22 jan 20

Lytx: why video telematics is key for driver safety

“Telematics software that merely identifies G-force triggers, such as excessive braking or swerving, produces results that are not actionable,” says Damian Penney. He is Vice President Europe for Lytx, a specialist in video telematics. “Video images are crucial to determining not just the what, but also the why of vehicle incidents - and that’s where the big gains in safety and productivity can be made,” he says.

Lytx offers video telematics solutions for commercial, public sector and services fleets, and their clients can ultimately see significant increases in their safety culture and fleet productivity. The video aspect is essential to help clients see what happened in the past, manage their operations more efficiently in the present and improve driver behaviour to make the future safer.

What’s your current footprint, and how do you plan to grow?

“We currently have offices in the US and in the UK, and we work with others who sell our technology in Mexico, Spain, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Our technology is used in fleets that are global. Our solutions are installed in more than 650,000 vehicles worldwide, across over 4,000 customers, about 80% of which are in North America."

"We recently announced that Lytx was the recipient of the largest-ever investment in video telematics by Permira, a leading global technology investor with a proven track record of helping companies build and grow into global market leaders. Permira’s investment will help support our vision for continued innovation and global growth, developing new solutions for the benefit of commercial, public sector and field services fleets around the world.”

I’m a customer who wants an international deal. What do I do?

“You’ve got various options. If a multinational based in Belgium, for example, wants a single price for 10,000 vehicles across Europe, we can offer this. Another model to consider is when the customer negotiates a price, but its subsidiaries can decide per country whether or when to take the solution on board. An additional business model is when the legal framework is in the HQ country, but we negotiate with each country individually. We can work with the business to ensure that their needs are met and their challenges are resolved.”

What’s the most efficient way to roll out an international telematics or safety programme?

“The best way to start is to ask yourself the right questions. It may be better to start with the country which has the largest fleet, or in the one with the highest risk and claims costs. Perhaps a country that has the worst safety record is where you want to start. Regardless, ensuring that the strategy you have in place considers all of the applicable factors, including the potential legal or privacy constraints and obtains the senior management approval is always a good starting point.”

“It may be a good idea to conduct a pilot in one country, so the customer can see what their actual issues are. For example: a lack of internal communication – especially with drivers – is a typical problem that we experience on a global front. Whatever the issues though, we always guide our customers through the entire process.”

Do I need video telematics in order to optimise my fleet management?

“Traditional telematics will tell you that something has happened – harsh braking, a swerve, etcetera – but only video can inform the fleet manager of the exact circumstances. We review the video for the customer, ‘score’ the incidents and identify the worst ones. We identify the cause – distracted driver, too close, too fast – and then inform the fleet manager through a combination of cloud-based UI or through email or text notification. The communications from Lytx are timely and appropriate so that if the fleet manager only has five minutes to spare during their day, they know which data and video to review first.”

“We review around a million videos a week, relieving fleet managers of that task. All videos are reviewed and then prioritised for the coaching workflow. The video in the vehicle is always recording, however, data is only saved when the system detects an incident. Typically, the device saves 8 seconds of footage before the event plus 4 seconds after.”

What’s your policy on data privacy?

“We provide configurable and flexible solutions that allow our customers to address their data privacy needs across jurisdictions, geographies, industries and use cases. Our customers own their data, and Lytx serves as the data processor. We take privacy and data security seriously, and we are continually investing in information security infrastructure and technologies designed to maintain the security of customer data."

Tell us a bit about the USP and the ROI of your product, compared to your competitors.

“We offer the most robust, configurable, and broadly adopted video safety solution on the market. Because we find the truth in the noise, we help turn video from reactive to proactive – and make it easy for our clients.”

  • "We use 20 years of experience, over 120B miles of driving data, and 650K connected cameras to create our own proprietary risk detection technology from the ground up to only show customers what’s really important.
  • We’re able to take thousands of hours of video from a fleet and turn it into a highlight reel of what the customer really cares about in a highly configurable platform.
  • We then offer an optional service for fleets wanting to drive accountability and coaching, where we put human eyes on events to monitor for up to 60 different behaviours. This feeds into a robust coaching and analytics system. In addition, we use Machine Vision (MV) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to identify risky behaviours in the cab.
  • Most importantly we support our customers in their rollout of the technology. Introducing video into a large organisation is not easy. But we’ve done it across more than 4K customers, hundreds of very large fleets, and over 650K vehicles."

“In terms of cost, we’re seeing a return on investment within six months in many cases, via a reduction in accident frequency and severity – often by 40% to 60%. We obtained those figures by analysing 50 distribution companies a year before our solution was implemented, and a year after. It’s much easier to modify driver behaviour if you are able to show them how their behaviours contributed to the event. A bonus is that the resulting smoother driving also reduces fuel and maintenance cost.”

How will the trends towards more shared and autonomous mobility change the relevance of telematics and safety tech?

“Despite all the hype in the market, we are decades away from any sort of broad market adoption for autonomous vehicles. While video telematics is becoming increasingly mainstream across fleets of all sizes and sectors, for autonomous vehicles, video telematics is an absolute requirement. It’s not just relevant in that sector, it’s a necessity. We think it’s a necessity for all fleets looking to improve safety, productivity and efficiency."

Image: Damian Penney, Vice President Europe, Lytx

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck