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Havis Screen Blanking Solution Powered by Blank-it

Our Solution Partner, Havis, is now offering Screen Blanking Solutions powered by Blank-it to provide easy, safe and legally compliant ways to manage in-vehicle computer displays and prevent driver distraction.

Havis’ Screen Blanking Solutions provide easy, safe and legally compliant ways to manage in-vehicle computer displays and prevent driver distraction.

Blank-it is a combination of a multi-sensor, rugged USB and intelligent modular software technology. Once activated, the motion sensor technology recognizes a vehicle’s mobility and limits the display’s functionality, reducing visual, cognitive and physical distractions.

Sam Barall, National Sales Manager, Enterprise at Havis Inc, stated:

Distracted driving costs the nation thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year. Whether used on the road, in the field or in a warehouse, screen blanking can help to keep drivers safe and prevent vehicle damages while meeting regulations governing display equipment in work vehicles.

Blank-it’s password-protected administration interface allows companies to determine the level of screen functionality for a fleet of any size, with options including passenger-only viewing, privacy screen, keyboard/mouse disabler, GPS override and voice command, with additional features in development.

Easy to install, Blank-it can be embedded in a docking station or secured in a customized Havis Tamper Proof Cover without drilling or hardwiring. The technology operates without the need for antennas, power sources, GPS or third-party applications. Blank-It software is compatible with Windows XP (SP3), Vista, 7 and 10.

For more information on Havis’ Screen Blanking Solutions powered by Blank-it, visit: http://customers.havis.com/index.php/product-news/screen-blanking

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At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it is designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OHS requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 1300 112 002 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 1300 112 002).
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U.S. Mandates Reversing Cameras in Vehicles by 2018

The National Highway Safety Transportation Agency (NHTSA) recently announced a new rule that will require vehicles built from May 1, 2018 onwards to have a reversing (also known as a “back-up”) camera. This rule will apply to all road-legal vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4.5 Tonnes).

The NHTSA cites an average of 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries from “back-up” or reversing accidents every year, and notes that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of the deaths.

According to the rule, all vehicles manufactured on or after May 1, 2018 will have to be equipped with a rear-view camera. It also included specifics on response time after the vehicle’s transmission is shifted into reverse (2 seconds) and “linger time” of how long the camera remains active after shifting from reverse (between 4 and 8 seconds).

Introducing View-it

view-it logo 2016

View-it allows a reverse camera feed to be relayed direct to an in-vehicle computer display, thus avoiding the need for a separate display screen.

As soon as the vehicle is put in reverse the image from the reverse camera is instantly displayed on the computer screen. Once reverse is dis-engaged, the display reverts to its previous state freeing up the screen for normal use.

View-it is suitable for any vehicle fitted with a compatible camera and offers the following advantages:

  • Cost Avoidance – No need to buy an expensive reverse camera set-up. Use your existing in-vehicle computer for the reverse feed image.
  • Safety – Reduce the distraction by reducing the amount of mounted monitors in the vehicle.
  • Unobtrusive – Initializes a full-screen image containing the camera feed. When not reversing view-it is completely invisible to the user.
  • The view-it product includes software and smart cables ready for installation.

View-it is a stand-alone product that also integrates well with the Blank-it distracted driving solution and we recommend that all fleet owners consider installation of Blank-it & view-it as a vital part of their safety/OH&S obligations.

Find out more about view-it

 

Blank-it Featured on Xplore Technologies Blog

Xplore Technologies talk about the Blank-it distracted driving solution on their “Rugged XPlore Blog”.

In the article, Bob Ashenbrenner discusses the various in-vehicle distractions that drivers are subjected to and the responsibilities that employers have to keep their workforce safe on the road.

As Bob says:

So what if I told you that devices could actually eliminate our distraction from devices? Seems ironic, sure. But the fact is that your field service workers spend a majority of their time on the road in your service vehicle. They have tablets or other devices mounted practically in front of their face and it’s human nature to want to look at what’s on that screen. You have a responsibility to keep them safe on your watch, so why not fight fire with better fire and install a “Blank-it” type software coupled with motion-detecting vehicle docks on all your devices that absolutely shouldn’t be in use while driving? That protects them, you and everyone else on the road from the consequences of distracted driving.

