Trailer accidents have a major negative impact on road transport fleets in terms of human and operational costs as well as damage to vehicles. We all want to prevent and minimise accidents. One way to do so is to use predictive analytics.
What are predictive analytics?
Predictive analytics use many techniques from data mining, statistics, modelling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analysing current data and make predictions about the future. (source: )
According to Lauren Domnick, senior director of analytics and modelling for Omnitracs “In trucking, the advent of big data is enabling the development and implementation of predictive analytics for a range of applications, especially safe driving and driver retention.” (source: )
Predictive analytics, familiar forms
In the road freight transport industry, we are already familiar with predictive analytics in the form of “Advanced Driver Assistance Systems” (“ADAS”). They help make truck driving safer and less stressful today. These ADAS include applications such as traction control, ABS brakes, electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control and telematics.
Predictive emergency braking systems, which detect obstacles through sensors and automatically activate brakes on a vehicle ahead of a possible collision, have been with us for some time. In the EU, trucks with a gross weight of more than eight metric tonnes have had to be equipped with predictive emergency braking by law since 2015. (source: )
It is likely that whilst driving, at some point, we have all been distracted by a smartphone, and hence put ourselves and our vehicles at risk of an accident. However, distraction may be caused by other factors such as adjusting your car infotainment, your GPS settings or it might be your mind wondering off, thinking about a work or family issue and distracting you from concentrating on the road.
For more than a decade, fleet operators have been able to use telematics to remotely identify potentially negative events in their trucks such as hard braking, excessive acceleration, poor route planning or insufficient tyre pressure. They have used this data to coach their drivers into improving their performances.
Now, predictive analytics systems from companies such as or can proactively predict situations where there is a risk of collision or when a driver is exhausted or distracted. (source: )
From behaviour detection to accident prevention
To prevent accidents caused by behavioural issues like distraction, fleet managers and drivers can take immediate action. For example, has developed an app which can be installed along with a proximity-sensing device to automatically hold calls, texts and email while the driver and his or her smartphone are on the move. A company called has launched a video-based commercial driver monitoring system that provides audible reminders and notifications when it senses a risky situation. (source: )
In addition, some companies are developing weather prediction systems which combine historic and actual data on weather and its impact on roads, which will then feedback information in near real-time to drivers to anticipate driving conditions and drive more safely. (source: )
Coaching and driver retention
Other positive applications of predictive analytics include the use of the data gathered to coach drivers and help retain them. Thanks to the information provided by onboard telematics, the fleet manager knows when drivers start and stop during their working days. Predictive analytics help fleet managers to identify signs of behaviour indicating that a tired driver might need a rest or may want to leave the company. The fleet manager can take appropriate action resolve the issues underlying the behaviour. (source: )
In-truck cab cameras and cameras installed on the truck and trailer are also at the heart of many predictive, analytics-based accident alert systems. In some cases, the camera starts shooting when triggered by a particular type of event such as collision, a near collision, tailgating, etc. This can then be combined with historical data to help drivers enhance the safety of their driving styles. (source: )
TIP and predictive analytics
With over 50 years’ experience in the trailer rental and trailer maintenance business, TIP Trailer Services can help you install and operate predictive analytics-based solutions to help prevent accidents for trailers and trucks from a range of providers.
TIP leasing and rental
With a transport fleet of over 66,000 units, TIP is one of Europe’s largest transport equipment trailer rental and trailer leasing companies providing fleet managers with the flexibility to meet fluctuating demand for trailers. TIP can supply you with trailer maintenance and repair services through its network of over 70 workshops across 16 countries providing round the clock support, 365 days per year. It also operates a pan-European roadside assistance programme to help you get your trailers back on the road as soon as possible in the event of a breakdown. For more information about TIP and predictive analytics, please contact us using this form.
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