Omnitracs Outlook 2017 Alexa demonstration Photo: Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner
Omnitracs demonstrated potential uses of Amazon Alexa at its Outlook user conference in 2017.

Omnitracs builds custom Amazon Alexa skill for fleet

P&S Transportation execs can now access fleet data via voice commands.

Fleet management systems provider Omnitracs announced that its Data and Analytics team has completed an Amazon Alexa skill for P&S Transportation, a long-haul and regional flatbed trucking company based in Birmingham, AL. The fleet now has access to Omnitracs' Ivi (phonetically "Ivy") Fleet Manager private skill.

Executives at P&S Transportation are used to logging in to systems and manually looking up information on company performance. They are also limited by where and when they can view these reports.

The new voice-assisted analytics from Omnitracs is designed to allow for easier access to key business data and a more natural way of interacting with the information. P&S users will be able to access the data at work, at home, and on any Alexa-enabled device. To get started after an approved administrator enables the skill, the user simply says, “Alexa, open Ivi.”

“We are constantly looking for better ways to deliver information to our users,” said Mauricio Paredes, vice president of technology at P&S Transportation. “The same Omnitracs analytics team that built our driver-retention model helped us create a new delivery method for our management to review key performance metrics.”

Photo: P&S Transportation

For the past three years, Omnitracs has offered its fleet customers analytics models to predict voluntary driver turnover and prevent accidents through its driver retention model, which the company says has decreased turnover by 10%—a significant reduction given increasing industry turnover trends.

Alexa skills are to Alexa what third-party apps are to a smartphone, Omnitracs explains. With the new Amazon Alexa skill, managers at P&S can ask Alexa questions about the business like how many total miles were billed or accident costs each day—without having to log into multiple systems and comb through reports.

Omnitracs notes that its analytics team won an Alexa "hackathon" last year for creating a system where Alexa users could get information on driver performance using Omnitracs telematics data. With this system, rather than logging into an internal portal, fleet managers could ask Alexa for info such as how many drivers were on-duty, in violation, or had hard-braking events that day.

“Busy fleet managers should be able to get quick updates about their fleets—from their phones, offices, or homes—just like they would a weather update,” contended Brad Taylor, vice president of data and IoT solutions at Omnitracs. He added that the company is looking forward to developing similar functionalities for other customers. 

“We see the combination of this with predictive analytics as very powerful,” he said.

 

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