San Diego. Qualcomm Inc. unveiled new solutions and product enhancements this week intended to further support driver safety and offer greater flexibility for private and for-hire fleets. The announcements came during the company’s biennial customer conference, Vision 2012, held here in its headquarters city.
The new offerings include the integration of onboard sensors from Takata and the integration of additional on-board sensor messages from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC to Qualcomm’s Critical Event Reporting (CER) application. Both enhancements are available immediately to new and existing Qualcomm Mobile Computing Platform customers.
Takata’s SafeTrak Lane Departure Warning System combines a small video camera and sophisticated machine vision software to view the road ahead, warning drivers if they unintentionally leave their lanes or if their driving becomes erratic. This enhancement extends beyond the vehicle cab to the back office, where carriers can access a consolidated view of driver performance data from different third-party sensors and other CER-related information, including hours of service. Displayed via an intuitive user interface within the CER application, the factual data is aggregated and captures real-time event information to help fleet and safety managers tailor training based on a driver’s performance and specific needs.
“With all of the distractions on the road today, drivers can benefit from automated, intuitive systems that help them improve safety,” said Norm Ellis, vice president of sales, services and marketing for Qualcomm Enterprise Services. “By integrating Takata’s technology with our Critical Event Reporting application, we are delivering on a very real need — to bring added peace of mind to our fleet customers who are committed to preventative safety measures.”
The integration of the Bendix Wingman Advanced system also expands Qualcomm’s product offerings designed to help enable safer driving practices. Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, the Bendix Wingman Advanced system uses throttle reduction, engine retarder and brake application to decelerate the vehicle to maintain a set following distance. Wingman Advanced can help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or help reduce their severity, particularly if drivers are momentarily distracted and the lead vehicle suddenly slows.
A stationary object alert incorporated into Bendix Wingman Advanced also provides audible and visual alerts to the driver when the vehicle is approaching a stationary metallic object blocking the lane of travel, such as a car, a steel drum or other metallic obstruction blocking the lane of travel. The alert is designed to give the driver up to three seconds before a potential impact, helping him or her to respond to the impending threat. The warning is always available above 10 miles per hour.
“We recognize that fleet managers need to accurately monitor driver behavior behind the wheel and understand that dedicated adherence to safety is what keeps fleets on the road. Our work with the Bendix Wingman ensures that we can continue to help our customers operate the safest fleets possible and puts actionable information in fleet managers’ fingertips to help them succeed,” Ellis noted.
“In working with our Safety Advisory Boards, the [desire on the part of fleets] to develop a culture of safety just rang out,” he told Fleet Owner. “I see us spending a large part of our R&D budget on that. Safety enhances productivity and customer service, too. It helps fleets to operate more profitably. It allows them to provide more reliable, predictable levels of service. Safety really underpins everything.”
Qualcomm also announced the upcoming availability of NaviGo 4.0 powered by Telogis In-Cab Navigation. The new version of NaviGo will be available later this summer on the Mobile C Platform 110 and 200 ( MCP110 and MCP200) According to Qualcomm, users will benefit from navigation enhancements including on- and off-board routing and point of interest searches. As is the case with the current version, 4.0 will be optimized with Qualcomm’s proprietary In-Motion user interface to minimize driver distraction, as well as integrate seamlessly with its Circle of Service workflow and other applications.
“The enhanced capabilities of NaviGo 4.0 powered by Telogis offered on our MCP 110 and 200 and integrated with our leading applications will help fleets further alleviate many of the challenges impacting fleet operations,” said Ellis. “Accurate navigation is key to helping fleets increase productivity, improve driving safety, enhance customer satisfaction and reduce costs.
“We continue to reinvent ourselves,” Ellis told Fleet Owner. “Technology has changed so much since the company began. Back then, we could not have done the things [that data speed and delivery capacity] enable us to do today. I hope we are on the forefront of developing and delivering solutions that anybody can use, regardless of the size of their operation.
“We are a great channel for people who want to bring new applications to the market,” he added. “My personal goal is to have one million on-air subscribers. You have to earn your share of that space-- by providing great quality, being cost-competitive, flexible and easy-to-work-with.”
The company has already achieved a major milestone when it comes to the adoption of its Hours of Service (QHOS) application. Ellis announced during the opening session of Vision 2012 that more than 140,000 users across more than 500 fleets have deployed QHOS. The system automates driver logs and is compliant with current electronic onboard recorder (EOBR) regulations.
During the conference, Qualcomm also announced that it is now offering customers more flexibility with monthly data plans. A new terrestrial broadband option is designed to make it more cost effective for private and for-hire fleets to adopt data-intensive applications, such as In-Cab Scanning and Media Manager, rather than incur transactions charges per page.
Sylectus, a business unit of Qualcomm Enterprise Services, also launched MyPro for private fleets with fewer than 400 trucks. MyPro is a secure, web-based transportation management software application developed to enable fleets to create their own secure partner network to take on bigger jobs, without expensive technology investments. Features include built-in dispatch, billing and driver settlement tools, flexible integration with many technology platforms and electronic document management and reporting capabilities.