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AI-based truck fleet tracker gets $70M from private equity firm

IntelliShift AI video sends real-time alerts when harder-to-detect

IntelliShift AI video sends real-time alerts when harder-to-detect distracted driving behavior occurs. Credit: Vehicle Tracking Solutions

A Long Island company that uses artificial intelligence to monitor truck fleets and their drivers has received a $70 million private equity infusion.

Commack-based Vehicle Tracking Solutions and private equity firm LLR Partners announced the investment on Tuesday.

The transaction gives LLR Partners a seat on the newly formed board of directors of VTS and makes it a "significant minority shareholder," said Dan Irwin, vice president at the Philadelphia private equity firm.

John Cunningham, founder, president and chief executive of VTS, said the investment is earmarked for the company's IntelliShift division.

That unit produces a dashboard, launched in January 2020, that gives fleet owners a "holistic view" of multiple data feeds, he said.

The artificial intelligence software alerts drivers and fleet owners when its video of the operator detects unsafe behavior, such as smoking or texting, Cunningham said.

"It helps owners to not have to watch hours of video," he said.

The system also monitors the truck's location, speed, stops, engine health and harsh turning, and records video of the road ahead.

The company, with 125 employees nationwide, serves more than 3,000 customers, including PSEG and Suffolk County, he said.

Cunningham founded the company in 2002 with his wife, executive vice president Karen Cunningham, as a provider of GPS location services for truck fleet operators.

John Cunningham said VTS has evolved into a high-tech company. "At the end of the day, someone's got to write the software," he said.

In February, VTS announced fleet owners with compatible Ford vehicles could directly tap into and incorporate the manufacturer's data, including fuel and seat belt usage, through an IntelliShift subscription.

LLR Partners has raised more than $5 billion in six funds.

Irwin said LLR is focused on enhancing growth at VTS and has no projected time frame for exiting the investment.

John Cunningham will serve as chairman of the new board of directors and Karen Cunningham will have a seat on the board.

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