inthinc: Helping Fleets Operate Safely, Efficiently & In Compliance

Tell us about inthinc and the solu­tions you offer fleets.

inthinc Tech­nol­o­gy Solu­tions is a glob­al solu­tions provider with a suite of ser­vices that help fleets oper­ate safe­ly, effi­cient­ly and in com­pli­ance with reg­u­la­tions.

Safe­ty is our first pri­or­i­ty. We made our name in safe­ty with our unique dri­ver-focused sys­tem and a set of fea­tures that is unmatched in the indus­try. We also work in fleet effi­cien­cy — mon­i­tor­ing vehi­cle per­for­mance in real time and opti­miz­ing routes and per­for­mance based on track­ing where your vehi­cles are, how they are being dri­ven and where they need to go. We pro­vide man­agers and dri­vers with auto­mat­ic alerts and noti­fi­ca­tions for any­thing they need to track, like acci­dent detec­tion or when a truck enters or leaves a work­site.

We have inte­gra­tion sys­tems to stream­line and auto­mate sys­tems, like billing or pay­roll, based on the data we col­lect. We auto­mat­i­cal­ly track hours of ser­vice reg­u­la­tions and col­lect dig­i­tal trip inspec­tions. We make sure fleet man­agers know that the trucks are being main­tained, and what needs work — report­ing back to the serv­er when check engine light turns on and track­ing rou­tine ser­vice.

Let’s delve straight into safe­ty.

In safe­ty, inthinc is the leader because we offer fea­tures you can’t get any­where else. We pio­neered in-cab and real-time ver­bal men­tor­ing. It means that you have a telem­at­ics device in the truck, and as you are dri­ving around, this device is talk­ing to you – it’s like an alert pas­sen­ger in the cab remind­ing a dri­ver to slow down or put on a seat­belt. It is not just telling you that you did it wrong, it gives you a chance to change your behav­ior, a grace peri­od before it reports a vio­la­tion. It’s like hav­ing a coach that reminds you – hey, you could be doing bet­ter at this, you could do bet­ter at that — and the results are remark­able.

We have a fea­ture called “Speed-by-Street” where we track the real accu­rate post­ed speed lim­it of all the sur­face streets, free­ways, res­i­den­tial streets — every­thing. There is a map of those speed lim­its in the device so that we can talk to the dri­vers in real time with respect to the speed lim­its. Nobody else has this map, you can’t buy it; we had to go cre­ate it. It took a lot of time and a lot of invest­ment but it is key to hav­ing a safe fleet. The com­bi­na­tion of dri­ver men­tor­ing with accu­rate, real-time speed lim­it report­ing can have a 95 per­cent reduc­tion in speed­ing in your fleet — with all speed­ing out, it means safe­ty in.

Tell us about the com­pli­ance device.

We have been doing elec­tron­ic hours of ser­vice since 2005.  inthinc has a per­son in most com­mit­tees that make and effect laws for elec­tron­ic hours of ser­vice. We have a per­son on the com­mit­tee at the Fed­er­al Car­ri­er Motor Safe­ty Asso­ci­a­tion. We have some­one on the com­mit­tee at the Amer­i­can Truck­ing Asso­ci­a­tion. We are reg­u­lar­ly con­sult­ed by IIHS and what they pub­lish. In this indus­try you have to be on the com­mit­tee to keep up with the law. The gov­ern­ment is try­ing to do the right thing in address­ing dri­ver fatigue because they believe fatigue leads to fatal­i­ties — you can only work so much. Now they are work­ing on tam­per­ing and fak­ing dri­ver logs. They are get­ting involved in vehi­cle-to-vehi­cle com­mu­ni­ca­tion and just try­ing to take things to the next lev­el. But they are leg­is­la­tors, they don’t real­ly under­stand what it is like to oper­ate a fleet — and they cer­tain­ly don’t know what it is like to roll out a tech­nol­o­gy.

What we have been try­ing to do is feed the cen­ter of that pipeline of infor­ma­tion to the gov­ern­ment from the fleets that we work with, so that they under­stand the right tech­nol­o­gy isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly the flashiest, but it is the one that works every day. The right tech­nol­o­gy is what’s depend­able and what works for fleet man­agers — and we have got to lis­ten to those fleet man­agers, because at the end of the day, if they can’t imple­ment it, it is not going to hap­pen. It’s the right peo­ple, in the right com­mit­tees, to help gov­ern­ment receive the best infor­ma­tion from our cus­tomers, and that all leads to tech­nol­o­gy that actu­al­ly gets the right job done.

On top of that, we offer cus­tom solu­tions for com­pa­ny reg­u­la­tions as well, like a pre-trip inspec­tion that you require in a cus­tom way, or you have post-trip inspec­tions that you want dig­i­tal­ly tracked and logged. The plat­form that we put into the vehi­cles makes all of that auto­mat­ic, easy to use and in com­pli­ance with all of the laws.

What about the ver­bal coach­ing?

The voice you hear in the cab is a com­put­er voice. I actu­al­ly mod­eled it after the HAL 9000 – “what are you doing, Dave?” Because it occurred to us, you are speed­ing, you are alone or you are slam­ming on your brakes and just that thought in your head: what are you doing, Dave? You are up to some­thing that you know you shouldn’t be up to. That is the actu­al voice we went for. There is some­thing more human and com­pelling about a voice in chang­ing dri­ver behav­ior.

In my pre­sen­ta­tion at the NAFA Insti­tute & Expo this year, I showed data where we used a fleet to test just beep­ing to the dri­vers, with­out the voice. Over the course of about a year we beeped at them when­ev­er they turned too sharp, slammed on the brakes, accel­er­at­ed too fast, broke any speed lim­it or didn’t wear their seat belt. Then we turned off the beep­ing and let the inci­dent rate return to nor­mal before we turned on our ver­bal coach­ing to test and com­pare. With the over­all fleet, which was thou­sands of dri­vers, beep­ing reduced dan­ger­ous and inef­fi­cient dri­ving in about a year by 60 per­cent. With our ver­bal coach­ing solu­tion, we saw a 95 per­cent reduc­tion in speed­ing; and it wasn’t just that it was such a big­ger reduc­tion — we almost erased all speed­ing in the fleet by the third week of use. There is some­thing human about hear­ing a voice tell you, “what are you doing, Dave?” And you know bet­ter. You hear a beep you ignore it but you hear a voice – you make a change. That is what our dri­ver-focused solu­tion does.


Corey Cat­ten
Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer

Corey Cat­ten leads the engi­neer­ing and soft­ware devel­op­ment teams at inthinc in design­ing and deliv­er­ing state-of-the-art tech­nol­o­gy to its cus­tomers. Pri­or to inthinc, he held CTO posi­tions at SIVOX Tech­nolo­gies, a speech recog­ni­tion and voice inte­gra­tion soft­ware com­pa­ny, and at Aval­tus, Inc. where he helped grow Aval­tus to become a sub­sidiary of USA inter­Ac­tive (now Inter­Ac­tiveCorp.). Mr. Cat­ten holds a bachelor’s degree in elec­tri­cal engi­neer­ing from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Utah.

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