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    Lytx Customer Spotlight: Beacon Mobility

    25 years using Lytx® technology to help keep drivers safe and improve coaching safety strategies.

    Beacon Mobility is a growing family of companies that creates customized, mobility-based solutions that empower people to get where they need to go. Beacon provides mobility services for school districts, special education programs, charters, regional transit authorities, nonemergency medical programs, and managed services. Beacon has been using Lytx’s video safety and video telematics technology for years. We recently sat down with Tim Tibbs, Vice President of Safety Operations, to learn more about Beacon’s proactive approach to safety.

    Lytx: Tim, could you tell us a little about your background and time utilizing Lytx?

    Tim Tibbs (TT): Back in 1998, I was a trainer in Cherokee, Alabama. A man came and talked to our senior safety people about this new tool. It was a box with what looked like an eye on it and lights on top. Our team told me they were going to put this [device] in my truck and I was very reluctant. I thought it was Big Brother watching.

    We could hook the device to a small TV and record it onto a VHS tape. Back then, that was great technology. It was in my truck for about six months. That was my first exposure to dash cameras.

    I took my first management position in late 1999 in California. At that company, people were asking me about the cameras. Fast forward a couple of years, and I was brought to Pennsylvania to talk to our folks about this wonderful tool they discovered called Lytx DriveCam®. I started laughing and told them that I've seen it. We took about six months to trial then we rolled it out to the entire company. I think we installed close to 800 cameras at that point.

    [The cameras] were a good coaching tool and we realized what we could use them for. Over the years, Lytx has been very supportive and would break down how to use the technology as it evolved. I thought it was the greatest tool we had.

    Fast forward a little bit more, and I'm a manager in Buffalo, New York. One of my trainers was slowly starting to have events and he’d never had them before—he’d always done everything right. So, I called him in one day and I asked what was going on. He realized he was getting distracted, and we were able to have a conversation about it. If I hadn't had that tool, I couldn't have seen [his issues]. I couldn't have brought [the increasing distraction] to his attention to keep him safe.

    Fast forward more and the technology was shown at our leadership meeting. [That demo] changed the whole dynamic and pushed how we used it further. We realized you could use the cameras and events in a way that could be customized for your needs. That was very important for the business we were in. Being able to recognize a distraction, a possible incident, or something that is not going well is important. Whatever we can do to help our people drive safely is the main priority.

    Lytx: Which Lytx tool were you originally using?

    TT: I think it was the Lytx DriveCam® SF64 that Beacon started out using. We [now] have SF400s in every revenue vehicle at my current company. I [can’t believe] the technology today compared to our original technology. People say I’ve been around a long time, and I reply that Lytx has been around a long time, too. Lytx made me a believer when I was a trainer and when I took my first management position.
    [The technology] gives you an early warning of what can happen. And I love it today because it can give the drivers audible [alerts] for certain behaviors like seatbelts or speeding. We all get distracted at one time or another, and it's important to set our drivers up for success. We want to help them however we can, and that little birdie on your shoulder—that little dinging [alert]—helps the drivers get home safe to their families and their communities as well.

    Lytx: Were there any evolutions in the technology that you felt took a big step?

    TT: There was a big jump [in innovation] from the SF64 to the SF400, particularly on the backend of the technology and what we could turn on. I don't like change just to change, but if it's going to better a person, our department, or the community, that’s good. The difference in the SF400 was the little things you could customize, like turning on a behavior and looking at [performance] for a few months. It's like steering a ship a little at a time.

    When you get buy-in from your middle managers and your drivers, you start looking at risk assessment. We have a great story we just published in one of our newsletters about a driver who had a 398 Lytx Driver Score. Using the DriveCam® device and our great coaching model, he went down to a 9 in 30 days. If you use the tools and do the legwork on the front end, you'll reap rewards on the backend.

    Today, this driver brags about this tool and what we've been able to do, and he brags about our coaches and safety supervisors. You have to personalize your coaching model to where you don't use it as a punitive tool. It’s a training tool to bring drivers home safe to their families and bring awareness [to their driving behaviors].

    Want to learn more about the exciting machine vision and artificial intelligence features discussed in this interview? Learn more here today!