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Lightfoot launches new Live Overspeed Alerts feature

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Driver coaching and rewards platform provider Lightfoot has unveiled a new development for its fleet management package – the Live Overspeed Alerts feature.

Available to add on to the existing Lightfoot solution, this feature targets the problem of speeding within fleets, helping to prevent approximately 80% of incidents. It does this by alerting drivers whenever they travel over the speed limit through a series of audible and visual warnings via the Lightfoot dashboard device. This helps raise awareness in drivers of how fast they’re travelling whilst they’re on the road, giving them the ability to correct their driving in real-time and prevent the speeding event from occurring.

Speeding remains one of the most prevalent motoring offences in the UK, and accounts for around 13% of all accidents on Britain’s roads. For fleets, it brings with it the added disadvantages of increased wear and tear on the vehicles and the risk of damage to brand reputation if drivers are repeatedly caught travelling at illegal and unsafe speeds. It’s clear that more needs to be done to curb speeding incidents in commercial vehicles, and this latest development from Lightfoot is a great example of the tools that are available to help fleets create safer, more responsible drivers.

Find out more at Live Overspeed Alerts | Lightfoot

RoSPA study says e-scooters far safer than bicycles

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By Farooq Beloch, WhichEV 
As a new study from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents reveals that electric scooters are five times safer than bicycles: Are we about to see new legislation which revolutionises inner city travel?
Given that scooters are likely to be limited on speed, not raw power – will the UK Government allow for a broader definition of ‘electric scooter’, that might open up new ‘last mile’ delivery options for companies that want to show their green credentials?

Are British roads capable of catering for autonomous vehicles?

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This year, the UK became the first country to allow self-driving cars on motorways at low speed. The country is making incredible progress in the trials for autonomous vehicles and is funding innovative projects that will pave the way towards the transport revolution.

Technological advancements in terms of AVs are at the forefront of this revolution. But are British roads capable of catering to the future of mobility? What is the current state of our roads and what improvements need to be made to the infrastructure to welcome self-driving vehicles?

The latest news

Predictions that fully self-driving cars would be common in the UK by the end of 2021 raised many people’s hopes. But it seemed too good to be true. It turns out that we’re not ready yet to fully embrace what was once mere science fiction. Yes, we’re making incredible progress but our AI technology still has some way to go.

While we might not be seeing fully autonomous vehicles on the roads anytime soon, conditional driving automation cars are currently on the agenda. The Jaguar I-Pace model, for example, has been designed with an InControl system that allows for standard and optional driving assistance features. For this project, UK company Jaguar is developing this model in partnership with Waymo, Google’s self-driving car project.

This innovation in AVs goes hand in hand with the latest breaking news regarding AVs from 28th April 2021. The news is that vehicles that are fitted with Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) technology will be classed as self-driving (if they’re granted a GB type approval) and will be allowed on the roads. There is only one requirement: they can’t exceed a speed of 37mph.

The highway code is changing

But things don’t end there. To advance the commercialisation of AVs, the UK government is making amendments to the Highway Code, coinciding with the Code’s 90th anniversary. They address the safe use of automated vehicles, outlining this in a whole new section. Now that’s a celebration!

The new section states that the driver must remain aware while inside a self-driving vehicle. They are required to be ready to take control if needed in just a few moments. It also states that the driver is still “responsible for the vehicle being in a roadworthy condition, having a current MOT test certificate if applicable, and being taxed and insured”.

The current state of our roads

So, are AVs ready to take on the challenge of Britain’s roads? The short answer is no, but progress is being made.

The reality is that our road networks are too complex and, therefore, unsuitable for fully autonomous vehicles. It has been suggested that segregation between autonomous and manual vehicles on the roads is necessary. The proposed segregation would continue until connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) overtake petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles. This proposal would call for the construction of underpasses and bridges to ensure the safety of road users. However, this would require the construction of separated infrastructure for automated vehicles. Unfortunately, there is limited availability of land to create such separated infrastructure, and this could be quite expensive to implement.

