Q&A: Celia Stokes, CEO eDriving Fleet
eDriving Fleet CEO Celia Stokes gives an update on how things stand one year after the US driving safety specialist acquired Interactive Driving Systems.
How has the integration of the two businesses gone?
When we acquired Interactive Driving Systems (IDS) we knew it had tremendous customer relationships with large blue chip customers, talent and a deep understanding of the fleet space. What we didn’t fully appreciate then, is just how great an understanding that Ed Dubens, an industry pioneer now heading up eDriving’s FLEET division, has on what fleet operators and risk managers are looking for most. Ed’s expertise has been invaluable in terms of informing strategy, driving operations and steering product development. eDriving has been able to improve size, online learning content development and technological scale. These factors have all greatly accelerated the trajectory and impact of the company.
What does the merged firm bring that’s new for fleets?
We believe it’s game changing for the industry because we’ve emerged as the largest company providing a full suite of driver training and risk management solutions on a global scale – to the fleet market but also to consumer audiences in the US. This past year, we introduced three new products and broadened our reach to include small and medium-sized enterprises. And we’re uniquely positioned to be able to customise solutions, whether a company has a fleet with 12 drivers or 12,000.
Perhaps the biggest testament to productive joint efforts across the merged firms is the launch of a driver training programme we believe is going to be market-changing. It is the first closed-loop, smartphone based telematics solution for fleet drivers, called Mentor by eDriving.
Mentor includes all that was good, proven and patented from Interactive Driving Systems’ Virtual Risk Manager – what we now refer to as the original closed-loop approach – including cultural company set-up, risk assessment, risk indexing and prescribed remediation. To this approach, Mentor adds interactive micro learning, contemporary behavioural science and gamification to create the new closed-loop approach to driver training and risk reduction.
How does it cater for both global and local needs?
Our mission is consistent in every market. Best-in-class driver training is combined with data analytics to produce behavioural modification to address the 94% problem – the percentage of collisions caused by human error. We disrupt the driver mindset through the use of engaging, targeted training content, mobile and embedded telematics, cognitive science and insurance incentives. Increasingly, we focus on micro-learning.
How are you using new technology to develop new solutions?
Our most recent launch, Mentor by eDriving, is moving the market. Through smartphone-based telematics capture it assesses and scores a driver’s behaviour using a proprietary, predictive analytics platform, delivering a daily and weekly driving score powered by FICO, and delivers contextual and relevant micro training straight to the driver including full-motion interactive video. The training can be taken via smartphone to maximise convenience.
Scores are calculated after each trip and over time, to provide both immediate feedback and longer-term trending and benchmarking analysis. Add a little corporate gamification (or, as we like to call it, ‘shamification’) and it begins to change the proverbial conversation at the office water cooler.
We also recently rolled out OneMoreSecond, a revolutionary two-hour online course which we describe as ‘defensive driving reinvented’ with full-motion interactive video and driving journeys.
Also this year we launched RoadRISK Plus, a two-part risk reduction and training programme that combines a validated and research-based risk identification assessment with realworld video scenarios to test drivers’ ability to spot hazards in time, and provides tailored remedial training. Remediation training can be assigned based on the results of the assessment.
Where will the marketplace go in the future? How will the market change in the run-up to semi and fully autonomous vehicles?
I believe in the promise of autonomous vehicles and their potential to make our roads infinitely safer. In the interim, which could last decades, things could get worse before they get better. There’ll be a confusing mix of autonomous vehicles, semi-autonomous vehicles and vehicles with no autonomous features at all. The transition will invariably be messy. There may never be a more important time to help fleet operators manage risk.