CSA 2010: Its Effect on Fleet Tracking Technology and Fleet Operations

I recently spoke with John Moscatelli, AT&T Director Industry Solutions Transportation/AVL. We got on the subject of Compliance Safety Accountability 2010 (CSA 2010) and how it will affect both fleet tracking technology and trucking fleet operations.  CSA 2010 is the Federal Government’s new way to measure fleet safety. Based on safety records, every fleet with a DOT (Department of Transportation) number is now given a score posted publically on the CSA website. This added scrutiny has increased fleet owners’ interest in solutions that improve safety and driver compliance.  In addition to traditional data logging techniques, fleet owners want systems that give real-time feedback and predict problems before they happen.

While CSA 2010 does not impose any new safety-related regulations on fleets or drivers, the program will make it easier for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), established in January 2000 to regulate the trucking industry in the United States, to identify the worst risks in the trucking industry. The FMCSA, under authority of the U.S. Department of Transportation, will use CSA 2010 to improve commercial truck and bus safety, thereby reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities related to commercial motor vehicles.

Within the CSA operation, the Safety Measurement System (SMS) quantifies the on-road safety performance of carriers and drivers. The SMS works to determine the specific safety problems exhibited by a carrier or driver, monitors whether safety problems are improving or worsening, and identifies candidates for interventions. SMS is an after-the-fact, post processing model that uses a motor carrier’s data, collected from a variety of sources, such as roadside inspections, safety-based violations, state-reported crashes, and the Federal motor carrier census, to quantify performance.  CSA 2010 replaced SafeStat, an older system that measured safety performance using the SMS.  Starting in summer 2010, carriers and drivers could review SMS database records and, if they felt compelled to, contest them.

Rather than making improvements and incurring costs after the fact, fleet owners are interested in improving their operations by utilizing predictive models.  Fleet tracking companies , such as AT&T partners Trimble and WebTech Wireless, offer solutions that create models based on a fleet’s own hours-of-service (HOS) and driver performance data to predict which drivers will earn a negative performance on their scorecard if no intervention is taken.

These solutions also gather data by tying into onboard systems, data busses and engines.  They also provide real-time, in-cab feedback regarding such potentially hazardous behaviors as speeding and hard braking. For operations management, this means the ability to generate real-time alerts at the dispatch center and, ultimately, enable driver interventions. Programs such as those offered by Trimble and WebTech Wireless allow fleet operators to address driver behaviors that could negatively impact their scorecards—and do so before the egregious behaviors are recorded in the government’s database.

As 2011 progresses, we’ll see increased enforcement, state-by-state, of CSA 2010, including new interventions.

If you work with or for a fleet operator, are you making any changes?
If so, what are they?
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