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Fleet

BlackBerry & DMC Insurance Partnering on Fleet Management

by Nathan Eddy
BlackBerry and DMC Insurance, a provider of commercial transportation insurance, are partnering to help develop insurance-based products and services using near real-time data from BlackBerry Radar.

The data would include information such as vehicle location, route and mileage, temperature, humidity, door status, and cargo load state.

DMC is part of Fairfax Financial Holdings, and serves as the transportation program manager for marketing, underwriting and claims management for Crum & Forster.

The Radar family of products is an asset tracking platform designed to give fleet managers to securely communicate in near real-time with trailers, vans, containers, flatbeds, chassis and equipment.

The family includes a low maintenance hardware module, industry-specific web-based applications for business analytics, cellular connectivity, and product improvements through regular over-the-air software updates.

Three device sensors allow for event-driven alerts, such as location, giving fleet managers the ability to track assets when in motion or stationary.

These sensors also offer customized geofencing, and drivers can find fleet assets using their mobile phones, while a ruggedized hardware unit is designed to weather the wear and tear of trucking routes.

Motion detection sensors let management know when a truck or trailer is on the move or in/out of a geofence, while the third sensor monitors the open/close status when mounted on doors.

BlackBerry offers two version of the platform, Radar-L and Radar-M, with the M class offering additional capabilities like the ability to monitor conditions inside the container.

This helps fleet managers remain in compliance with perishable product regulations such as the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) or manage sensitive cargo, such as pharmaceuticals.

The company noted Radar-M is best suited for dry trailers, refrigerated/heated trailers and intermodal and container fleets. Sensor readings taken every five minutes can be uploaded in groups to the secure cloud platform at an interval of every 15 minutes or more, as configured by the user.

"By being able to access valuable, near real-time information, motor carriers can optimize their costs of risk and improve their return on investment," Sandeep Chennakeshu, president of BlackBerry Technology Solutions, wrote in a statement.

The company claims the platform collects up to 100 times more data than GPS-based track and trace technologies, using the data to build a 360-degree visualization of the company's fleet assets to ensure security, safety, and regulatory compliance.

BlackBerry noted data is stored securely at all times to maintain the privacy of user information -- BlackBerry Secure, an end-to-end enterprise of things platform, a combination of its enterprise communication and collaboration software and safety-certified embedded solutions, adds an extra layer of security.

After seeing its position in the smartphone market diminish considerably, BlackBerry has found new success in the automotive sector, with the company recently publishing its "7-Pillar Recommendation for Automotive Cybersecurity."

The white paper was authored by Chennakeshu and outlined seven principles for the protection of connected cars: secure the supply chain, use trusted components, employ isolation and trusted messaging, conduct in-field health checks, create a rapid incident response network, use a lifecycle management system and make safety and security a part of the culture.

Nathan Eddy is a filmmaker and freelance journalist based in Berlin. Follow him on Twitter @dropdeaded209_LR.

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