Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

SmartDrive, Geotab single on-board box

William Payne
November 1, 2018


Video-based safety and transportation intelligence specialist SmartDrive Systems is collaborating with telematics specialist Geotab to provide fleets with integrated solutions using the SmartDrive platform as a single on-board data collection hub. The two companies are aiming to simplify on-board technology and lower the total cost of ownership. 

SmartDrive provides "one box that powers it all," offering a single integrated and aligned understanding of time, location, and driver and vehicle performance to third-party applications. The aim is to provide fleets with the ability to pick best-of-breed solutions without the additional costs of managing and maintaining multiple onboard devices.

"The ability to integrate and operate applications from a single data collection platform breaks through significant technology and operational barriers—unlocking efficiency gains for fleets across routes, drivers and risk," commented Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO. "Collaborating with Geotab allows us to make good on the promise of convergence with a company that shares our commitment to providing open, connected and flexible solutions for fleets of every size. We believe this is a transformational shift—and it's only the beginning of what is possible for our customers."

The two companies hope to address the needs of fleets struggling with how to manage the number of devices on the windshield and the connection of those devices in the vehicle. Video-based safety cameras, electronic logging devices and advanced driver assist system (ADAS) sensors are causing fleets to look for integrated solutions that solve the hardware and data overload problem. Beyond the number of devices on the vehicle, fleets also are contending with the cost to install, maintain and train on each of these technologies. With the migration from 3G cellular networks to 4G, and resulting need to upgrade onboard hardware, fleets have an opportunity to re-think and streamline their technology strategy.

"For too long, traditional telematics systems have saddled fleets like ours with costly hardware that is expensive to maintain and upgrade, and monthly subscription costs that continue to escalate," stated Matt Penland, vice president of safety, Cypress Truck Lines. "There has to be a better way. Fleets should have the same freedom and flexibility to consolidate devices and applications that we all now have on our cell phones. The technology is available to make this possible."

The SmartDrive platform provides a unified video and telematics data stream that is leveraged by third parties to power their applications. This same data stream supports the SmartDrive video safety programme, ADAS and transportation analytics applications. 

Through this collaboration, Geotab telematics and compliance offerings take advantage of the SmartDrive single box architecture and unified data stream, eliminating redundancy across hardware, cellular connectivity, GPS modules, connections to the ECU and cabling. It also provides data alignment across the two providers' applications, unlocking new fleet performance insights and eliminating problematic data discrepancies.

"Geotab's open platform centres on a reliable, scalable and secure approach to data access for business solutions," said Colin Sutherland, executive vice president of sales, Geotab. "We have always said that our hardware is agnostic. The SmartDrive video hardware integration is a solution that not only leverages Geotab's platform strength to incorporate data from non-Geotab hardware, but it is a great example of telematics solutions that extend the capital investments across multiple solution providers." 

Geotab collects more than three billion data points daily from over one million vehicles. The company provides access to to critical business intelligence and benchmarking data to help increase productivity, reduce fuel consumption, improve driver safety and strengthen compliance.

The integration with Geotab will be generally available early in the first quarter 2019, and the SmartDrive convergence early adopter programme is in progress. Current and prospective customers will be able to take advantage of the integration to Geotab from either the SmartDrive SR3 or SR4 platform. Released in March 2018, the new SR4 hardware includes unprecedented compute power in a small, flexible footprint; new sensors for advanced risk identification and real-time driver-assist; innovative architecture enabling the convergence of data, devices and network connectivity; new analytics supported by SmartDrive SmartIQ; and a best-in-class video safety programme.