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New partnership promotes safer driving

26 May 2017

Mark Ingle and Professor Alister Jones

Mark Ingle from eDrive Solutions and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones shaking on a new partnership.

The University of Waikato and eDrive Solutions (trading as Fleetcoach) have announced a new partnership that will increase opportunities for safer driving in New Zealand and Australia.

The purpose of the strategic partnership is for the parties to collaborate, identify, develop and realise mutually beneficial research and commercial opportunities.

eDrive and Fleetcoach are interactive online driver training programmes scientifically proven to reduce crash risk.  eDrive is targeted toward learner drivers, and Fleetcoach is specifically for organisations to keep their staff safe.

Head of Research at eDrive solutions is Associate Professor Robert Isler, Director of the Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) research group at the University of Waikato. He has spent more than 30 years researching and sharing ways to safely train drivers in crucial high-level skills such as visual search, situation awareness, hazard anticipation and risk management. For more than 10 years the team at Fleetcoach has been using this research to educate and coach drivers to be safer road users.

University Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Alister Jones says the partnership with eDrive reflects the University’s commitment to continue to be leaders in the field of research in traffic and road safety. “We have an international reputation in this area, and it makes good sense to work with others to build on the research we’ve been doing for a number of years. This research influences road safety policy and road safety; it’s research that makes a big difference.”

Chief Operating Officer at Fleetcoach Craig Cockerton says the partnership with the university will strengthen the research capabilities of eDrive Solutions, and this will further enhance their product offerings.

“We are excited to have entered a partnership with the University of Waikato. Research underpins this relationship, and provides the foundation on which the Fleetcoach online driver training was built,” Mr Cockerton says.

The University of Waikato became an equity partner with eDrive Solutions Ltd in March this year.

Dr Isler’s research has shown that video-based simulations are an effective way to train high-level driving skills. Skills learned through video simulations directly lead to safer attitudes in driver behaviour, and are transferable to real-world driving situations, he says

From this research, Fleetcoach driver training was developed, and is proven to reduce crash risk, and save lives.

"The strong research base of eDrive and Fleetcoach has led us to develop the market-leading driver training solutions and we look forward to continuing and extending this leadership as a result of this new strategic relationship," says Mr Cockerton.