Omnitracs is buying SmartDrive, a move the companies say will create a converged, end-to-end platform that optimizes safety, driver productivity, and workflow, as well as routing, dispatch, and compliance.
Omnitracs LLC, a provider of SaaS-based fleet management, data analytics solutions, and transportation technology, and SmartDrive, a provider of video-based safety and transportation intelligence, have entered into a definitive agreement for Omnitracs to acquire SmartDrive.
For the first time, Omnitracs said, the combined company will "unite driving context with operational insight across hundreds of billions of data points to transform the experience for the driver, back office, and customer service alike."
Omnitracs got its start 35 years ago as a pioneering satellite tracking and communications system. Today, it offers fleet GPS monitoring, routing and navigation, critical event reporting, driver and vehicle performance monitoring, electronic logging devices, and its own Omnitracs Critical Event Video, and more. In 2018, it announced the Omnitracs One platform, moving beyond being an in-cab hardware device provider to a software-as-a-service provider.
“By integrating SmartDrive’s transportation intelligence platform, video safety hardware, and risk analysis service offering with the Omnitracs One platform, we can deliver a converged solution built on artificial intelligence and machine learning that redefines the future of commercial transportation today,” said Ray Greer, CEO of Omnitracs, in a press release. "Real-time risk mitigation, streamlined data flows from the cab and vehicle sensors to dispatch and the back office, and a superior driver experience will be brought together to improve safety, efficiency, and operational excellence."
Omnitracs points out that there is no one-size-fits all solution for today’s fleets. The needs of oil and gas operations are very different from those of general freight, for instance, and both differ from local delivery and dozens of other transportation operations. Both Omnitracs and SmartDrive have built their businesses around providing enterprise-grade, flexible, and adaptive solutions that can anticipate and address the distinct operating requirements of each fleet they serve, according to the announcement.
“We couldn’t be more excited about joining forces with Omnitracs and look forward to realizing and advancing the promise of convergence to the benefit of our shared customers,” stated Steve Mitgang, SmartDrive CEO, in a release. “In Omnitracs, we have a like-minded company, seeing the power of data for innovation and solving material fleet and transportation industry challenges.”
Given the longstanding shortage of qualified drivers and high turnover rates, creating and sustaining a favorable driver experience is imperative to fleets’ success, Omnitracs noted. However, recent transportation technology advancements have resulted in a proliferation of devices and sensors, the need for multiple cellular connections, siloed data streams that create redundancies, and other inefficiencies that stem from disparate onboard and back-office systems, all of which complicate the driver experience.
SmartDrive’s video-based safety program integrated with Omnitracs’ driver workflow, and complemented by both companies' years of collected transportation intelligence, present an opportunity to streamline and enhance the driver experience. The combined company will deliver a complete and intelligent experience, with in-cab and back-office decision-making, alerting, and driver coaching
“We’ve had great partnerships with both Omnitracs and SmartDrive over the years. We are excited to see these two companies come together,” said Chad England, CEO of C.R. England, in a release. “We are confident that the integration of offerings will create efficiencies for C.R. England.”
Subject to customary closing conditions, including customary regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in calendar the fourth quarter.