19 Jul 18

"Driver behaviour requires permanent attention"

SD-Insights was one of the finalists of the 2017 Start-Up of the Year Award was SD-Insights. We spoke with CEO Guido Sluijsmans to have an update on how his company has grown since.

SD-Insights wants drivers to drive more safely by offering a combination of a behavioural approach and self-driving technology. The company uses vision sensor technology to recognise other road users, road signs and lane markings. Based on these observations, the company can provide the driver with actionable and personalised feedback like “great job, you have been keeping a safer distance over the last couple of days.”

"Above all, we give each driver weekly compliments," explained Mr Sluijsmans. "We found we get good results when we tell people what they are doing right and where they still have room for improvements."

Safety as a Service

"We offer Safety as a Service," said Mr Sluijsmans. "We take safety management out of our clients' hands and we help their drivers drive more safely. At the same time, they can save money on their mobility costs." Companies that use SD-Insights' services also report lower fuel consumption.

For optimum results, these sensors should stay on the vehicles and drivers should keep receiving weekly reports, because circumstances change continuously.

"One client cancelled our service for part of their fleet after six months but they soon discovered that drivers that weren't part of our programme any more, started dropping in performance. Safety and driver behaviour is indeed something that requires permanent attention."


SD-Insights gives drivers feedback in several ways: the aforementioned weekly e-mails are one, a real-time feedback option is also available. Feedback can also be provided after each trip, which allows for a very short learning cycle.

"We focus on patterns," said Mr Sluijsmans. "Everyone can have a bad week, but we look for patterns. You may perform worse on Fridays, for instance. For older workers in particular, driving a truck five days a week may be too much, but four days could still be feasible."

A recent new client is the Dutch Ministry of Defence, including its explosive disposal service. They drive vehicles with flashing lights and sirens which makes their driving behaviour all the more important.

Low priority

Looking back to the 2017 Start-Up of the Year Awards, Mr Sluijsmans believes it was largely a positive experience. However, when following up on leads from the event, he found it didn't lead to many new business opportunities. "Several companies showed a genuine interest in our service but safety is still a very low priority for many fleet owners," commented Mr Sluijsmans.

The nomination for the Start-Up of the Year Award motivated SD-Insights to apply for other awards. In March of this year, it won the SensysGatso-SWOV Challenge for improvements in road safety. The company was also nominated for a number of other awards that are still ongoing.

SD-Insights is preparing the launch of a new product, focused on an efficient use of telematics data. Those data are increasingly recorded but using them is not always straightforward, nor is it a priority. SD-Insights is planning to change that. 

SD-Insights' Top Tips for Start-Ups

  • Keep your focus to reach your objectives and provide the services and products your clients need
  • Keep an open mind and don't miss other opportunities
  • Don't overestimate the importance of investments. Try to earn money from your clients as soon as possible and try to grow using funds you earn.

Are you a start-up in the fields of fleet or mobility and would you like to apply for the 2018 Start-Up of the Year Award? Apply now!

Image: Frank Anema, CTO, Thom Hubers, CIO and Guido Sluijsmans, CEO, SD-Insights

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck