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Better drivers thanks to DriveCam

June 18, 2018
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Drive Risk, in partnership with Lytx, hosted its second Lytx DriveCam User Group Conference on May 14. MARISKA MORRIS attended to learn more about this technology and its benefits for South African transport operators.

The Lytx DriveCam software records the interior and exterior of a vehicle, after which the footage is analysed and sent to Lytx clients. Drive Risk is the sole distributor of Lytx products in South Africa and offers maintenance and software support to South African Lytx customers.

Director of Drive Risk, Steve Ford, said: “The DriveCam footage is assessed by independent accident specialists and their comments are sent directly to the client to give guidance on the driver’s training.” He believes this separates DriveCam from its South African competitors.

“We use the power of video to illustrate and teach drivers what they are doing wrong. Bad behaviour is often more out of habit than a desire to disobey the rules of the road. With the footage, drivers are made aware of their bad habits, while the trainer can focus on the specific habits of a particular driver rather than just providing general training,” Ford explained.

Poorly skilled drivers are a big challenge for the South African transport industry. Therefore, Lytx and Drive Risk are teaming up with the newly established Commercial Transport Academy (CTA), which offers comprehensive training to drivers.

CTA CEO Nicci Scott was inspired to create the Academy after her own experience with the limited training available. “The majority of drivers have not been given the skills to cope with the demands of the transport industry,” she explained.

Lytx and Drive Risk used the conference as an opportunity to show existing and potential DriveCam customers the benefits of the technology through customer testimonials.

Wesley Ferreira, safety, health, environmental and quality (SHEQ) manager at Reef Tankers, noted that there has been a decline in behaviour that leads to collisions among the company’s drivers since the implementation of DriveCam.

(From the left) Gerard Kloppers, key client success manager Drive Risk Western Cape division, poses with Drive Risk director Sabelo Sithebe and Johann de Beer, senior client success manager.

“The technology was attractive to Reef Tankers as it doesn’t have to be monitored the entire day. Alerts and reports are simply emailed to us,” Ferreira noted.

Although initial implementation didn’t bring about much change for Unitrans, the transport operator has seen significant change since aligning operations to optimise the benefits offered by DriveCam.

“It is about changing the mindset and vision of the company so that drivers feel that they are contributing to the bottom line,” stated Jacques Greeff, operational excellence at Unitrans.

Lytx also highlighted innovations, which include modifications to the existing device to make it more user friendly; the introduction of the additional storage device dubbed the Lytx Hub (expected in South Africa towards the end of the year); and machine-vision technology, which is currently being piloted in South Africa.

The machine-vision technology is used to program cameras to identify in-cab activity, such as whether the driver is wearing a seatbelt.

DriveCam provides companies with more oversight regarding the transport of products, but, more importantly, it equips transport operators to prepare their drivers for the challenges they face on the road. “Drivers are core to the transport business. We should do everything in our power to make our drivers better,” Ford concluded.

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