By Pfc. Lee, Kyoung-yoonJuly 2, 2017
USAG YONGSAN - U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan in conjunction with the 403rd Army Field Support Brigade is trying to make Area II a safer place to serve by monitoring the driving habits of military police vehicles, buses, and government vehicles.
Starting June 1, USAG Yongsan embarked on a 90-day trial of Lytx DriveCams, equipment installed onto vehicles to record driver behaviors.
"The Lytx DriveCam program is a safety and telematics program. It is different from an ordinary black box as Lytx DriveCam is based on safety. The Camera is looking at anything that is considered a risk to the driver," said Tony Parker, enterprise sales director at Lytx.
LytX DriveCams have been used by the Department of State, U.S. Marine Corps, Department of Homeland Security and other large private organizations like Walmart. The garrison's adoption of the program was particularly inspired by the success the Marine Corps has had in lowering fatalities and improving the overall driving behavior of its Marines.
"How do you explain to the parents of a Marine that their son survived the war but died in a car crash while on duty in the U.S.?" Parker said.
The mount near the top and center of the windshield and have both forward facing and inward facing lenses, capturing audio as well as video. Improper driving habits such as hard braking, hard acceleration, cornering, or an actual collision triggers the device to record. Before the device starts recording, it will display a solid green light on the right side, then rapidly flash from green to red to indicate it is recording an event. The device is on a constant loop lasting eight seconds until a triggering event takes place -- at which point the camera will save the previous eight seconds and the four seconds following the event for a total 12-second clip.
The purpose of the trial phase is to substantiate the value of this safety system. A mid-term evaluation will take place at 45 days to collect overall reactions to the program. After the 90 day period, the command will make the final decision regarding officially adopting the Lytx DriveCam.
Driver behavior is analyzed through the recorded events processed by DriveCam technicians located in the U.S. The specialists note what triggered the event, and then score it for any possible behavior that is deemed "coachable" or "risky." If there is no behavior deemed coachable or risky, the event will be cleared and not be sent to the Lytx Safety department. If there is a noticeable behavior, it will be sent to the unit-designated coaches. Faulty behaviors include use of a handheld devices, not using a seatbelt, following too close, speeding, responding too late, obstructing the inside lens, judgement errors, or any number of other risky behaviors.
The previous eight seconds recorded before the triggering event determine what was going on with the driver and/or around the driver. The four seconds following the triggering event tell the complete story of what happened. At the end of the day, it helps protect and exonerate the driver. Corrective measures mitigate risks, and good drivers learn what part of their driving habits saved them. DriveCam focuses on the driver and not the vehicle itself, Parker explained.
Improving driver behavior can also help reduce fleet expenses associated with collisions and claims. Cultivating safer, more efficient drivers can help in many other ways, too--from lowering insurance premiums and maintenance costs, to increasing productivity and fuel efficiency. Jackrabbit starts, hard braking, and excessive idling are unsafe driving behaviors that can skyrocket fuel consumption and fleet operating costs.
"DriveCam video is the objective witness that provides the truth of what happened in the moments before, during, and after a collision. It's an ally that can help prove when drivers aren't at fault, prevent false claims, and stop litigation before it begins. This can result in fleet management cost savings," said Parker.
Parker also emphasized that DriveCam was not a tattletale program, rather, it is focused on coaching and protecting the driver. During quarterly program reviews, every driver is evaluated against a baseline.
"Did he/she go up? Did he/she go down? We sit with each client, and we actually address goals. We are here to figure out what people need and how people want to use the information we give out to clients. It is not the technology we want to emphasize. It is really the program behind the technology because we are here for each and every client," said Parker.
Lytx DriveCam results in a 60 to 80 percent reduction in driving incidents, he said.