Recently our team had a chance to speak with MSW Management about the efficacy and effectiveness of our products. This interview was a great chance to explain both the benefits of our product and to answer some long-standing questions about our product development and the industry at large.
We spoke to MSW correspondent Jessica Reed who sought insight into our product sector as it applied to fleet safety and management in general. Jessica was most interested in innovation and technology development, and how these changes are making real impact in increasing safety for both drivers and the public. Jessica also wanted to get a grasp of the types of problems that fleet managers and solutions providers were facing, and how our systems fit as a desirable solution within this framework.
Our interview started with a brief introduction to how Global Sensor Systems came to be, and how the Search-Eye Sensor System was conceived. Co-Founder and CEO Gordon Cooper elaborated.
The idea started one night in the 1970s working a night shift at a local warehouse. Gordon heard a nearby truck back-up alarm system or “beeper”, a recent implementation, and commented on how novel this was to the truck driver. The driver responded, “…it’s great, but I don’t need to let people know we are backing up, the problem is getting our drivers to stop backing into ####!”
Later that night Gordon was watching a current detective drama on television, and in the program the detective who was blind was aided using a special cane equipped with a sensor that vibrated in proximity to objects. This concept immediately resonated with Gordon, who started to brainstorm ways that this type of technology could be developed and implemented in the real world.
Soon after Gordon would partner with a specialist in Japan and developed the company we know today.
How we improve safety:
What product(s) does Global Sensor offer for collection vehicle safety?
We offer the only system that will prevent backing accidents instantly. The Search-Eye Sensor System is an automatic braking system that prevents backing accidents without driver intervention.
How do these products work to improve safety? Do they have unique features?
We give drivers a peace of mind where other fleet safety solutions just contribute to driver distraction and do not help with driver retention, and they create a more punitive environment for the drivers. Our product has always been designed to keep drivers happy and create a safer environment for both drivers and communities. A unique feature would be the lack of driver-reliant equipment, as the entire system is made to be automatic and instantaneous.
Have there been any improvements to these products- or any new products added - in the last few years?
Yes, absolutely. Recently we added an additional system to our product lineup called Halo Alarm Trigger Relay. Halo collects location data from Search-Eye control units and transmits this data to clients for storage on local DVR systems. This allows for fleet operators to plan optimal routes based on historical data and to monitor their fleet.
Have you observed any recent trends in what customers are looking for in terms of fleet safety solutions?
The market has been moving towards camera-based systems for the past few years, particularly in-cab driver facing monitoring cameras as well as front and rear facing cameras. This shift has been based on the assumption of increased safety as a result of increased driver and vehicle monitoring by fleet operators. I would like to note that this is not entirely correct, as increased in-cab monitoring does not directly correlate to safety and has in fact been attributed to an increase in driver distraction.
(See Source #1)
The second trend is the increased use of sensors on vehicles in fleets of all sizes. Most vehicles today are required to have a variety of safety equipment installed, chiefly being a mix of sensors along the exterior of the vehicle, camera systems, and increased number of mirrors.
(See Source #2)
Another trend worth mentioning is the move to software as a service (SaaS). Cloud-based management services are becoming commonplace in many fleets for a variety of uses, including route planning and vehicle monitoring.
More from MSW Management:
U.S. Department of Transportation. (2018). FATALITIES AND INJURIES IN MOTOR VEHICLE
BACKING CRASHES. NHTSA, DOT HS 811 144.