Digital Supply Chain

The Power of AI in the Supply Chain: Improving Fleet Safety and Reducing Costs

March 31, 2023 Tom Raftery / Barrett Young Season 1 Episode 305
Digital Supply Chain
The Power of AI in the Supply Chain: Improving Fleet Safety and Reducing Costs
Digital Supply Chain +
Become a supporter of the show!
Starting at $3/month
Support
Show Notes Transcript

Hey everyone, Tom Raftery here, and I'm super excited to share this episode of the Digital Supply Chain podcast with you. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Barrett Young, the Head of Fleet Safety Strategy at Netradyne, and we had an insightful conversation about the incredible ways AI technology is revolutionizing fleet safety for commercial vehicles.

In our chat, Barrett explains how Netradyne's AI-powered dash cams are helping to create a safer environment for drivers, improving driver retention, and reducing costs related to accidents, insurance claims, and driver turnover. We discuss the importance of positive recognition for drivers and how Netradyne's Green Zone Score is making a difference in coaching and driver behavior.

Barrett shares some exciting news about Netradyne's expansion into new markets like the UK, EU, New Zealand, Australia, and India, and how they're working on adapting their AI technology to recognize different road signs and behaviors in each region. We also get a sneak peek into Netradyne's future roadmap, which includes some innovative new products that will challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what AI can do for fleet safety.

As we wrap up the conversation, Barrett leaves us with a thought-provoking question: Can fleets really afford not to have an AI safety system in today's world? I think you'll find his answer quite compelling.

So, buckle up and get ready for a fascinating journey into the world of AI and fleet safety. And remember, this episode is also available in video format on Youtube.

Don't forget to Follow/Subscribe for more great episodes of the Digital Supply Chain podcast. Enjoy the show!

ASCM CONNECT 2023: Europe

I have been invited to speak at at ASCM CONNECT 2023: Europe taking place in Brussels, June 27-28.

Listeners of this podcast get 15% off registration with promo code DIGITALSUPPLYCHAIN15.  You can register here for the event.

If you do come, say “Hi!” - I’ll be the one with the hat!

Support the show

Podcast supporters
I'd like to sincerely thank this podcast's generous supporters:

  • Lorcan Sheehan
  • Krishna Kumar
  • Christophe Kottelat
  • Olivier Brusle
  • Robert Conway
  • Alexandra Katopodis
  • Alicia Farag
  • Joël VANDI

And remember you too can Support the Podcast - it is really easy and hugely important as it will enable me to continue to create more excellent Digital Supply Chain episodes like this one.

CSCMP European Conference Registration page

Podcast Sponsorship Opportunities:
If you/your organisation is interested in sponsoring this podcast - I have several options available. Let's talk!

Finally
If you have any comments/suggestions or questions for the podcast - feel free to just send me a direct message on Twitter/LinkedIn.

If you liked this show, please don't forget to rate and/or review it. It makes a big difference to help new people discover it.

Thanks for listening.

Barrett Young:

Can fleets really afford not to have an AI safety system, you know, which is, the dash cam and the backend office.And really the short answer is no.And now in today's world, it almost becomes table stakes for what the operations of,of a fleet should look like.Again, if you are reducing accidents, you're saving costs.If you're reducing insurance claim, you're saving costs.If you're reducing driver turnover you're saving costs, if you're reducing unnecessary fuel consumption, you're saving costs

Tom Raftery:

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening,wherever you are in the world.This is the Digital Supply Chain podcast, the number one podcast focusing on the digitization of supply chain, and I'm your host, Tom Raftery.Hi everyone.And welcome to episode 305 of the digital supply chain podcast.My name is Tom Raftery,and I am delighted to be here with you today sharing the latest insights and trends in supply chain.Before we kick off today's show.I want to take a quick second to express my gratitude to all of our amazing supporters.Your support has been instrumental and keeping the podcast going.And I am really grateful for each and every one of you.If you're not already a supporter.I'd like to encourage you to consider joining our community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about supply chain.Supporting the podcast is easy and affordable with options starting as low as just three euros or dollars a month.That's less than the cost of a cup of coffee.But that will make a huge difference in keeping the show going strong.To become a supporter, simply click on the support link in the show notes of this episode or any episode.Or just visit tiny url.com/d S C pod.Now, without further ado, I'd like to introduce today's special guest Barrett.Barrett welcome to the podcast.Would you like to introduce yourself?

