Going on a road trip? There’s an app for that
Accessible from mobile devices and workstations, the app integrates existing systems for a safe travel experience.
Employees and contractors now have access to a single, unified digital platform for tracking on- and off-road vehicle journeys, according to Information Technology (IT) and the Loss Prevention Department (LPD).
In 2019, company vehicles racked up over 200 million kilometers in work-related travel. In an effort to reduce the risk of drivers becoming lost or stranded, IT and LPD are introducing a new SafeTravel journey management system.
The SafeTravel solution, accessible from mobile devices and workstations, is a simple-to-use application that integrates existing systems, such as automatic vehicle location, an emergency responder tool, and a geographic information system.
Adel S. Al Doulab, manager of the Area IT Department, said, “By shifting this process to a digital format, we have created a single, unified platform that is able to host accurate electronic records, and provide up-to-date journey information on travel, while also allowing for automatic notifications or escalations in case of trips not going as planned.”
Ghassan G. Abulfaraj, LPD manager, said journey management used to be a manual process that was challenging to track accurately. “We found it to be less efficient during search and rescue activities with paper records based in different locations, while also being difficult to reference during an emergency.”
“The SafeTravel solution serves as a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything travel related.”
— Ghassan G. Abulfaraj
“Through a simple input of data prior to a journey, the entire process can now be automated. This solution is capable of managing approvals processes, issuing notifications, and automatically escalating a hazardous situation to emergency responders.”
A major advantage of SafeTravel is its ability to maintain constant communication between the driver and journey coordinators. Once a driver begins a trip using the SafeTravel mobile app, the route is immediately updated onto a journey management GIS dashboard.
If for some reason a driver is unable to reach his or her destination within an hour of the planned arrival time, alerts are triggered to direct management and journey coordinators. If this delay extends to two hours, the system escalates this alert to division head level. If no response or update is received within three hours, the trip will automatically be classified as an emergency and the 911 emergency response center is notified.
To plan a trip using the SafeTravel mobile app, a driver simply accesses the app from any enrolled mobile device.
If a driver faces difficulty in reaching his or her destination and requires assistance, he or she is able to send an immediate notification to a 911 emergency center through the tap of a button. This notification will contain details of the driver, the vehicle, and its exact location.
Ahead of the safety app rollout, employees and contractors should always continue to follow the core elements of effective journey management, including:
- Telling someone where you are traveling to
- Using an appropriate vehicle for the hazards associated with a trip
- Staying with your vehicle if you get lost, it breaks down, or gets stuck
- Having your supervisor call 911 if you are missing for three hours or more.
— By Abdullah Y. Al-Hassan and Adam Currie