inthinc Fleet Management Systems Aims to Quell Any Richard Petty Driving Tendencies With WaySmart

Obviously driving a 400 ton haul truck like it’s on a NASCAR track is as far from a good idea as one can get, yet it unquestionably happens on every mine site.  It’s a risk to personnel and equipment, and can adversely affect fuel economy and wear on the vehicle.  To address this issue, inthinc Technology Solutions, Inc. (yes, it’s lowercase inthinc) has developed a Fleet Management system called WaySmart to track driving behavior and efficiency.

The vehicle-mounted WaySmart system will detect factors such as speed, seat belt usage, erratic driving behavior (often the result of driving drowsy, weaving and so on) and will alert the driver with a verbal announcement.  Apparently this verbal announcement is horribly annoying, which quickly helps to correct the unsafe behavior.  If the behavior continues for 15 seconds of alert, a log of the event will be sent to a central database for management intervention.  This will work two ways, however – while it will become easy to identify unsafe operators for discipline, safe drivers (i.e. those that don’t alert the system) can be rewarded with an easily-quantified metric of safety.

There are other uses for the WaySmart system beyond correcting unsafe driving practices.  If the system detects a crash, it will immediately send out an alert to inform emergency responders of the accident.  It also tracks efficiency of the vehicle in order to help optimize up-time and mitigate fuel costs.  The WaySmart system can also keep track of operator hours, either through manually tracking on the dashboard interface or automatically tracking – it will detect when the vehicle is in motion and will count that as time on-the-clock.

Oh, it will also detect when cell phones are in use, so no texting while hauling.

The system has been deployed across the board to Barrick sites, and they have reported great success with it.  They have published a brief description of their global deployment here, in the Safety Programs section.

More information on the WaySmart system or inthinc’s other fleet management offerings can be found here.

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