DALLAS. Norm Ellis, Qualcomm’s vp—transportation logistics sales & services, views the new federal CSA safety-scoring system as “significantly changing the game as much as any event in the last 30 or 40 years” in trucking. Speaking to FleetOwner at this week’s TMW TransForum users’ meeting here, Ellis said the key issue is that “fleet managers [now] need to look beyond their safety score” under the new safety enforcement rule.

“There are many ways to get their new [CSA] score [including from firms offering basic scorecards],” he continued, “but what is most important is what the fleet will do about the score—that is, what will be done to change the behavior [of drivers] and the processes [with a fleet operation] that can improve the score.” (See video of Norm Ellis discussing Qualcomm and CSA)

He advised that on November 15 Qualcomm will release for sale its previously announced new solution, the CSA Safety Performance Reporting Service. It will “make the scorecard highly usable. [With this release,] we will take more information from the hours-of-service (HOS) and driver performance data we collect and integrate it into the scorecard using the same formula the government uses. As a result, the fleet will be able to pick up on driver behavior that can impact the score before the government actually does.”

Elllis said the new service essentially is a “modeling approach that uses the fleet’s own data to predict which drivers will show up [negatively] on the scorecard later if no intervention is taken to change their behavior.” He explained that the service will “tie into our onboard system and to engine and other systems on the vehicle to gather the data.

In addition to collecting the predictive data, Ellis said the service will feature initially some 55—with more to be added later-- “driver coaching plans.” He explained that these plans will line up with the CSA BASICs and by accessing them, a fleet manager will learn exactly what to say about needed performance improvements to each driver based on his or her data.

“The manager will just have to click on an easy-to-use PDF file, go over it with a driver and can place the doc electronically in the driver’s file,” he explained. “With this, the fleet can become readily proactive about the drivers’ influence on their CSA score.”

Ellis noted that Qualcomm’s mid- to large-size fleet customers have been “‘watching CSA developments actively” and many of its smaller fleet customers have been in touch with the company to learnmore about CSA.