Barrett Young:

Good morning, Tom.Barrett Young.I am the head of Fleet Safety Strategy over at Netradyne.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, and Barrett, for people who might be unfamiliar, can you tell us who or what are Netradyne?

Barrett Young:

Yes, Netradyne, uh,has developed some really powerful and remarkable AI technology,centered around improving fleet safety, for commercial vehicles.So everything from a AI dashcam that sits within the vehicle itself, all the way to a back office ecosystem to allow fleet managers, safety managers to improve across the entire fleet.

Tom Raftery:

Okay.And, why?I mean, what, what kind of back,what, what inspired Netradyne to focus on improving driver performance and safety, you know, and, and how has your kind of mission evolved over time?

Barrett Young:

Yeah, so the way that we've been taught to improve fleet safety and improve driver performance is perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.Legacy dash cameras were really just there for exoneration, right?And they wanted to make sure there was video evidence in the event of an accident or some sort of incident.In today's world, that's no longer enough.Exoneration still exists, of course, but in today's world, it really needs to start with improving, driver behaviors that we actually reduce accidents altogether.And so a lot of what Netradyne has built and is already active now is sort of a predictive AI model that can actually see and observe certain driver behaviors and can correct them in real time to prevent accidents from happening altogether.So really, and then throughout, there are a series of, multi-touch coaching aspects.So real-time alerts inside the cab.There's weekly and monthly coaching with managed coaching with fleet managers.There's recommended coaching and virtual coaching that we all offer.So it makes it much scalable.Consistently, teach and improve the driver performance, over time so that through the course of many years, your, your fleet continues to be more successful and you reduce accidents altogether.

Tom Raftery:

Okay?And I, I guess the drivers are probably not going to be big fans of this, from from the get-go.It, it's gonna be hard to convince drivers in fleets that there's gonna be this big brother in the cab watching their driving and telling them off for every infraction.How, how do you, how do you deal, or how do, how do your customers deal with that?

Barrett Young:

Yeah,the, big brother concept.I'm, I'm gonna introduce a new, uh, sort of phrase or,or term for us to start using.Instead of Big Brother or watchdog,we're going to use Wingman.That's really what the new versions, new versions are, are looking at and, and as I mentioned previously, the way we would talk to improve fleet safety is perfectly suited for a world that no longer exists.That previous world, those were legacy dashcams.Those are the ones that drivers really didn't like.And yes, they're still getting used to the ones there today, but the new AI dash cams are more than just to sit there and watch you.It coaches drivers in real time.It's almost like an in-cab coach that says, Hey, watch that car gonna pull out in front of you, make sure you slow down.Or maybe you create space in front of the car in front of you because you're coming too close.And then you need more space for braking.These types of real-time alerts.And over the course of coaching, through universal coaching, recommended coaching,it really just improves driver behavior.I like to think that I'm a safe driver,but it doesn't mean that I don't accidentally speed or run stop signs every once in a while or, you know,do something that's a little risky.It's natural.We're humans.And so the AI helps us to just improve that behavior so that we don't have the accident.So to go back and kind of put a, uh, an answer to the question, it's the moment that a driver realizes that this camera just saved their life, then yeah, I think they're gonna be very happy it's there.

Tom Raftery:

Okay.I saw a video recently on, I think it was Reddit, probably of an Amazon driver talking about the system they have in their vans.I, I hope it's not a Netradyne one, but she was complaining about how, how it was Big Brother and how they got points,deducted or they got warnings for, there,there was one instance she referred to where a colleague scratched his, his beard and it, it accused him of using his phone and not paying attention,and he was able to appeal it fine.But you know, there there's still,I think at least with some systems,there's still, uh, a lot of reluctance and pushback against its implementation.No, it, it's gotta be a change management process that you need to go through with, well, with your customers, I guess, and with your customer's drivers.