In order to achieve the level of infrastructure needed to accommodate CAVs, a 30-year planning horizon is needed. It has been suggested that the best way to go about this would be to focus on separate sections of the roadways instead of transforming them all at once.

Communication systems are also crucial to ensure the optimal performance of CAVs. They rely heavily on data transfer through the Internet, which might not be perfect in all areas at the moment.

Another obstacle that needs to be overcome is road markings and traffic signs. The visibility and clarity of these must be maintained, and it may be necessary to digitise signs and markings too. This will also help CAVs to recognise them and action them.

Roadway design advancements

On the bright side, many projects that aim to improve current road infrastructure are in the pipeline.

CAVIAR (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: Infrastructure Appraisal Readiness), for example, is a project carried out between Highways England, Loughborough University, and the construction company Galliford Try. The project won Highways England’s innovation and air quality competition in 2019 and was awarded £1m. It focuses on one of the main pain points of CAV’s innovation: the complexity of the British roadway design.

The CAVIAR platform is set out to be a simulation that examines real raw data. This will allow for an understanding of how CAVs respond to dynamic lane changes, environmental conditions, and road merging.

“This research will build on our understanding and give us further insight into how connected and autonomous vehicles would operate on England’s motorways and major A roads and what challenges they may face”, said John Mathewson, Senior ITS Advisor at Highways England.

Further initiatives to support the improvement of the roadway infrastructure are also present. A ‘smart city hub’ is being built in Ireland. It will allow for autonomous vehicle technology to be tested on 7.5 miles of complex roads. The project is being led by Jaguar Land Rover with the aim of testing its sensory data through various simulations.

Another trial route is being developed on the roads between Coventry and Birmingham. The 186-mile Midlands Future Mobility route uses existing road infrastructure for about 95% of the route. “Smart CCTV, weather stations, communications units, and highly accurate GPS” will be implemented to further support the research.

Yes, fully autonomous vehicles are still on the agenda, and it might take some time until we reach that stage of CAV’s development. However, the extensive research that is being performed on British roadway design in recent years sets us up for success one step at a time.

Yodel enhances fleet safety with SmartDrive

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Yodel, the UK independent parcel carrier, has enhanced its fleet safety programme and reduced collision rates over its HGV fleet, using SmartDrive Systems’ managed service video-based safety programme.

The company operates a proactive, ongoing safety improvement programme – implementing the latest technology across all aspects of its fleet to ensure continuous improvement.

The investment in SmartDrive’s video-safety programme has seen Yodel exceed its annual fleet safety target regarding collision reduction, in just six months, as well as exonerating its drivers when not-at-fault and providing protection from fraudulent claims.

Yodel Head of Fleet and Transport, Andy Yemm says: “With SmartDrive we benefit from objective risk scoring of on-road instances and follow up with driver coaching. It was great news to hear that, on the strength of data from the SmartDrive programme, our insurer accepted that our new proactive approach to road safety was capable of significantly reducing our collision risk.”

Yodel decided to adopt a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to on-road fleet risk in 2019 and spent considerable time examining offerings from various camera suppliers. After an intensive head-to-head trial period, it chose SmartDrive.

While other systems would have required the Yodel driver-trainer team to assess thousands of pieces of footage, SmartDrive’s managed service approach means that all footage is reviewed and risk scored in a consistent and objective manner by SmartDrive’s trained safety professionals. It is then made available to Yodel with coaching insights, via an easy-to-use online portal, which was a key benefit for the company.

Yemm says without SmartDrive it would have taken huge internal resources to manage this amount of data effectively and, in practical terms, would have been impossible to implement and objectively use as part of a proactive driver safety improvement programme.

He says his team now has clear guidance as to which incidents to follow up with specified levels of intervention, from debriefing to coaching.

Yemm says the risk scored camera footage is more effective than a driver-trainer assessing from the cab because it generates more reliable real-world observations. The footage is risk scored against a comprehensive list of observations by SmartDrive’s risk analysts.

