19 Sep 19

Paul Washicko, CalAmp: “More data, more valuable insight”

Making use of big data and connectivity is an incrementally important role in developing mobility solutions for today and tomorrow. However, knowing how to use this power is key to maximizing potential, according to Paul Washicko who is Senior Vice President of California-based telematics solutions firm CalAmp.

For instance, accelerating computational processes to improve the performance of network connectivity as opposed to depending on the Cloud is key to harnessing the power of autonomous cars in the future.

This is just one topic I discussed during my last Global Fleet interview with the executive.

What are you responsible for at CalAmp and what is your main goal this year?

Washicko: I joined CalAmp in 2016 and currently serve as the senior vice president of product management, with a focus on providing fleet and asset management platform and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions to automotive, transportation and logistics, construction, government, and channel partner customers.

At CalAmp we are focused on transforming the global connected economy by providing technology solutions that streamline complex IoT deployments and bringing intelligence to the edge.

CalAmp headquarters in Irvine, California (source: Google maps)


What trends in connected fleet technology are on the rise this year?

Washikco: This year we are seeing companies streamline and integrate data from additional sensors on to a single data stream to simplify data handling and security.

With the increasing focus on driver safety, we will see cameras play a much bigger role in ensuring driver and passenger safety and will act as a means of proactively detecting issues before they arise.

Also, we are seeing more OEM’s start to monetize data by selling it directly on to third party services providers as a means of offering insight or furthered vehicle/connectivity innovation. More data results in more valuable insight!

What must happen to improve fleet efficiency and road safety before we implement fully autonomous vehicle fleets on roads?

Washicko: We need more data for insight around how these vehicles respond to different conditions. We’re currently in the data collection phase and intelligence captured from in-vehicle data can enable apps and services that expand access to more autonomous transportation modes, facilitate public safety compliance, deliver proactive driver behavior insights and expedite emergency response.

We have to account for how these vehicles will respond if network connectivity goes down. Rather than relying on cloud connectivity, we need to focus our efforts around edge components, which will accelerate computational processes to help autonomous vehicles be free of cloud dependency.

This data will feed the edge device in times of network loss or poor latency. Overall, this will help drivers avoid accidents as well as optimize routes to get to their destinations quicker without compromising safety.

How do smart sensors and location tracking make roads safer (e.g. accident prevention, in-vehicle coaching, and mobile asset utilization)?

Washicko: The primary benefit of employing telematics and smart sensors for a safer fleet is just that – it increases safety. Telematics enables trucking fleets to view the metrics that matter most to identify unsafe driving habits and coach improvement to increase overall fleet safety.

Fleet managers can track and measure multiple events from harsh braking and acceleration to speeding, abrupt lane changes and the use of reverse gear (highly correlated to collision).

The safety of human life is the number one concern for improving fleet safety. With that thought in mind, CalAmp developed CrashBoxx, which identifies when a collission has occurred, can help expedite assistance to the driver and privide crash severity and detailed accident reconstruction.

By leveraging telematics, corporations can reduce the number of collisions and driver injuries to improve overall fleet efficiency and operations as more drivers are staying productive and on the road.

Is infrastructure ready for 5G implementation and, once up and running, what are some of the main applications of 5G in vehicle fleet management?

Washicko: A number of mobile operators around the world are rolling out 5G but in terms of autonomous driving, the current network performance is lacking. 5G has the potential to resolve this situation, especially for its low latency features.

However, we believe it will take another generation of hardware before edge computer processing in combination with 5G will create a safe autonomous driving experience.

Authored by: Daniel Bland