Barrett Young:

One of the really important things this entire, within the entire evolution, of AI dash cams is, the,the switching of the script, right?So in some of the examples you just gave,drivers are constantly having their hand slapped for things they do wrong, right?In AI, it was going to be able to recognize the whole, how AI works is it is taught to recognize objects and behaviors and it learns over time and becomes more accurate.Netradyne's system sits at around about98% accuracy, more accurate than any other system on the market at the moment.But we really need to switch to flip the script from constantly slapping a driver's hand and say,oh, you've done something wrong.You've done something wrong.You've done something wrong.Done something wrong.Cuz if you're constantly telling'em to doing something wrong,one, they're gonna be thinking that they're a terrible driver.Two, they're gonna never be happy.And three, they're probably not gonna stick around very long.So why not flip the script and say, we recognize all the great things that you're doing.The Netradyne system actually has the ability to recognize positive driving.So let's, in the examples that I gave earlier, let's say a car's merging onto the, uh, to the freeway, and you create space.Get that buffer space between you in a big commercial vehicle and a passenger car.We recognize that as a driver star, that's a very defensive and safe move you want to make.Let's say you're constantly stopping at a stop sign.You're a delivery driver, and you, and you consistently stop,for a hundred plus stop signs.We also award you driver stars.If you're constantly driving and you're not speeding and you're not making other risky moves, then we recognize that as positive driving minutes.So then what happens is at the end of the week when you go speak to your safety coach or your fleet manager, the script is not, you constantly messed up.You did this wrong, you did this wrong.We need to prove that it's, Hey, thank you.You did a great job this week.I see that out of the, you know, set of seven, six days, you drove, all six of 'em had really great driving,and there were only two little moments where maybe you kind of rolled through that stop side where you were speeding a little more, a little bit too close to the car in front of you.But I see that you're doing a great job.Here's a video we want you to watch.Just kind of, you know, improve that following distance so you just,you get better at it over time.And a, as an employee, that's a much easier conversation.You know, as drivers within this industry, they're very proud of what they do and they should be.So to constantly slap their hand and tell they're doing a bad job, that's just not the right thing to do.And so Netradyne is being able to actually tell you, let's give you the entire story, both the good driving, the bad driving, and what needs to be improved.And they give you actionable steps.

Tom Raftery:

So it's more about positive reinforcement?

Barrett Young:

Exactly.It's actually scientifically proven that people learn faster and change behavior in a good way faster when it's reinforced in positive recognition.

Tom Raftery:

Right.Okay, cool.And does your technology integrate with other systems used by fleets like telematics, ELDs dispatch software, that kind of thing?

Barrett Young:

We do.We actually have a really powerful and really successful partnership with Geotab right now so they can plug in ELD and other, other, um, or fleet tracking or,um, the telematics systems like that.And yeah, we actually are building up a very, uh, wide ecosystem in terms of what types of integrations we're adding.It's really, really cool to see it all coming in.

Tom Raftery:

Nice.And, and for people who might be unaware, can you kind of differentiate what it is you do versus what the likes of Geotab does?

Barrett Young:

Yeah.The Geotab right now is traditional ELD and, and and fleet management telematics.Where we actually couple in and marry the two systems for, with a fleet safety angle and say, all right, we're gonna be able to monitor your, your driver behavior and do all your real time coaching.And do positive recognition and everything we just mentioned, and you couple that with your E L D and your hours of service and your fuel management and things like that.And then you can marry the two together and actually see how it's impacting each other.So one of the big things that's kind of a hot topic right now is,is you know, costs and, and fuel.And so if you can actually monitor your driver driving style, so are they aggressive driving?Sure.Stopping too hard.Are they accelerating too hard?And then see, marry that with how,what fuel consumption looks like.You can actually correct or fix unnecessary fuel expenditures by just addressing the way that people are driving itself.