He says having cameras on the vehicles had an immediate effect on driver behaviour, but the value of the system is the guided coaching.

To find out more email info@smartdrive.net, visit our website, or give us a call on 01442 345180.

When the clocks go back, vehicle attacks increase. Are you prepared?

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By Locks 4 Vans

As a Fleet Manager you are responsible for reducing costs, improving efficiency and ensuring compliance across your operation. As the darker evenings draw in, one aspect that undoubtedly moves up the agenda at this time of year is vehicle security.

We see a sharp increase in vehicle attacks during autumn and winter. These are not only costly to repair but they also negatively impact day-to-day operations due to the downtime of the vehicle off the road. With one van broken into every 23 minutes, it is not a statistic that Fleet Managers can ignore. 

Locks 4 Vans is the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of high security van theft deterrents and we are trusted by leading corporate fleets such as DHL, DPD and Network Rail. Our robust supplementary van locking solutions provide added vehicle security and peace of mind for Fleet Managers. 

We work with the leading vehicle conversion companies including Sortimo, Bri-Stor, Modul-System and Edstrom to help provide a seamless service for you. 

Contact us for advice or a risk assessment and we’ll talk you through the right option for your vehicle and budget. 

For safety’s sake, when was the last time you checked your fleet and drivers?

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By DriveTech

DriveTech, leaders in driver risk management and driver training and from the AA, have a new PULSE Fleet Risk Health Check service that could really help you save money and lives.

PULSE is a comprehensive and actionable fleet risk health check for the business community covering policies, drivers, vehicles and journeys – helping you to appreciate where the business is currently, and what the business leaders might need to prioritise for action. It’s an ideal way to kick-start a full appraisal of the organisation’s approach to driver risk, or a means of re-calibrating an existing driver risk programme that has not been reviewed for a significant period.

It will ensure that you work towards conforming to Health & Safety at Work legislation that extends to your drivers, and will also identify key aspects of your duty of care and whether you are providing this adequately, or perhaps it is in need of a re-focus and improvement. Our commitment is to help improve driver safety on-road, reduce collisions (and therefore reparation costs), save lives and help manage your reputation.

Our innovative fleet risk and driver training solutions help fleets ensure legal compliance, improve driver competence and reduce operating costs. 

DriveTech is also the UK’s largest provider of police diversionary training courses working with 34 police forces across the country.

Find out more about DriveTech’s comprehensive services for fleets, including PULSE at https://www.drivetech.co.uk/global-business-fleet-solutions/ , telephone: 01256 610907 or email: tellmemore@drivetech.co.uk

Lytx’s MV+AI technology explained

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By Lytx

The innovative DriveCam® helps improve fleet safety by watching for risky driving behaviours on the road and in the vehicle.

The device’s advanced machine vision (MV) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology analyses driver behaviour and nearby vehicles to determine how a driver is performing relative to their surroundings. Specific driver behaviours such as following too closely or texting while driving, trigger the DriveCam to flag and “trigger” the event.

Lytx’s MV+AI technology helps fleets by providing an expanded view of risk. The insights from MV+AI can reveal if a driver needs to work on reducing a certain behaviour or if certain risky behaviours are appearing among all drivers. If this is the case, a business-wide initiative to improve safety may need to be implemented.

Lytx’s MV+AI technology uses information from several sensors at once to identify risky situations and driving behaviours. Machine vision can see and recognise objects and behaviour by analysing images and video data. AI interprets and learns from those images and video data to determine the likelihood that a particular event or behaviour occurred. The combination of information from video and other sensors in and around the vehicle, called video telematics, provides information to help the artificial intelligence learn—similar to the way our brains rely on information from each or our senses to understand what is happening around us.

Identifying and coaching risky behaviour is one of the most important steps in improving overall fleet safety. Lytx’s fleet management solutions use machine vision and artificial intelligence technology that helps uncover previously undetected risky driving behaviours so that fleet managers can coach their drivers to improve.

