Pointer and Microsoft Israel developing cloud-based AI system to predict driver behavior


A leading Israeli developer, manufacturer and operator of telematics-based mobile resource management (MRM) systems, Pointer Telocation, is collaborating with Microsoft in Israel to build an artificial intelligence (AI) system for modeling and understanding driver behavior.

For over 20 years, Pointer has been a pioneer in the connected car and MRM market and has developed a full suite of tools, technology and services to respond to them. The company’s innovative and reliable cloud-based software-as-a-service (SAAS) platform extracts and captures an organization’s critical mobility datapoints, including office, drivers, routes, points-of-interest (POIs), logistic-network, vehicles, trailers, containers and cargo.

The SAAS platform analyzes the raw data converting it into valuable information for Pointer’s customers, providing them with actionable insights and enabling them to improve their bottom line and increase their profitably.

The system being developed will learn based on the large volume of driver behavior data (big data) collected by Pointer historically, as well as on an ongoing basis, combined with environmental data, such as speed limits, road types and weather conditions.

The analysis will be performed using Microsoft Azure cloud services, using the most advanced AI and machine learning (ML) tools and big data analytics techniques. The system is intended to objectively characterize and rank driver behavior based on approximately 70 million real-time driving operations every day gathered from Pointer’s telematics-based data.

Pointer’s goal is to build a predictive system for driver behavior, based on patterns within the big data collected. The system will be able to forecast those drivers that are more likely to be involved in a future road accident in light of the way they drive and their history. It will also be able to indicate which component of their driving needs improving, in order to reduce their risks.

“We have proven capabilities in gathering data from the field through our IOT (Internet of Things) solutions, while Microsoft provides its leading cloud data solutions as well as analysis and forecasting knowledge in collaboration with top data science and machine learning experts,” explained Pointer’s CEO, David Mahlab.

“This collaboration represents a breakthrough in our industry, providing an objective tool for scientifically measuring and classifying driver safety profiles. Looking ahead, our goal is to work internationally with Microsoft, becoming an influential predictor of the effects of varied driving behavior, with the goal of substantially reducing traffic accidents around the world.”

Ron Sprinzak, VP and enterprise commercial lead at Microsoft Israel, commented, “The project will use our leading cloud platform, Microsoft Azure, as well as a broad range of today’s most advanced technologies, including big data analytics, machine learning and IoT. These will enable Pointer’s comprehensive collection of driving pattern data, as well as advanced analytics and forecasting in real time.

“Azure’s advanced AI technologies will enable Pointer to evolve into a provider of real-time driving behavior forecasting, and we hope will ultimately make the new service available to its customers worldwide through deployment at the Azure Data Center.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).