Tom Raftery:

Nice, nice.Interesting.And what about, things like concerns around driver privacy, data security.What kind of measures do you take to protect drivers' information?

Barrett Young:

yeah.Netradyne as a company has been awarded,uh, a Privacy by Design certificate.We have gone through extensive links to make sure that privacy isn't the alleged concern.We have a dedicated officer within the company to make sure that that's his number one priority as well.Outside of that, we give fleets the options, the flexibility to what level of privacy they want to have for their drivers.For example, we have a driver privacy mode, so the internal camera can actually be turned off.So there's no recording.The AI will still analyze, so it can still say, Hey, you know, you're, you're texting and driving, please put down your phone because that's dangerous.And so that, mm-hmm.real time alert can still happen, but it won't record the driver itself.We also have, you know, cameras that only have external facing cameras,so there's no internal facing.And so that we have options like that for fleets who have those concerns.But to completely be completely honest,the majority of all of our customers, they see that the massive benefit to have both inward and outward camera's on and active.And it does take some coaching to the driver, so they get used to it.But we have plenty of testimonials from drivers saying, yeah, in the beginning it was weird to have a camera staring at me, but then I eventually just forgot that it was there and at one time that it reminded me that I was speeding or following too close.It was great.And then I stopped doing that and I reduced in accidents.You know, and things like that.So, it, it just take getting used to,I'm not gonna deny that this is all of a sudden, you know, easy to do.I, I'm also not a truck driver.I've been inside many trucks,but I, I haven't lived that life,so I'm not gonna pretend like I know that if it's easy or hard.But from the, the information that we've collected over time is that yes, privacy is definitely a concern.We wanna make sure that we give them all the options.Yes.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, cool.And can you share any, customers success stories you've had or case studies where, you know, you've helped a fleet improve driver performance and safety or, have an impact on their bottom line?Cause you mentioned fuel savings and things like that.

Barrett Young:

Yeah, absolutely.I, a really, really fun story.It's probably one of my favorites, Titan Freight.Titan Freight is one of our customers and, uh, over the course of two years, they reduced their insurance claims to almost zero.Wow.And so what they did is they went through a very extensive process of driver coaching, uh,monitoring their green zone scores.So within Netradyne we have an advanced algorithm calculates driver scoring,and you actually can build your entire workflow from a fleet managers perspective on, uh, your daily workflow on using Green zone score data to manage from the edges in so that what are your best drivers?Who are your worst drivers?And then start there.but with Titan Freight, they able to monitor the Green Zone score and all of their driver coaching and fleet safety.And over the course of two years, reduced their insurance claims basically to zero.Of course their insurance was very happy about that.It reduced the general costs to the fleet cuz there's less damage to vehicles or accidents.You know, there's less,uh, moving violations, less driver turnover and things.And so of course the insurance usually awards you with, uh,better premiums sometimes.But, uh, in general there's less insurance costs, which obviously is a huge bottom line for most fleets though.

Tom Raftery:

Okay.And in the system that you have,I mean, you mentioned, green Zones and you mentioned better drivers.Are, are there metrics around driver's abilities for, for want to have a better way of putting it, uh, and have you used gamification, for example,uh, for creating maybe leaderboards or something like that within organizations?Or is that something that organizations themselves can decide to roll out?

Barrett Young:

Yeah, so there's a couple of different things.We provide an out of the box sort of gamification and driver scoring model, which is our Green Zone score The Green Zone score is on a range from zero to a thousand.Anywhere above eight 50is typically pretty good.And we do see some, drivers above a thousand cuz they've received bonus, positive driving marks through the driver's driver stars.But what most fleets decide to do is they use the gamification within the mobile app itself.So every driver has mobile app.They can see how they stack rank against the rest of the drivers in their fleet, and what their fleet average is.And so from there, a lot of fleets will actually build out, uh, incentive programs.Say, Hey, if your Green Zone score is above a certain threshold, we're gonna tack on extra 500 bucks, thousand bucks to your paycheck this month.Or they roll run contests like, Hey,the top three drivers with the top three, uh, green zone scores are gonna win a new TV for the Super Bowl.Or, we're gonna put you on a,a raffle list for a trip to Hawaii to bring your family.Things like that.In fact, we actually build out a lot of content and, and, um, ideas for our customers in the ways that they can build out incentive programs for their fleets.

