Trimble
Trimble Instinct

Dart targets lower accident ratio with Trimble in-cab coaching solution

Sept. 13, 2023
Dart Transit Company has selected Trimble's Instinct and Video Intelligence platform to improve their driver coaching and safety, all backed up by video segments.

It's the age of nuclear verdicts. According to a 2020 ATRI report, payouts in truck-related lawsuits jumped from $2.3 million to $22.3 million fleets between 2010 and 2018. This means fleets not only need to have smart and safe vehicles, but even smarter, safer drivers. Dart Transit Company, a truckload dry van carrier, is aiming to create those drivers with Trimble’s Instinct and Video Intelligence platform.

“You've got to take every precaution you can,” said John Stomps, CEO of Dart Transit. “But no matter what you do, no matter what systems you have placed, sometimes it's still not enough. You’re still worried about [nuclear verdicts] every day.”

Read more: ATRI: Trucking sees increase in 'small' verdicts, settlements

This is why it’s important to have another set of eyes in and on a vehicle at all times, both to help drivers stay safe, and protect them should an accident occur.

“Your goal in trucking is to put your safest drivers in the truck, but you've got to give them the tools that can help them be safe, especially in this environment,” Stomps emphasized. “It is to help the driver, to give him every available tool to be able to feel safe and to be safe.”

Trimble’s Instinct Ecosystem and Video Intelligence platforms do just this, with the former providing an in-cab suite of applications, including a driving app, electronic logging device, media manager, CoPilot navigation system, route lists and previews, and voice prompts for coaching. Meanwhile, the latter includes forward, side, and rear-facing cameras with company-controlled, AI-powered video settings that can provide real-time visual and voice notifications to drivers and the back office if it detects issues with following distance, lane departure, driver fatigue, and more. Additionally, the Video Intelligence system can record specific events based on the vehicle health, too.

“There’s a lot of truck-based events that the device will record,” said Paul Cardosi, VP of Trimble Mobility Business. “It will measure the speed of the truck, if the truck is experiencing harsh events, such as a harsh break, harsh acceleration, and harsh cornering.”

These features, from the video recording to the driver interface, are meant to work with a fleet’s driver coaching program to increase their safety and efficiency.

“By reinforcing good driving, you're seeing less risky driving or potential crashes actual crashes," Cardosi noted. “And if you have a safer program through better coaching, then it means you're going to have less cases to defend. The driver will be more likely to be exonerated through the video evidence, and you're going to have trucks on the road longer with fewer crashes.”

Stomps agreed, stating that Trimble’s ability to create personalized driver profiles indicating what habits they may need to break or strengthen will help the company lower their accident ratio while keeping, and creating, the best driver possible.

“The whole thing is based on grading and picking out your problem children,” Stomps said. “You're trying to coach them and get these people back to where they need to be.”

Between helping guide good drivers with one or two bad habits and providing extra evidence should a road event occur, Dart Transit and Trimble’s goal is ultimately safety for the driver.

“You're looking at keeping your accident ratios down as low as possible, obviously, and you want to keep your drivers clean as possible with no CSA violations,” Stomps said. “That’s what you’re using the systems for.”

About the Author

Alex Keenan

Alex Keenan is an Associate Editor for Fleet Maintenance magazine. She has written on a variety of topics for the past several years and recently joined the transportation industry, reviewing content covering technician challenges and breaking industry news. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.