Volvo made a big pledge earlier this year. It stated, categorically, that by 2020, nobody would die in a brand new Volvo vehicle ever again. It’s a very bold statement to make, but it’s putting its money where its mouth is and has been pushing hard for lots of new automated safety features, like animal avoidance and autonomous emergency braking (AEB). To help push these sorts of technologies forward, it’s now announced a partnership with telematics firm Romex, in order to keep track of fleet drivers and prevent them from looking at their phone while driving.
The system uses a mobile phone application, which when installed tracks all the usual telematics data from the driver/vehicle, but also keeps an eye on whether they pick up their phone while in transit. However regardless of their actions, the phone remains inoperable while the car is in motion, making it impossible for them to do anything complicated on it.
Depending on company policy – as it will be down to individual enterprises to decide how they want to handle its operation – bluetooth headsets and hands free kits could be allowed for use while driving, if deemed necessary.
Elias Fattal, director at Romex said of the announcement: “We are delighted to be part of this programme as Romex is all about providing mobile software solutions that deliver Road Safety benefits, employee optimisation, improving operational performance and productivity, reducing cost and helping companies with Health & Safety compliance.
“Our solution is the only app that has the ability to monitor employees’ phones to ensure compliance with company policy and the law when it comes to use of the phone while driving. We strongly feel that there is no point in having a policy unless it can be monitored to ensure compliance with all company policies.”
This is all part of a new scheme Volvo has launched, called CoPilot, which as BusinessCar explains, was designed in conjunction with British driving consultant firm, Fleet 21. The system gives companies a free £500 risk management consultancy package for free to any company that buys or leases their first Volvo vehicle.
When purchasing or leasing a Volvo vehicle, as part of the risk management consultancy, three months of Romex tracking and handset disabling software will be provided free of charge. There will also be discounts for those that take on the full 12 month package, as well as any of its other workplace management applications. However, Fattal was keen to point out, the maximum value of savings is £1,000.
This is far from the only development Volvo has been making as of late. One of its most hotly anticipated technologies in its home country of Sweden, is its animal detection software and hardware package, which allows the car too spot large animals like deer, moose and horses on the sides of the road, in the dark or as they dash across in the distance. The idea is to give the driver a warning that there are large animals in the area that could present a hazard, or to hit the brakes automatically if there isn’t time.
Image source: Wikimedia