BIRMINGHAM. As CSA 2010 and other regulatory initiatives come online, the ability to communicate information to and from the cab quickly and efficiently becomes ever more important. According to
Qualcomm, its Driver Workflow product creates a “circle of service” that connects the driver, the vehicle, and the back office in an efficient and real-time manner aimed at solving communication problems on the road.

“In the past, we had to rely on drivers,” Justin Wallace, system engineer-strategic alliance program for Qualcomm, said during the McLeod Software Users’ Conference held here yesterday. “What we’re doing is putting the power in front of them.”

The software, which interfaces with McLeod’s software, includes four tabs that identify information on the current load, tasks and forms for the driver to fill out and follow, a history tab that shows what the driver has been working on, and a pre-trip tab.

The system automates arrival and departure time without driver intervention among other tasks, including exception reporting and reporting to the office when a driver fails to complete an assigned task. Check marks indicate a task has been completed. Messages can be sent to the driver or to the office and include vehicle location data.

The software is also customizable, Wallace said. “It’s a nice front end, a nice easy way for a driver to get information,” he said.

Because the software integrates with McLeod’s, it creates ways to monitor hours of service. It can track a driver’s duty status and includes a driver management worksheet, auto detection/in-motion detection status, maintains a 7-day driver log, maintains roadside inspection reports, and can send faxes of relevant information directly to DOT officers, if needed.

In addition, Qualcomm showed off its Safety Performance Service (SPS) product.

“SPS allows you to create your own safety mechanism where you can be tougher on your drivers so you can [correct] problems before they become a [CSA] scoring event,” said Adam Kahn, director of business development.

SPS takes critical reporting information, such as driver hours or any other critical events, and organizes the data into easy-to-read reports. Using the CSA 2010 BASICs as the basis, fleets can change the weighting criteria to more heavily weight any area that is of particular concern. This allows fleets to intervene and correct behavior before it triggers an FMCSA intervention, according to Qualcomm.

“We are not a dashboard service,” Kahn said. “We wanted to create the capabilities” for fleets to be proactive with their drivers.

When a driver triggers the report, an action plan will be recommended to the manager. That plan can be followed, or a different plan can be crafted. Once the manager settles on a plan of action, the system reports the plan to the driver and will monitor the driver’s progress toward achieving the desired results.

SPS will be fully available by the end of the year, Kahn said, although Qualcomm will start releasing sections of it in October.