Katherine French, VP of Marketing & Strategy
Revolutionary developments in the automotive sector such as vehicular electrification and autonomy are often limited to new vehicles and only a small portion of the vehicles sold. Telematics has not witnessed substantial advancement since the advent of GPS tracking. Among the hundreds of telematics companies, few offer anything other than commoditized data tracking and dashboard monitors.
Heralding a change to disrupt this path of advancement is Derive Systems—a leading technology company customizing vehicles to suit specific environmental and usage conditions. Connecting vehicles to the digital world, the company upgrades vehicle settings to optimize performance, control, and fuel efficiency. Importantly, these improvements are achieved from the vehicle’s control system, completely independent of driver behavior. Derive’s management dashboard allows fleet managers to track, analyze, report, and integrate insights from telematics data, thereby uniting the “write” access of automotive upgrades with the “read” access of telematics into a holistic “active telematics” solution.
Honed over 15 years, Derive Systems’ proprietary technology leverages added onboard intelligence, powerful cloud data integration, and enhanced sensors to personalize the automotive experience. “We transform vehicle experiences from one-size-fits-all to smart, dynamically adaptable, and mission-specific,” states Katherine French, VP of marketing and strategy, Derive Systems.
The driving force behind Derive Systems’ ability to upgrade vehicle settings to suit different requirements is its Derive VQ platform: a vehicle interface, smartphone app, and software. The vehicle interface plugs into the OBD-II port and is packed with 4G LTE, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The interface pairs with the Derive VQ smartphone application via Bluetooth, linking driver and vehicle. This driver-vehicle pairing empowers fleet managers to optimally manage their fleet’s performance for safety, driving efficiency, and operational efficiency.For example, the pairing nullifies distraction by limiting the driver’s phone to only manager-approved apps when the vehicle is in use. Derive VQ ensures that drivers obey safe driving habits by preventing speed faster than a manger-approved maximum or ignition without the seatbelt fastened. By integrating with workforce management systems, Derive VQ improves vehicle utilization by scheduling tasks and service appointments depending on the vehicle’s location, speed, and direction of movement.
When deploying solutions, Derive Systems adopts a consultative approach, first to understand a fleet’s specific vehicle usage patterns and challenges, then to develop optimum software upgrades. For fleets seeking more conservative driving, Derive installs speed governors and sets torque, horsepower and shift point settings that create safer and more efficient operations irrespective of drivers’ behavior. For law enforcement fleets that idle for extended periods, optimizing idle RPM saves fuel and reduces emissions.
Derive has over two million installations of its technology. The solution came as a major boost to the U.S.-based direct-broadcast satellite service provider Dish Network, which operates a fleet of 4,700 vehicles. Derive provided a custom solution that included speed governors, idle RPM reduction, shift point optimization, and proper acceleration response, improving fuel management both when idling and cruising. Together, these upgrades improved the efficiency and safety of Dish Network’s fleet, reducing over 9,000 tons of CO2 emissions. Consequently, Dish Network achieved a 10.5 percent annual savings: $2 million in fuel expense and $1.5 million in maintenance costs.
Derive Systems has an extensive roadmap to enrich vehicles with features that improve efficiency, safety, and performance. “Interfacing with new vehicle sensors, hardware, and future technologies brings additional, local sources of intelligence to power new features,” remarks French. She states that integration with cloud services enables real-time insights and adjustments through responsive action such as manager-defined automatic idle shutoff periods, guaranteed ELD compliance by preventing ignition outside of approved hours, and vehicle speed dynamically limited to the posted speed limit of the road traveled on.