ADAS and DMS are Here. What is Next for Driver Coaching?

Bala Santhanam, Juby Jose, Vinod Madabusi



Let’s start with two often quoted statistics. Over 70% of India’s freight is transported through road & the volumes are expected to rise every year. 55 accidents occur every hour in India and > 50% of these occur on highways. Put these two together and there is no question that the 20+ million truck drivers in India fall in the high-risk category.

Most of our commercial vehicle drivers have thousands of hours of highway driving experience behind them and are skilled at what they do in a traditional sense. It is well-known that periodic training to drivers on the culture of safe driving can reduce accidents. Fleet operators invest in training drivers in defensive driving techniques, physical and mental well-being, etc. Yet, we have statistics like the ones mentioned above.

What is the Missing Piece of the Puzzle?

Driving behavior changes due to standard driver trainings are short-lived. Learning and improvements tend to be ephemeral, and drivers fall back to old behaviors. Without constant reinforcement and fast feedback, investments in one-off training end up being futile. Further, many of these training courses focus on one or two aspects alone rather than being holistic. For instance, they may focus overly on driving efficiency while missing aspects of safety.

ADAS and DMS Adoption is Growing. Can it Transform Driver Coaching?

To borrow Lord Kelvin’s words “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” Can we move away from one-off driver training and move to a driver coaching system with constant reinforcement and fast feedback?

Adoption of safety technology is fast growing in the commercial vehicle industry. Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) like Mobileye 8 Connect give drivers seconds to react which can avoid majority of rear-end collisions.  Driver Monitoring Systems (DMS) look in-cabin and alert the driver in case it detects drowsiness or distractions such as mobile phone use. Effectively, technology is acting as an additional brain and an additional pair of eyes that catches even what the driver may miss and continuously trains the driver to do better; it is like an untiring assistant (cleaner or Khalasi in Indian trucking parlance) sitting beside the driver, at all times.

Industry Best Driver-Coaching Tools with Intel® Onboard Fleet Services

With Intel® Onboard Fleet Services, we leverage these accurate and holistic insights from the road to develop a driver scoring system that helps incentivize the right driver behaviors. Our vision is to make safe driving second nature to drivers. 

Driver rating & scoring systems have been around for a while now. What Intel® Onboard Fleet Services brings to the table is a far superior approach rooted in strong data and state of the art analytics. It uses alerts not just from telematics, but also from our best-in-class ADAS and DMS devices with industry best accuracies in detection. 

Fair Driver Evaluation: Our algorithm arrives at a relative (comparative) baseline for each alert across our driver population. Here, anonymized alert data from the entire population is used. This algorithm sticks to the true distribution of alerts and makes sure there is no inherent bias in the system that rewards occasional good behavior or penalizes sporadic bad behavior in isolation.

Data Quality: Insights are only as good as the quality of data used to derive the insights. With our obsession towards using best in class AI (Artificial Intelligence) to detect events, high accuracy of our devices plays a crucial role in the quality of this data and hence the baseline.

Scoring that is Meaningful for Coaching: Our algorithm also adds appropriate weightage for each alerts as per Indian driving conditions and relatively fits your driver population across the driving spectrum. This makes sure that nothing is approximated. There are no approximations, and you can work on specific ‘buckets’ of your population. For example, “bottom 50 drivers, for on-road behavior” or “bottom 20 drivers for in-cabin behavior”. Also, the one-page driver report card, breaks this down into plain English and tells the operational staff what exactly each driver needs to do to improve the score.

What's Next

We aim to provide drivers & fleet operators with tools to create the right incentives and drive the right behaviors. Our data grows every day and with it our insights keep getting better & deeper. We are working on mobile apps that put more control in the hands of the drivers. We are also looking to improve the driver learning experience through intelligent videos that promote self-realization & vicarious learning. And we are just getting started. Here’s to making our roads safer.