Bob also refers to an earlier article from Motion Computing, a PDF version of which can be viewed here – Taking Aim Against Distracted Driving.

See the XPlore Blog article here

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At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it is designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OHS requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).
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Blank-it Featured in “Business News” Article

Business News has published an article on Blank-it‘s continued growth into the U.S. fleet market and the growing emphasis on its use in Warehousing type environments.

Philip Little, founding director of the company, describes the increased awareness of Driver Distraction issues in the United States and the subsequent interest in the innovative solution offered by Blank-it.

The article also covers the increasing use of Blank-it in work-site environments such as warehousing and mine sites. Blank-it is the ideal computer management solution for forklift operators and the forthcoming Next Generation model will provide even more flexible and robust solutions for warehouse and road fleets of all sizes.

View a PDF version of the article here:  Blank-it Business News Article

Original article (registration required): http://www.businessnews.com.au/article/Safety-in-motion

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

 

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.
Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

No charges for Deputy who killed Cyclist while Driving Distracted

deputy-napster-distractionCalifornia prosecutors have decided NOT to file charges against a sheriff’s deputy who struck and killed a prominent entertainment attorney and former Napster executive with his patrol car last year.

Deputy Andrew Wood was reportedly distracted by his mobile digital computer when his patrol car drifted into the bike lane, allegedly typing an email at the time he ran over cyclist Milton Olin Jr.

Prosecutors said in a letter cited by Los Angeles Daily News that because Wood was acting within the course of his duties when typing into his computer, criminal charges are not warranted.

Under current legislation, law enforcement officials are allowed to use electronic wireless devices while carrying out their duties. However – the victim’s family have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Sheriff’s Department and accused Wood of negligence and an online petition has been launched on Change.org demanding that charges be brought against the deputy.

While typing an email on his computer, it is alleged that “Wood briefly took his eyes away from the road precisely when the narrow roadway curved slightly to the left without prior warning, causing him to inadvertently travel straight into the bike lane, immediately striking Olin.”

View CBS Report below.

Online stories reporting the decision have prompted many comments demanding that action be taken and/or the law changed e.g. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2736376/Deputy-killed-former-Napster-COO-drifting-bike-lane-distracted-laptop-NOT-face-charges-answering-work-related-email.html

 

This is just the type of situation that Blank-it is designed to prevent

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Blank-it also makes it possible to disable input from keyboard or touchscreen to prevent this type of incident happening.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

Blank-it Featured in Electricity Today Magazine

Blank-it and our solution partners Motion Computing have been featured in a great article in ‘Electricity Today‘ magazine.

The article, “Distracted Driving Equals Disaster” explains in detail the dangers of driver distraction for Utility companies everywhere.

Backed up with statistics and in-depth analysis, it goes on to cover measures Utility companies can take to address this dangerous and potentially very expensive problem.

Solutions discussed include the use of Blank-it to manage in-vehicle computer use and thus reduce the risks associated with driver distraction.

We think this is a “must read” article for any company in the Utility sectors.

 

Read the article online here:  Distracted Driving Equals Disaster

 

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

Find out more today at Blank-it.com – or contact us on 08 9486 7122 (if calling from outside Australia: +61 8 9486 7122).

https://www.xploretech.com/

Blank-it safety in motion

Transportation Apps – Can They Compromise Safety?

By Ed Brown as Edbrown05 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia CommonsWe came across an interesting blog post on Governing.com – which takes a close look at Apps which are marketed as Transportation or Traffic aids, with particular emphasis on the ‘Waze‘ App.

The post raises some pertinent questions regarding the use of these apps when driving and the possible distraction impact.

Regarding the Apps’ usage, the author writes:

Most surprisingly, at one point, an alert popped up on the screen asking me to confirm whether another driver’s report of a red light camera in my vicinity was accurate. I almost rear ended someone when I glanced to check the message and enter a reply. As one critical writer put it, “Practically everything about the application is designed — even if not intentionally — to distract.”

The reports goes on to discuss potential liability issues:

Waze’s terms of service that say “it is strictly forbidden to send traffic updates … while driving. Such updates may only be sent after you have stopped your vehicle in an appropriate location permitted by law.” But, frankly, that seems like it may be lip service to the idea of safety. After all, it’s hard to imagine any drivers will achieve Waze’s goal of saving 10 minutes a day if they pull over every time they want to report an accident. Moreover, the app prevents text inputs when the car is moving, but to override it, drivers just have to indicate they’re a passenger.

