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Last-Mile Delivery Fleet Letter Ride Tackles Risk in Real Time with Lytx Driver Safety Program In-Cab Alerts

Letter Ride has grown rapidly in its first few years; the Lytx platform has provided the tools for drivers to recognize and help address risky behaviors in real time

In an industry with harrowing insurance rates, Letter Ride has used Lytx to showcase its commitment to safety and achieve more favorable insurance policies

Lytx, a leading global provider of machine vision and artificial intelligence-powered video telematics solutions for commercial and public sector fleets, announced strong safety improvements from 24-7 courier service provider, Letter Ride, who has been using the Lytx Driver Safety Program for nearly a year. Letter Ride provides last-mile delivery services for DHL and is one of the fleets leading the burgeoning industry forward in adapting video telematics to address the sector’s unique safety challenges.

“We are a young company in a young industry, so the challenges we have faced are unprecedented,” said Letter Ride owner Roman Lara. “As our fleet has grown exponentially, we’ve experienced a faster pace of business and stretching our resources. Through these changes, the Lytx Driver Safety Program has helped us meet the rigorous demands of the same-day delivery business and face safety challenges in the moment with in-cab alerts, helping us keep our drivers — and the communities we serve — safe.”

Pain Points for a Rapidly Growing Fleet

Since its founding in 2016, Letter Ride’s fleet has grown to over 500 vans, operated by 1,000 drivers. This has largely been a result of the booming e-commerce industry, and further buoyed by stay-at-home orders creating a reliance of delivery of essential goods.

For Letter Ride and other fleets in the courier industry, this rapid increase in demand has come with unique challenges: even with a rigorous hiring and training process in place, Letter Ride’s growing fleet is increasingly made up of younger and less experienced drivers. For a fleet operating largely in residential areas, safety must be a top priority and so proactive, real-time driver safety tools are essential.

With that knowledge, Lara saw an opportunity to go the extra mile to make Letter Ride’s fleet as safe and well protected as possible, and sustain the challenges of the competitive last-mile industry.

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“Within the first few days of our trial with Lytx, we saw a Letter Ride driver as the cause of cell phone-related near-collision,” said Lara. “From the get-go, we quickly realized this was only the tip of the iceberg. The video-based alert and coaching program has helped us tackle these underlying concerns and build a safer, more sustainable and more competitive fleet.”

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Partnering with Lytx to Create a Safer Future

In early discussions with Lytx, Lara saw the hardware, powered by proprietary machine vision and artificial intelligence (MV+AI), working together with Lytx’s industry-leading analytics to provide the precise insights his fleet needed to become safer and prevent collisions. With this MV+AI functionality, the Lytx DriveCam Event Recorders are able to detect more risk factors than traditional telematics systems, flagging not only things like speed violations or hard braking but also distracted driving behaviors like cell phone use or lane departure.

These technologies and algorithms are powered by Lytx’s industry-leading database of over 100 billion driving miles, providing precise risk detection and alerts at the moment when they are needed most. As part of the Driver Safety Program, Lara and his fleet are using in-cab alerts to flag risky behaviors in real time, so drivers are equipped to self-correct the behavior as it occurs — and proactively prevent collisions and other adverse outcomes.

“The in-cab alerts have changed the safety game for us, providing a tool for drivers to recognize their unsafe habits in the moment,” said Lara. “I’ve been able to work closely with the Lytx team in customizing the program to flag the most critical challenges for my fleet, like cell phone use, rolling stops and lack of seatbelt use, so drivers are able to focus on the most relevant risk factors and make corrections accordingly. With the Lytx alerts, drivers develop an awareness of how often they are partaking in risky behaviors and the vast majority have been empowered to make changes to these habits in the long term.”

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Because many of its vehicles bare the logos of big names like DHL, Letter Ride also found itself susceptible to high rates of claims against its drivers. Combined with aggressive growth and the fast-paced nature of the business, Letter Ride was facing concerns about high insurance rates. Insurance companies have seen the challenges last-mile fleets face and, as a result, have placed high rates on coverage for these companies. For Letter Ride, deploying Lytx technology changed all of that.

“With so many associated risks, insurance companies are wary of covering delivery companies like Letter Ride and often charge rates that are far higher than the companies can afford,” said Cody Ritchie, president and owner of Crest Insurance, who brokered Letter Ride’s most recent insurance renewal. “When a fleet deploys Lytx’s technology — which has been proven to improve safety and cost savings time after time — insurance companies see a commitment to safety and are far more willing to work on a more favorable coverage policy together.”

Indeed, since deploying, Letter Ride has seen not only achieved improvements in safe driving, but also overall cost savings from accidents and worker claims. The Lytx DriveCam Event Recorders have allowed the management team to ensure drivers are complying with company policy and quickly prove when an accused driver was in the right; the video evidence provides objective views in what otherwise could be expensive claim processes for both Letter Ride and their insurance provider.

“With a deep history of supporting safe driving, Lytx has been an exceptionally valuable partner in recognizing risk in real time, keeping our insurance rates under control and maintaining the safety of the communities we serve,” said Lara. “We are proud to be making an industry-leading stride towards safer and more reliable last-mile driving services and I am hopeful that other courier fleets will follow in our footsteps to make the roads safer for everyone.”

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