North East Connected

Stockton firm poised to reveal latest digital product to the world

A technology-driven company based in Stockton’s Fusion Hive building is poised to launch a new digital product that will revolutionise the fleet management market for SMEs.

The team behind the successful National Safety Passport business is building a tool – ready for launch later this year – which will help companies manage their “grey fleets”.

It is the latest technology company to grow from Fusion Hive – the Northshore-based innovation hub managed by Teesside University – where tenants can access university skills, knowledge and contacts.

Marc Atkinson is the managing director of DRIVER, a low-cost platform for businesses to manage their grey fleet duty of care.

He explained: “The grey fleet is the term for vehicles used for business that don’t belong to the company; cars, vans or even bicycles.”

“By definition it’s tricky for companies to understand and manage the risks faced by both employer and employee while driving for work.”

“Our concept is a simple, low-cost cloud application that risk profiles employees to see who does and does not undertake work related journeys.”

“DRIVER uses a unique algorithm to define the type of journey and vehicles used, automatically validating driving licence and vehicle data from the DVLA.”

The software also creates compliance to-do lists for staff, which might include driver training, reading and accepting driving for work policies and procedures to check owner drivers’ vehicles are legal and safe to use for work.

Marc has already secured a number of beta partners for the product, with an open launch set for summer.

But the application has international potential, and Marc is eyeing up opportunities overseas.

His team of five staff – including software developers – has built the technology for DRIVER from scratch, out of offices in Fusion Hive.

Laura Woods, director of academic enterprise at Teesside University, said: “We’re thrilled to see Marc and his team are poised to take another innovate product to market.

“Fusion Hive is a hot bed of digital entrepreneurship where tenants benefit from an open, collaborative community which includes Teesside University’s world-leading resources.”

Marc leads the office following a management buyout by part of the original development team in 2016.

The same team has already successfully launched several software-as-a-service (SaaS) products including National Safety Passport, a digital health and safety certification system that counts a major automotive manufacturer among its customer base, with additional sales as far afield as Japan and America.

Marc added: “We’re excited to take another product entirely built and serviced in Stockton to the global marketplace.

“Fusion Hive has provided an ideal base for us, including rates relief and high quality support from nearby Teesside University.”

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