Rocky Mountain Trucking LLC

Attention on safe truck parking has increased with U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s recent announcement that nearly $40 million in federal funding will be allocated to expand truck parking in Florida and Tennessee.

Lytx is also doing something about this rising concern.

The video telematics provider is rolling out a new parked feature via its Vision Platform to help fleets avoid potentially risky parking that could lead to collisions that could result in serious injuries or death.

According to American Trucking Associations, more than 98% of truck drivers have reported difficulty finding safe parking, often leading to parking on the shoulder of a highway or interstate or on a ramp, posing a public safety hazard that could also wreak financial havoc on trucking companies.

“Carriers have been asking for this solution because of the increased risk and high cost that can result from ‘sitting duck’ situations, including nuclear verdicts, loss of driver wages, vehicle downtime and potential injuries and fatalities than can occur,” Lytx Senior Product Marketing Manager Ofelia Chernock told CCJ. “Our clients have identified these types of ‘sitting duck’ collisions as among their top five risks. Although collisions are relatively rare, when they happen, they often result in devastating consequences because of the high speeds travelled on the highway.”

Lytx’s new feature, dubbed Parked-Highway/Ramp, uses idling data and GPS information to determine when a vehicle is stopped and to identify potential incidents of risky or dangerous parking. The system previously could detect if a vehicle was idling or stopped but didn’t have the ability to identify risk when a vehicle was stopped in an unsafe manner.

If a vehicle is stationary while other traffic continues to move, the vehicle is on an interstate or highway, whether on the side of the road or on a ramp, and it remains that way for 10 minutes or more, the road-facing Lytx DriveCam recorder will take a 10-second recording. If a risk is identified and the criteria are met, an event is generated, and the Parked-Highway/Ramp label is added as a trigger and behavior.

“The event is then uploaded to the Lytx account for the fleet manager to review and determine the reason that the driver decided to pull over onto the side of the highway or ramp,” Chernock said. “They will also want to know if the vehicle is disabled, if there are hours of service limitations, or if the driver simply needed a rest and couldn’t find another location to park. Then, the manager can work directly with the driver to help determine the safest path forward depending on the actual situation.”

Lytx developed the parked feature in collaboration with customers within Lytx Lab, an idea incubator and a way for Lytx engineers and safety experts to work directly with customers to address market needs.

“The primary mission of Lytx Lab is to work closely with our clients during the research and development process in order to get a better understanding of what the market needs, enabling us to accelerate innovation and quickly deliver new tools powered by the Lytx Vision Platform that companies can use to improve their safety programs and operations,” Lytx Chief Technology Officer Rajesh Rudraradhya said in a news release. “With the incredibly insightful feedback we received from customers using the feature in its early stages, we were better able to iterate and refine the final version of Parked-Highway/Ramp, the first official experiment to originate from Lytx Lab and be publicly released.”

The feature will be released officially in the coming weeks.