Contact Lytx to see how your team can benefit from this revolutionary technology.

For more information, visit: https://www.lytx.com/en-gb/about-us/our-technology/machine-vision-artificial-intelligence

Lightfoot backs Brake’s National Road Victim Month

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Lightfoot, the award-winning in-cab driver technology and rewards platform, has announced that it is one of the chief sponsors of a major new virtual fleet safety exhibition being run and organised by Brake, as part of National Road Victim Month.

The Global Fleet Champion Virtual Fleet Exhibition, which takes place this August, sees several of the industry’s leaders in driver safety come together to help reduce accidents and fatalities experienced on the roads, not just in the UK but also around the world.

Showcasing projects, partnerships and products involving fleet operators and suppliers, the event is designed to highlight how initiatives can be used to improve road safety. Brake sees this as vital in the drive to reduce collisions caused by and involving ‘at work’ drivers, who account for one in three crashes on our roads each year.

Lightfoot, which is one of seven partners to participate in the event, has been chosen as its technology plays a key role in reducing accidents and instances of dangerous driving amongst users.  Its innovative in-cab driver feedback helps cut at-fault accidents by up to 40% and helps fleets achieve greater efficiency from their vehicles with fuel savings of up to 15%. Lightfoot additionally reduces harmful emissions by up to 15%, and wear and tear costs by as much as 45%.

Lightfoot’s impact on driver safety has led to endorsements from many of the UK’s leading Insurers and Brokers, due to the effectiveness of its pocket-sized dashboard display device, which uses live engine data to provide drivers with real-time visual and audible feedback, helping fleets to improve efficiency and safety one mile at a time.  

Lightfoot’s disruptive approach, based on nudge psychology with input from the Institute of Advanced Motorists and leading driver-behaviour experts at Bath University, uses advanced, real-time engine analytics to help drivers improve both efficiency and safety, rewarding them for being better through a unique driver gamification and rewards platform. 

Tests undertaken by Bath University’s Institute of Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems have proven a direct correlation between Lightfoot’s in-cab visual alerts and reductions in NOx. Its studies show that if drivers half the number of lights lit up on Lightfoot’s pocket-sized in-cab dashboard device, a fivefold reduction in NOx is achieved.

Encouraging smoother, safer driving, Lightfoot gives users full insight into their performance and score via its end of journey score and rewards app. The app provides access to exclusive competitions, which drivers can opt into as soon as they achieve Lightfoot’s ‘Elite Driver’ standard; the point at which fleets see the biggest falls in accidents, the best efficiencies and savings across the board. 

In addition to the highly popular cash-prize Drivers’ Lottery, drivers can enter competitions for a range of other prizes that serve as an incentive to maintain a smoother driving style.

Considered revolutionary in the fleet management and telematics worlds, Lightfoot’s disruptive approach to reducing accidents has been adopted by some of the largest companies in the market, including Virgin Media, Dixons Carphone, and South West Water. 

Martin Kadhim, Partnerships Director at Lightfoot, commented: “Safety on the roads should be an organisation’s number one priority, both to its workforce and members of the public. That sits at the heart of what we do at Lightfoot, and its why we’re big supporters of National Road Victim Month, the Global Fleet Champions campaign and its virtual exhibition.

“Our obsession at Lightfoot lies in reducing accidents on the road. It’s precisely why we reward better driving. Only if a driver wants to be better and has a vested interest in doing so can you have any certainty of actual change. Achieve that, and you instantly increase safety on the road. It’s why motivation and reward sit at the core of all we do.

“But we also go further,” adds Martin Kadhim. “On top of that, we provide fleet managers with a suite of other services and technology to better protect the health and wellbeing of their staff. This includes our First Notice of Loss (FNOL) service, enabling businesses to protect drivers by alerting fleet managers to incidents and accidents, enhancing their Duty of Care. Now, those responsible for fleets can instantly assess the level of response required following an incident and can contact drivers so that they can establish if attendance by the emergency services is required.”

