Distracted driving is a major issue for all drivers, including those whose job descriptions include getting behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle.
Commercial drivers who text while driving are 23.2 times more likely to be involved in a “safety-critical event” (e.g. crash, near-crash or unintentional lane deviation), according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The clear risks of DWD (Driving While Distracted) along with government regulation are driving enterprise demand for solutions suitable for the commercial trucking sector.
SafeCell, a project being developed at the AT&T Foundry® in Israel, offers a carrier-agnostic application that can track and enforce policy on personal and corporate owned mobile devices carried by commercial drivers. AT&T is testing the integration of SafeCell into its Enterprise LBS (Location Based Services) and transport services in order to provide holistic fleet and mobile management solution. SafeCell is a software update that can be implemented on existing AT&T hardware installed in the cabs of corporate vehicles, and also shows up as an app on the mobile devices of commercial drivers.
In January 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration implemented new rules for commercial truck drivers on the use of mobile phones, radios and other communications devices. The new regulations are designed to limit distracted driving and make the road a safer place for everyone. At AT&T, we’ve made reducing distracted driving a priority for all drivers, and saw a clear opportunity in the commercial space.
AT&T expects to launch SafeCell Enterprise® soon. Businesses will be able to monitor employee use of company owned devices via GPS, including items such as how fast employees are driving, and whether employees are complying with the established policies. This information, along with vehicle monitoring data, will be combined in a single dashboard. SafeCell Enterprise will also allow an employer to block use of applications while in-transit, such as email, social media sites, texting and web browsing.
AT&T will continue its drive for leadership in Fleet Management solutions. The SafeCell integration program is expected to differentiate AT&T by one day providing:
- Simplicity of fleet management. An AT&T offer of a holistic and effortless customer experience for fleet managers. Allow policy enforcement and management reporting for mobile device usage side by side with the tracking and management records of AT&T fleet AVL (Automatic Fleet Location) solutions
- Interoperability. Ability to perform the above functionality for a company’s universe of devices without regard to the cellular network on which the devices operate, e.g. COU devices might be AT&T while driver’s personal devices might be operating on a network from another carrier.
- Crossing connection boundaries. Possible AT&T network integration that leverages functions and apps such as those developed for AT&T DriveMode.
- Gamification. Gaming and reward program integrated into the SafeCell app. Users could accrue 1 point for every 1 mile driven while adhering to all applicable cellular guidelines.
Steve Lauderdale is an experienced IT professional and worked in various parts of AT&T for more than 16 years. His passion for innovation and his broad understanding of the industry have been key assets to Foundry's success as well as supporting AT&T IT Innovation.