is getting devices to know if a high-rail truck driver, who travels on both roads and tracks, is at work. The system thinks the driver is distracted because he is working on the rails and not driving the vehicle. According to Rhodes, companies want to make exceptions for their devices in cases like this.

Nauto works not only with commercial fleets, but also with car and truck manufacturers. The device costs $400. AI vendors also charge companies using their capabilities and services between $300 and $500 per vehicle per year. Its competitors include LeddarTech, Nexar and UISEE Technology.


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