Tom Raftery:

And I mentioned change management as being, as one of the issues and driver reluctance.What kind of other challenges are you coming across in the industry?

Barrett Young:

Yeah, I think, uh, a lot of it will come down to, driver turnover.And so you know recruiting and, and,and finding new drivers has, has been an ongoing problem within the industry.Mm-hmm.And again, going back to what I mentioned, if you're constantly having your hand slapped, you're not gonna be very, very happy driver or have a very strong relationship.And so one of the things that we're actually doing is through the, uh,positive recognition, we actually are having a direct impact on improving driver retention and have reduced the,the costs and the headaches of having to constantly be recruiting new drivers.And so we actually see our customers see seeing massive improvements, to keeping the best drivers that they want and be able to coach up the ones that need, uh, more attention.

Tom Raftery:

You're using a lot of ai, and AI has been in the news a lot since November of last year, in particular when ChatGPT was launched.Where do you see the technology advancing in the next couple of years and how do you see that affecting Netradyne?

Barrett Young:

Yeah.Uh, AI will only continue to get smarter,obviously, within the kind confines that our, our engineers allow it to.So there's, there's not gonna be a robot uprising.Uh, we're not, we're out there yet.But it'll only get smarter in the,in a sense that, one, it'll be able to recognize more behaviors,more objects as we teach it.And two, it'll become more accurate.So it'll actually have, the drivers will trust it more.So going back to previous examples,if the AI is saying you did something,you actually didn't, the more that we use it, the more that we train it,the less likely that that will happen.As it becomes more accurate, even some of our competitors I've mentioned,they've said, you know, though, they're89% accurate, and that's not great at the moment, but over time, you know, I'm sure the AI gets better.We are sitting currently at a 98%accuracy, so we've had a lot of push from big customers to continue to improve that.But 98's not bad.Hopefully we reach 99 sometime soon.But, AI itself is actually being recognized, uh, by a lot of the government organizations as well as a big benefit.In fact, I think the F M C S A mentioned recently that if AI dash cams were adopted, they would see an estimated 63,000 crashes eliminated, or that could be avoided,which is massive, massive, mm-hmm.. So it's, it really comes down to, seeing the broader benefit outside of the privacy concerns and outside of the big brother,but more the wingman and seeing what the future result can be with a reduction in, in accidents and improvements.

Tom Raftery:

Okay.And I should have asked this earlier, but are you based in North America or do you have customers in Europe, Asia, Oceana,Latam, you know, where, where, where are your customers or where are you selling?

Barrett Young:

The vast majority of our customers are here in the US absolutely.Um, we do have customers and we're expanding out into, the UK and the EU.We also have some customers in New Zealand and Australia, over in Asia like India, and, continuing to add more of the countries to the Europe itself.So we're, we're definitely seeing the improvement across, uh, many, many geos.India alone has had a, has a really,uh, sad story when it comes to accidents and, safety on the roads.And so we've seen really incredible improvements from customers that are using our system over in countries like that too.

Tom Raftery:

Wow.Impressive.Okay.Where to next for Netradyne?I know you said 99%,but what are your plans?What's on your roadmap for the next few years?You know, what, what are your plans for global domination, shall we say?