Many companies who turn to Lightfoot have had telematics systems for years, which have always provided a wealth of data to managers who are then relied on to communicate this information back to drivers. Companies have realised that this approach is fundamentally broken and the wrong way around. Instead, they look to Lightfoot’s bottom-up approach to engage and reward drivers, empowering those in the driving seat to effect change. 

Using smart technology, which takes account of different factors such as load and road gradient, Lightfoot provides live, visual and audio in-cab coaching which instantly changes driving style ‘in the moment’. Combined with encouraging end-of-journey scores, rewards packages, driver leagues and the Lightfoot app, which provides weekly competitions for Elite Drivers to enter, Lightfoot is helping to create a new breed of safe and efficient drivers on our roads.

To find out more about how Lightfoot can engage with your drivers to drive fleet performance improvements, visit https://www.lightfoot.co.uk/.

To find out more about events taking place as part of The Global Fleet Champions Virtual Fleet Exhibition, visit    https://globalfleetchampions.org/virtual-fleet-exhibition/

68% think In-car technology is a dangerous distraction

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68% of motorists say they’ve noticed an increase in other drivers being distracted by dashboard controls or using their mobile phones, but just 13% admit to being side-tracked themselves when driving.

The somewhat paradoxical findings are from a survey carried out by Venson Automotive Solutions that also shows that while 38% of drivers use hands-free/Bluetooth in-car technology for making phone calls whilst driving, nearly a fifth admitted to balancing the ‘phone somewhere to keep an eye on it, such as a cup holder, when using it as a satnav.

The survey results come as the Department of Transport (DfT) has announced a review of roads policing that will look at ways of reducing road casualties and deaths, and is asking for evidence on in-car technology and how this could be increasing accident risks as well as reducing it.

Businesses and fleet managers are recommended by Venson to impress on drivers the dangers of being distracted by their in-car tech and ensure robust processes are in place to meet their duty of care obligations. 

Drivers currently risk six penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine if they use a hand-held phone or satnav when driving. For motorists who passed their driving test within 2 years of being caught, the consequences are even more severe – they will automatically lose their licence and have to reapply and pay for a new provisional licence – passing both theory and practical parts of the driving test again to get a full licence.

However, the Venson survey shows that people’s appetite for more advanced in-car tech is growing – even if it isn’t in their current vehicle; 67% saying they would use a dashboard satnav if it were available in their car and nearly 50% of people surveyed said that they would like to have an emergency call button in their car in case of being involved in a road accident.

An app which informs the driver about the health of their vehicle’s tyres would also be welcomed by 48% of people, while 43% would make use of driver assistance technology such as cruise control, lane departure detection and speed limit exceeded notifications. 

In contrast, only 26% of people surveyed said they would like to see entertainment or lifestyle dashboard technology, such as apps that play music or offer concierge services.

Simon Staton, Client Management Director at Venson, said: “We may have some of the safest roads in the world, but anything that can be done to reduce the number of casualties on our roads is to be welcomed. The advances made in in-car technology have moved on very quickly, and as they become standard in new vehicles, the scope for driver distraction also grows. We look forward to the results and recommendations from the DfT review and would encourage businesses and fleetmanagers to get involved in the consultation process.”

The review is open for input until 5th October 2020.   More information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/roads-policing-review-future-methods-to-improve-safety-and-reduce-causalities

Redstone Rail enhances driver safety

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Real-time audible feedback proves incredibly effective in changing driver behaviour in less than two weeks. Redstone Rail Ltd, a market leader in the supply of specialist engineering resource to the Rail industry, has announced that it has installed Lightfoot’s award-winning in-cab technology across its fleet of 30 commercial vehicles.

Introduced to ensure enhanced safety, Lightfoot’s driver behaviour technology has seen an immediate improvement in driver awareness and performance, while increasing MPG by 5.3%. 

Redstone Rail enhances driver safety.