Solution monitors bus driver cell phone use

Posted on October 11, 2011

NORTH EAST, Pa. — Orion Innovations LLC has introduced Signal-Safe, a patent-pending, wireless technology that officials say provides a solution to the dangers posed by cell phone use during motor vehicle operation.

Universally applicable to the automotive, truck, transportation and fleet industries, Signal-Safe is designed to discourage driver cell phone use (and resulting distraction) to protect passengers and prevent motor vehicle crashes.

Developed via extensive research and consultation with engineers, vehicle installation experts and electronics product manufacturers, Signal-Safe technology operates compatibly with all cell phones in any vehicle type, according to the company. The technology continually monitors and logs a data report for cell phone use at the driver station while also providing a solution to eliminate "false positives" (the logging of false events caused by the presence of signals that are not generated by a driver cell phone).

In addition, Signal-Safe eliminates the need for recurring subscriptions, cell phone-specific "apps" and pre-programming.

In a pilot program conducted with the cooperation of an upstate New York school bus fleet, in which the buses were monitored for a total of 8,512 miles, Orion Innovations installed Signal-Safe to determine if the presence of the technology would reduce driver cell phone usage.

Monitoring cell phone usage without the drivers' knowledge of Signal-Safe installation provided an initial data comparison base. Drivers were then informed that Signal-Safe had been installed and would log all driver cell phone events. The results showed an 84-percent reduction in driver cell phone use while buses were in operation, according to the company.

Signal-Safe utilizes a cell phone signal detection device (SDD) engineered specifically to isolate the vehicle driver station. The SDD is integrated with the electrical function of the vehicle and is deployed when the ignition switch is in the "on" position and the vehicle is in motion.

When the SDD detects a cellular signal from the driver's station during mobile operation, a user-friendly data report is generated and logged to the "black box" memory for transfer to any computer via a USB flash drive, or it can be paired with an onboard vehicle telematics platform for generation of real-time reports.

The system can also be configured in over-the-road haulers to continually monitor hands-free cellular use. Additional options include onboard audio and visual warnings, as well as the recorded announcement of driver cell phone use.

With sole monitoring of the vehicle driver station, Signal-Safe technology has no effect on passenger cell phone use, and its passive system design prevents interference with other vehicle sensors and electronic systems.

According to the company, potential benefits from Signal-Safe utilization include:

● Reduction of liability relating to property and casualty losses
● Substantial reduction of at-fault collisions
● Lower worker's compensation costs
● Data reports that warrant insurance premium reductions

Orion Innovations has produced two Signal-Safe models for its commercial product launch. Signal-Safe "Fleet Master" is a standalone product designed for fleet applications when integrating with onboard monitoring technologies is not available or desired. Signal-Safe "Pro" is designed for pairing with onboard telematics monitoring systems.

Related Topics: cell phones

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