Barrett Young:

Global domination will definitely be a top priority.We're still continuing to.Uh, to find those new markets.And the challenging thing is that when you teach AI to recognize certain signs or behaviors on the road, a lot of times,you have to reteach certain aspects.When you go into a new geo, you know, stop sign in Spain may be very different than a stop sign in Australia.And so just making sure that you understand, uh, what those look like and that yet they can learn.Apart from that, we've got some really exciting new products coming down our roadmap.We're actually trying to see what it looks like when a AI technology can be added to the cab of vehicle outside of the confines of a traditional dash cam hardware.And so I'll, I'll leave that as a quick teaser, but there's a lot of new things that we're starting to, uh, to explore.We're kind of questioning or challenging the status quo, which is already a new status quo compared to what legacy systems look like.So the advancements are happening very, very quickly.Apart from that, we've got a really exciting roadmap map for features.Um, you know, what the AI can do.In fact, we have a new, uh, recommended coaching feature coming out right now where the AI can actually monitor and see drivers after they receive coaching what types of, uh, alerts are violations they still get and how they can, AI can recognize how better to coach, like here are the things you need to do coaching more on, it can do recommended coaching.Another really important thing that's coming down the roadmap for us is our, um, leap safety progress report.It's much easier to go to your insurance company and say, Hey,we've been able to reduce all of our incidences and reduce accidents and improve safety by all of these metrics,et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.Let's discuss what our premium should be for next year.Uh, versus just saying,Hey, we need to cut costs.And so we are, we're providing a safety progress report that highlights all of the incredible improvements that a fleet can make through their green zone score and their driver coaching, uh, and driver behavior and things like that.So it's been a very, very busy, year already and there's a lot more coming too.

Tom Raftery:

Nice.Nice.I'm sure as well that you have that, uh, report.For Netradyne as a whole so that you can say, for all of our customers, we have this and this and this and this improvements.So that prospective customers can go to their insurance company and say, we're thinking of you going with Netradyne.What will that do to our premiums?

Barrett Young:

Yes, absolutely we do.A lot of it will be round up into aggregate.Um, you know, and as someone who loves to go and brag about how great their company is, that would be a a, a perfect way to kind of go to future fleets and say, listen, this are the things that you can do to improve, uh, go have a conversation with the insurance company.

Tom Raftery:

Or maybe the insurance company could become sales distributors for, for Netradyne.

Barrett Young:

Exactly.That would be great.

Tom Raftery:

We're coming towards the end of the podcast now, Barrett.Is there any question that I haven't asked that you wish I had or any aspect of this we haven't touched on that you think it's important for people to think about.

Barrett Young:

You know, with sort of the macroeconomic headwinds that we're sort of seeing right now,budgets are tight and, and companies naturally are trying to save some money.But I think the question that it hasn't been asked yet is, can fleets really afford not to have an AI safety system, you know, which is,the dash cam and the backend office.And really the short answer is no.And now in today's world, it almost becomes table stakes for what the operations of,of a fleet should look like.Again, if you are reducing accidents, you're saving costs.If you're reducing insurance claim, you're saving costs.If you're reducing driver turnover you're saving costs, if you're reducing unnecessary fuel consumption, you're saving costs.So it's almost like, you know,if an investment in technology like that pays for itself in dividends almost immediately.And of course, you know, with the economic, environment, it's,it's easy, unfortunately for companies to go out of business if, if the metrics don't match up.So these are sort of safety nets to improve driver behavior and fleet performance.So that the longevity of the company lasts.

Tom Raftery:

Great.Barrett, if people would like to know more about yourself or any of the things that we discussed in the podcast today,where would you have me direct them?

Barrett Young:

Definitely go check out Netradyne.com.

Tom Raftery:

Short and sweet.Love it.Okay, great.That's been very, uh,that's been fascinating.Barrett.Thanks a million for coming on the podcast today.

Barrett Young:

Thank you very much.

Tom Raftery:

Okay, we've come to the end of the show.Thanks everyone for listening.If you'd like to know more about digital supply chains, simply drop me an email to TomRaftery@outlook.com If you like the show, please don't forget to click Follow on it in your podcast application of choice to be sure to get new episodes as soon as they're published Also, please don't forget to rate and review the podcast.It really does help new people to find a show.Thanks, catch you all next time.