12/29/2010 8:30:00 AM
By Dan Leone, Staff Reporter
This story appears in the Dec. 20 27 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.
Safety and compliance issues were in the spotlight for the trucking industry in 2010, and technology providers subsequently sharpened their focus on products and services aimed at helping fleets cope with increased government scrutiny.
PeopleNet CEO Ron Konezny summed up the mood for the year when, during his companyâ€™s annual user group conference this summer, he remarked that â€œSafety is like the new rock star.â€�
Trends began to emerge early in the year, well ahead of the phase-in of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrationâ€™s CSA rating system at the end of 2010.
FMCSAâ€™s scoring methodology was released into the public domain, so third-party software shops were able to create unofficial â€œCSA Scorecardsâ€� for carriers. Such software gave carriers an off-the-shelf option for previewing their performance under the new safety regulations.
Carriers that had done the proper data mining â€” those equipped with onboard computers that constantly gather driver and vehicle data during revenue runs â€” found themselves on the receiving end of CSA software pitches as early as February.
Discussion of the CSA system loomed large at trucking industry conferences and user groups, with
Qualcomm Inc.â€™s Vision meeting setting the pace in February.
Since the CSA programâ€™s formal rollout, compliance-service providers have continued their push to help fleets decode the BASIC â€” Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories â€” system that underpins CSA.
Companies such as RAIR Inc. and J.J. Keller Associates released suites of software products and services and hosted instructional CSA-themed webinars for customers and curious fleets alike throughout the year.
Vigillo Inc. and EBE Technologies also published CSA software. In addition, the major enterprise software providers to the trucking industry, TMW Systems and McLeod Software, took steps to integrate CSA-related data into their software products.
Issues surrounding electronic onboard recorders shared the spotlight with the CSA program this year.
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