Omnitracs recently agreed to acquire SmartDrive in a deal they say unites two transportation technology leaders, allowing them to offer a converged, end-to-end platform intended to optimize safety, driver productivity, routing, dispatch and compliance.
Omnitracs specializes in SaaS-based fleet management and data analytics, and SmartDrive specializes in video-based transportation safety.
The companies maintain pervasive connectivity, advanced hardware, and the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), are a few of the technology advancements that promise to unlock value and improve efficiency across all aspects of the $60-billion transportation technology industry. But unlocking that value in the highly fragmented fleet business requires sufficient data and correlation.
The new combined company will—for the first time, they say—unite driving context with operational insight across hundreds of billions of data points to transform the experience for the driver, back office, and customer service.
Omnitracs and SmartDrive said the deal is expected to close by the end of 2020.
“By integrating SmartDrive’s unparalleled transportation intelligence platform, video safety hardware and risk analysis service offering with the Omnitracs One platform, we can deliver a converged solution built on AI and ML that redefines the future of commercial transportation today,” said Ray Greer, chief executive officer at Omnitracs. “Real-time risk mitigation, streamlined data flows from the cab and vehicle sensors to dispatch and the back office, and a superior driver experience will be brought together to improve safety, efficiency and operational excellence.
“We have long admired SmartDrive’s customer-centric approach to technology innovation and world-class support and service. We look forward to welcoming the talented SmartDrive team to the Omnitracs family.”
There is no one-size-fits all solution for today’s fleets: the needs of oil and gas operations are different from those of general freight, and both differ from local delivery and many other transportation operations. Both Omnitracs and SmartDrive have built businesses around providing enterprise-grade, flexible and adaptive solutions that can anticipate and address the distinct operating requirements of each fleet they serve.
Together, their depth of experience across decades of partnerships will enable the combined company to uniquely support complexity at scale, the companies said.
“We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with Omnitracs and look forward to realizing and advancing the promise of convergence to the benefit of our shared customers,” stated Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive’s CEO. “In Omnitracs, we have a like-minded company, seeing the power of data for innovation and solving material fleet and transportation industry challenges.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the significant role of commercial drivers, as the trucking sector has been instrumental to ensuring the availability of critical medical supplies and equipment, as well as essential consumer goods. Given the shortage of qualified drivers and high turnover rates, creating and sustaining a favorable driver experience (DX) is imperative to fleets’ success. However, recent transportation technology advancements have resulted in a proliferation of devices and sensors, the need for multiple cellular connections, siloed data streams that create redundancies, and other inefficiencies that stem from disparate onboard and back-office systems.
SmartDrive’s video-based safety program integrated with Omnitracs’ driver workflow, and complemented by the companies’ years of collective transportation intelligence present an opportunity to streamline and enhance DX. The combined company will seek to deliver the “most complete and intelligent DX,” with the right in-cab and back-office decision making, alerting and driver coaching.
“We’ve had great partnerships with both Omnitracs and SmartDrive over the years. We are excited to see these two companies come together,” said Chad England, chief executive officer for C.R. England. “We are confident that the integration of offerings will create efficiencies for C.R. England. We congratulate both Omnitracs and SmartDrive on their new relationship and look forward to the future.”