Indeed, some have wondered if Waze or its users could be opening themselves to liability, given that it encourages participation through a points system. One blogger has suggested Waze should pay particularly close attention to an August New Jersey appeals court ruling that found the sender of a text message who knows his recipient is texting and driving can potentially be liable for causing a distraction.

Read the full article here: http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/col-transportation-apps-waze-compromise-safety.html
At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

 

 

 

Distracted Driving in the News – Jan 2014

The driver distraction issue received some prominent coverage in the Australian media in January.

Today Tonight

Channel Seven’s ‘Today Tonight‘ program aired a feature on distraction, incorporating some interesting driving simulator footage showing the effects of various types of distraction.

See the accompanying article here: http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/20893186/texting-drivers-put-to-the-test/

News Exchange

Also, national broadcaster ABC’s “News Exchange” program broadcast an in-depth segment on driver distraction and new technology in vehicles.

You can see the program using the link below – the segment in  question starts approximately 12 minutes into the program.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-24/news-exchange-driver-distractions-sochi-uniforms/5218502

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

State Laws Regarding Use of Video Displays in the Car

We came across a very useful resource provided by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)  regarding use of video display devices in the vehicle.

This resource from the CEA pulls together information about each U.S. State’s laws regarding use of electronic/video displays in the car. For the most part, most probably due to historical reasons, these refer to ‘video’ displays in the context of TV transmissions but obviously the same dangers (and more) are posed by the driver’s use of computers – which is just the issue Blank-it is designed to address.

Here are a few examples from the list:

  • District of Columbia: “No television equipment shall be installed in or on any motor vehicle in a manner which will make the reception of the television visible to the vehicle operator while the vehicle is in motion.”
  • Florida: “No motor vehicle operated on the highways of this state shall be equipped with television-type receiving equipment so located that the viewer or screen is visible from the driver’s seat.”
  • Maine: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a television viewer, screen or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast that is visible to the operator. This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer using a video camera or other video equipment for law enforcement purposes.”
  • New Jersey: “It shall be unlawful to operate upon any public highway a motor vehicle which is equipped with or in which is located a television set so placed that the viewing screen thereof is visible to the driver while operating such vehicle.”

See the full CEA resource here: http://www.ce.org/Consumer-Info/Car-Electronics/Got-It/State-Laws-for-Electronics-Use-in-the-Car.aspx

Most of the emphasis on driver distraction policies and laws to date has been on the use of cellphones, but we have consistently stressed the similar dangers posed by computer use in the vehicle.

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.

 

New Connecticut Laws Toughen Approach to Distracted Drivers

Cost of Distracted DrivingThe state of Connecticut recently signed into law two bills aimed at Distracted Drivers – laws which introduce new penalties and conditions that will impact drivers and employers.

There are some particular features in these new laws that will increase their impact:

  • They change distracted driving citations to a ‘moving violation’, putting it on the list of serious traffic violations and assigning it points.
  • They allow for the offence to appear on the motor vehicle record of the driver and be available to car insurance companies to use when calculating rates for an insurance policy. A fine is a one-time payment, but an auto insurance company can raise your rates for three years, or more, for a moving violation such as this.
  • The laws make it illegal for motorists to use their handheld device when behind the wheel – including when the car is sitting motionless. That means drivers may not use their mobile devices even when stopped at a light or stuck in traffic. Presently, a motorist must be driving (car in motion) to be ticketed.

It is likely that we will see more of this type of legislation brought in, together with the associated tougher financial penalties, that can have much more impact than a one-off fine. This is something that will impact drivers and employers.

At Blank-it, we know that driver distraction should be a primary area of concern for all drivers and employers, one that has to be addressed through policy, education and the use of technology-based solutions.

Blank-it has been designed specifically to address the problem of driver distraction caused by in-vehicle computers and laptops. It is easily installed, doesn’t rely on 3rd party input such as GPS, is fully customisable for different working environments and will help businesses conform to distracted driving legislation and OH&S requirements.