Seeing is Believing

We are proud to introduce our first guest blogger, Del Lisk Vice President of Safety Services at our latest investment Drivecam Inc. He provides a great perspective on how Drivecam’s focus on safe drivers combined with Volvo’s commitment to safety technology will create even safer trucks on our roads. He also describes what a powerful ally the Drivecam solution can be for commercial drivers in the unfortunate event of an accident.

Have you ever heard someone say “it’s was the truck driver’s fault”?  Some may perceive that truck drivers cause more problems than the average driver.  But, in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  At DriveCam, we have a unique perspective into what’s happening both inside and outside of the vehicle.  Our predictive analytics software uses sight and sound combined with real-time sensor data and event-driven video to help improve driver training and skill sets with the goal of preventing future collisions.  We’re working with industry pioneers, like Volvo, who are leading the charge in deploying driver safety tools that help make the world a safer place.

In many collisions or near-collisions involving commercial vehicles, the fault lies not with the professional driver, but with the non-professional driver.  However, without the benefit of DriveCam event-driven video, these collisions are often blamed on the truck driver.  Let’s look at two recent examples of how DriveCam was used to exonerate professional drivers:

  • A tanker truck hauling gasoline near Los Angeles approaches an intersection with a green light.  The tanker is traveling at the appropriate speed.  At the cross street to his right, a passenger car fails to notice the red light in his direction and continues into the intersection slamming into the tanker.  Witness reports were contradictory and the police cited the tanker driver for running a red light.  However, armed with DriveCam video, the fleet manager appeared in court and showed the video to the judge with clear evidence that the tanker driver had the green light.  The result:  the citation against the driver was dropped.  Importantly, the passenger car driver in this case had filed suit against the fleet owner for damages.  Once the video was presented and the tanker driver was exonerated, the passenger car driver was required to pay damages.
  • In San Diego a tractor trailer travels over the Coronado Bridge.  The tractor trailer is in the right lane when two Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV) speed by on the left.  The SUV in the front brakes suddenly, causing the second SUV to swerve into the right lane.  The tractor trailer driver responds quickly with braking.  However, due to its sheer size and weight, the tractor trailer driver was unable to stop in time and collided with the second SUV.  The second SUV, in turn, was pushed into the first SUV and all three vehicles were badly damaged.  Typically, it is the driver who hits from behind that is determined to be at fault.  In this case, DriveCam video was able to show that the SUV aggressively swerved into the right lane, causing the three-car collision.  As a result, the tractor trailer driver was held blameless.

Truck drivers have an incredibly difficult job of sharing the road with non-professional drivers who have no concept of the challenges of operating a large, heavy vehicle.  By combining DriveCam’s predictive data and insights into driver behavior with Volvo’s focus on pioneering safety technologies, together we’ll work to create a safer world with fewer collisions for professional and non-professional drivers alike.

/Del Lisk, Vice President of Safety Services, DriveCam, Inc

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About Jonas Landström

After 5 years as an entrepreneur in a biotech start-up, I joined the dark side at Volvo Group Venture Capital. As a VC I am fortunate to look into many companies and get heavily involved in a few. I am genuinely interested in the mechanisms of efficient entrepreneurship including the engagement by VCs. I am hooked on the ideas presented by Steven Blank and Eric Ries around Customer development and lean principles.
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