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According to the Guardian, Australia Post has seen an incredible demand for pharmacy deliveries, with the latest figures suggesting a 236% increase compared to this time last year. In addition, department store delivery has gone up 184% and alcohol 168%.
As increasing numbers of countries come out of lockdown, the ever-present threat of COVID-19 means many retail and restaurant experiences will continue to be disrupted. The demand for delivery is here to stay.
As a result, major retailers are actively recruiting to try and meet their customers' needs. In recent weeks Amazon has hired more than 175,000 delivery drivers and warehouse workers, while COVID-19 has created more than 700,000 vacancies across the United States for these so-called gig economy workers, says CBS Money Watch.
But there's a word of caution from fleet experts. Thousands of inexperienced drivers could be hitting the roads without the proper or adequate training, driving large vehicles they might not be accustomed to. The problem is, social distancing has made one-on-one and group coaching of drivers nearly impossible.
Now is not the time for businesses to cut corners," said Ian McIntosh, CEO of RED Driving School in an interview with Fleet Europe. “Customer service teams are under more pressure than ever, but that is no excuse for employers to send untrained drivers onto the road and neglect their duty of care. A comprehensive fleet driver training program is vital to ensure drivers are safe and efficient."
However, is there a way to train drivers on the move, while keeping them and other road users safe? That's certainly the aim of dreyev, a new road safety app that acts as a “virtual passenger".
“For fleet management companies, we saw this niche of driver attention monitoring but also real-time coaching for drivers as a very useful tool for safety," says Roberto Sicconi, co-founder and CTO of dreyev.
By bringing more awareness of the road to the driver, dreyev aims to change driver behavior to reduce accidents. “Our tools can encourage their drivers to become better and better each day and safer, by helping to train drivers in real time."
The app uses HERE Live Sense SDK, which allows companies to transform any device with a front-facing camera into a smart safety system. As well as looking out for other vehicles, it can warn the driver of pedestrians and cyclists in their vicinity, as well as providing information on potholes, speed limits and construction zones.
It acts as a second pair of eyes that constantly scans the driver's environment looking out for potential dangers and hazards. And because it uses both a forward-facing camera and a driver-facing one, it monitors the driver to detect a loss of concentration or drowsiness. Drivers are alerted in real-time through signals and voice guidance, and by constantly evaluating the risk and the driver's attention, it will warn them if it perceives that they have missed something or haven't reacted in time in a non-intrusive way.
“We see that in this age of uberization of tracking, this capability of training people, training drivers in real time, and also monitoring them in dangerous event occasions, is going to be a very, very useful feature to have."
“It's really important to have this real-time warning capability or real-time training, coaching, which we refer to as micro-coaching," adds Roberto.
Now, more than ever, as increasing numbers of inexperienced drivers take to the roads to meet customers' demand for home delivery, this app could help fleets ensure their drivers and other road users stay safe.
Discover more of the features and possibilities of HERE Live Sense SDK