PDT an Astronics Company: Product Design and Development Firm in Chicago, IL
SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform

PDT Case Study:

SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform

SmartDrive (now part of Omnitracs), a manufacturer of top-of-the-line safety and security solutions for fleets, turned to PDT when they needed design and engineering development for their next generation in-vehicle camera system, the SR4™ Transportation Intelligence Platform.


SmartDrive needed the product to feature a user focused experience in which large amounts of data are consumable in a simple, intuitive way. Our team got to work developing forms and functionality with high perceived value, paired with extraordinary ease of use.


Another core objective of the design was minimizing the footprint of cameras and devices while maintaining powerful capability and easy serviceability if needed.


A focused effort was also put into designing for ease of installation. Since installation is the first touch point that users experience with the system, accurate and quick installation is a strategic competitive differentiator.


PDT’s research team participated in ride-alongs to gather data and insights into use cases to inspire new concept development. Component placement was very important to the SR4 ecosystem, with devices designed to be hidden from sight, but placed ergonomically for ease of use when needed.


Since different fleets have differing vehicles, needs and business priorities, varying camera mounting options were created to capture maximum insight to operational and sensor performance, to capture events such as distracted driving, drowsy driving, unsafe following, U-turns and more.

SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform
SmartDrive Transportation Intelligence Platform


The team also focused on building a rugged solution to withstand the rigors of the fleet environment. Fleets are often drastically diverse, and the final product had to be suitable regardless the type of environment it was installed into. Diverse environments can often include long haul tractors, transit buses, fuel haulers, concrete mixers, last mile delivery vans, light duty service trucks, taxis and more. This breadth of vehicles and operating environments speaks to the complexity of the challenge of designing the SR4™ to perform across various types of fleets.


The system components work together to combine the power of video and analytics to measure driver performance and deliver actionable information fueled by predictive algorithms. The family design language ties the hardware elements together to visually communicate this connected ecosystem.


During design, emphasis was put on enabling the future of intelligent transportation while still being able to deliver significant value today. The future proof considerations of the advanced sensors in the SR4 hardware unlock the capabilities of technological advancements such as computer vision and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Additional memory and processing power was added to support these advancements as well as robust video and data processing capabilities. Added ports to the controller allow integration with other devices to turn the SR4 into the ultimate advanced sensing system.

SmartDrive SR4 Transportation Intelligence Platform

Final Product

SmartDrive’s desire for a collaborative effort between their team and PDT’s design and engineering team enabled the groups to vet and refine mount design, strain relief, connector selection, tamper resistance and more. The delivered designs were then handed off to SmartDrive’s mechanical engineers for detailed engineering and a seamless transfer to production.


The configurable camera and hardware platform offers flexibility without compromising effective risk measurement for fleets with varying vehicle configurations. The final system is robust and stylish, simple to install and use, while delivering the data fleet managers need to ensure safety and efficiency of their operations.

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