Being on the road all the time, truck drivers are notorious for being involved in road traffic violations. Often this costs the firm they’re driving for and their insurers a great deal of money. To try and tackle that issue San Diego based artificial intelligence (AI) startup NetraDyne has come up with a solution to the problem. Using AI and computer vision, drivers will be tracked via cameras kitted out in their vehicles.
“We want to be the leader in driver behaviour monitoring,” said president of NetraDyne, Sandeep Pandya. “There have been a few companies that have worked in the domain, but what we saw was a limitation of the technology used. They were relying on legacy systems and one-dimensional technology that didn’t give a complete view of the driver. We are changing that with computer vision.”
Telematics systems are good at what they do, but they’re nowhere near as good as AI. A driver could sail through a red light without hitting the brakes, and this would never be detected using that technology. Using AI, remote users can actually see traffic lights and can tell you what colour it is. They can also tell exactly where the driver was at the point of the lights changing colour.
Because fleet companies stand to lose so much if they suffer lots of damage claims, Pandya is confident they will be more willing to invest in companies such as NetraDyne as a way of protecting their business and reputation. “Studies show that in 80% of the time that a fleet vehicle is involved in an accident with a passenger vehicle, it is usually not the fleet driver’s fault,” says Pandya. “So having visual evidence to support this would be positive for the driver.”
It’s not all about prying into the driver’s privacy, it’s about trying to protect both the driver and company. NetraDyne is conscious about employee’s privacy needs too and for that reason there’s a custom IP that allows drivers to turn the cameras off when not on the road. This is a feature that makes the company quite unique. “Only a few percentage of companies had already adopted some form of camera technology on their fleets,” said Pandya. “So even if we get competition, there seems to be a lot of opportunities for everyone to succeed in the space. We hope to stay in front by outperforming competitors and by simply staying on the cutting edge of technology.”