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MiX Telematics, a SaaS provider connected fleet management solutions had a big announcement to make on May 10th. The South African company released an extensive update to its video-based telematics offering with the launch of Mix Vision AI, which it calls ‘the next generation AI-powered video telematics solution to optimise driver safety and minimise fleet operating cost’.

To find out more, Auto Futures spoke to the company’s Executive Vice President,  Marketing, Jonathan Bates.

“MiX Telematics was founded in 1996 by Stefan ‘Joss’ Joselowitz and as the company evolved, it set out to be a leading global provider of connected fleet services and a leading consumer brand of vehicle tracking and stolen vehicle recovery in South Africa,” says Bates.

The company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in 2007, followed by the NYSE in 2013.

“Our fleet management SaaS platform, coupled with our global expertise of getting proven results for our clients, allows us to deliver outstanding outcomes for our customers, such as collision reduction of up to 60%, fuel cost reduction of 15%, maintenance cost reduction of 20%, insurance cost reduction of 25% and productivity improvements through optimised utilisation and uptime of 25%. These benefits are achievable by combining our information-rich MiX Fleet Manager vehicle telemetry and our integrated MiX Vision AI video telematics solution and typically result in a 10:1 return on investment for our customers,” he says.

“The value is based on a carefully crafted customer experience, whereby each key stakeholder in our customers’ organisations is provided with the right innovative tools, the right kind of engagement and the right data-driven actionable insights at the right time. This is evident in our broad product portfolio, which is recognised by ABI Research as the best in the industry for both solution options and tech development.”

With key strategic regional offices present in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Australia, and customers across 120 countries, MiX Telematics is focused on growing its presence across all regions and continuing to add some of the largest global companies to its customer portfolio.

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Speaking about the company’s products and services, Bates explains: “A typical customer implementation that delivers elite-level results will entail a variety of solution components. Underpinning everything is MiX Fleet Manager, our connected fleet SaaS platform, the hub of all of the rich insights, where stakeholders such as the customer fleet executive, the HSE executive and the operations team get their key information, as well as via MiX Mobile, our cellphone app for customer executive and operational stakeholders. Our MiX Vision AI video telematics solution is utilised by customer drivers, in order to help them optimise driving behaviours.

“Our MyMiX app is designed for data-driven engagement directly with drivers, putting the ownership of continuous improvement in the hands of the key to the whole equation, the VIP, the driver. Enhancing safe and efficient driving consistently and progressively is what delivers the bulk of the ROI. There are many other useful modular solution components that a customer may need, such as MiX Hours of Service, which we are able to offer globally, respecting local driver hours legislation, MiX Journey Management, which offers safe journey planning, MiX Integrate, enabling a vast array of integrations with customers’ key 3rd party software solution, augmenting the value of the core data that we provide. There are too many to talk about in a short article!” adds Bates.

As our conversation moved on to AI and the new MiX Vision AI, I was keen to know that with the world moving towards connected technologies and AI based platforms, how the company is leveraging these technologies to improve its offerings.

“We’re always adding to our connected fleet platform with additional modules, and we have some exciting additions in the pipeline this year that will help customers dive even deeper into their fleet’s safety, efficiency and compliance by using artificial intelligence to provide automated insights. We are using machine-vision based technology and AI within our MiX Vision AI video telematics solution.

“MiX Vision AI uses advanced machine learning, in-cab video to monitor risky driving behaviours that could lead to fatal accidents. MiX Vision AI cameras are enabled with Advanced Driving Assistance (ADAS) giving the driver real-time coaching feedback on the trip, and the ability to review performance after the trip. The in-cab camera is also capable of monitoring and alerting to fatigue and distraction events.”

Some of the typical risky behaviours that it helps prevent include fatigue, distracted driving (including mobile phone use), no seat belts, unintended lane departure, imminent forward collision and unsafe following distance. 

“MiX Vision AI dash cams are also integrated with our data-rich vehicle telematics to provide a full view of vehicle and driver performance for safer and more efficient fleets. Our in-cab and road-facing cameras help prevent collisions, alert drivers to risky driving behaviour and save on insurance costs from wrongful claims against drivers with the power of video footage,” he says. 

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“Our knowledge and plans are directly linked to our customer’s future needs.”

With autonomous and electric mobility set to become the new reality in times to come, MiX Telematics is mindful of the challenges associated with these paradigm shifts in the mobility space and is all set to tackle them.

“With more and more emphasis being placed on minimising harm to the environment by consumers and organisations, the ability to leverage electric mobility will become increasingly important and we are on this journey with our customers, starting with 4 key areas of concern to our customers – procurement, excessive mileage, driver behaviour and charging compliance. In terms of procurement, our aim is to help customers understand their current fleet activity profiles – with the objective of comprehending which elements of their fleets are ripe for electrification and autonomy in what order, based on a data-driven approach.

“Questions we aim to help customers answer include what their current fleet activity profiles look like, for example loads carried, distance, terrain and dwell time, plus current total cost of ownership. A key piece of information for optimising fleet availability and utilisation is the vehicle state of charge, SOC and the derived driving range. This information needs to be available in real-time to enable informed decision making,” says Bates.

“Finally, being able to demonstrate how ‘green’ a transport fleet is will become increasingly important in the future especially in competitive tenders where more and more companies are putting an emphasis on minimising harm to the environment. Thus, the ability for a fleet operator to prove that their fleet is environmentally friendly will become a competitive advantage.

“There is so much more to come in this developing area, and we will be in the vanguard to face this oncoming trend head on with our customers.”

Finally, I asked Bates about what the future looked like for the company.

He replies: “We have a robust pipeline of innovation we are working towards, including more automation of customer KPI management within our SaaS solution and further enhancements to our video telematics and vehicle telematics product ranges. The feedback from our customers is that they are looking for more ways to harness actionable, data-driven insights to achieve even greater efficiency and safety gains in their fleet operations, and we are ideally positioned to do this for them.”

“We remain very adaptable to the changing landscape of mobility – our direct end market presence in each region gives us early insight into each market’s evolution. We are not reliant on 2nd hand information – our teams around the world are working directly with some of the largest fleets in the world, so our knowledge and plans are directly linked to our customer’s future needs,” he concludes.

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