New Video Systems Now Able to ‘See’ Vehicles, Lanes, To Better Track Driver Behavior


This story appears in the February 6 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.

The video safety systems in truck cabs are becoming smarter. Rather than simply recording video of events on the road, some of the latest systems have gained the ability to “see” the truck’s environment and draw conclusions about driver behavior.

“Machine vision” technology enables onboard cameras to track lane markings and objects such as nearby vehicles, making it possible to detect when drivers weave slightly in their lanes, travel significantly slower or faster than surrounding traffic, follow too closely, fail to stop completely at stop signs or run red lights.

These safety systems, which also collect data from other sources such as accelerometers and the engine’s electronic control unit, then can alert drivers and their fleets when dangerous situations arise, such as distracted or drowsy driving. Fleets also use the systems to coach employees on better driving habits and document when drivers are doing everything right.

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Lytx Inc., the supplier of the DriveCam video-based safety program, now offers ActiveVision, an enhanced service that employs machine vision to monitor driver behavior.

“DriveCam is the core video-based safety program that Lytx is known for, but we’ve upgraded it to have the most advanced sensor inputs and algorithms,” said Kara Kerker, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Lytx.

The event recorder, which has an outside facing lens and an inside facing lens, is equipped with sensors that make it possible for the software to see the environment ahead, Kerker said.

“Objects like road markers, lane markings and vehicles become data points that we can track,” she said. “We also can track the movement of the driver within that environment.”

Hirschbach Motor Lines, a refrigerated carrier based in Dubuque, Iowa, has installed ActiveVision on more than 200 trucks and plans to roll out the technology across its fleet of almost 1,000 trucks by the end of the first quarter.

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By Bruce Lilly
Contributing Writer

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