Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Telematics 2013

The Fleet Business Authority

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The Road Ahead ➤➤➤ some systems couldn't handle the increase. Reports would crash, data would be unavailable — and feet managers would be frustrated. Today, software architecture is scaled for reporting and administration of very large feets, so if computing gets intensive, "Logs can no longer be falsifed by drivers." Fueling When vehicle location is integrated with fuel card transaction data, feet managers can identify when the assigned vehicle was not at the fuel site when its assigned card was used. They can also use telematics-based mileage to divide against fuel transaction gallons to get a true MPG from objective data points. Both help prevent fuel theft and slippage. Planning and Scheduling the software can handle it. As feets grow, the software grows with them, keeping feet management simplifed and organized, no matter how large the feet may get. Telematics data can also be integrated with planning and scheduling tools to monitor the status of activities against a schedule. This information can help dispatchers inform customers of estimated arrival times, as well as status updates. Add-on Features Productivity If a feet wants to start with a basic tracking device, it can take this frst step, then add more features as needed. These scalable devices can add on components like a terminal for hours of service tracking, a Garmin unit for simple dispatch and navigation, temperature probes for refrigerated tracking, as well as passing through custom data from a third-party piece of hardware, like a Radio Frequency Identifcation (RFID) reader or data from a snowplow control. When data on stop time — reported by telematics devices — is integrated with sales and productivity metrics, it can help feets optimize stop times and improve sales. For instance, if the average stop time to make a delivery to a retail store is 20 minutes but data shows it's twice that on certain days, the feet manager can work with the driver to improve that metric. Communicating With External Devices Input/Output Expandability (IOX) lets feets expand the capability of their telematics solution without increasing costs or the size of the device. With a port that allows for other IOX expanders to be connected to it, telematics devices can communicate with external serial devices, read digital on-off signals, and read analog signals. IOXs are easy to install and let feets advance the functionality of the system with as many IOXs as needed for a single device. Examples of IOXs include Garmin interface, driver ID, iridium satellite, RFID, and digital auxiliary. With IOXs, feets only have to pay for what they need to add on, thereby reducing costs. They also reduce in-vehicle hardware space, since there is no need to include another device in the vehicle. ON THE HORIZON What's coming in the years ahead for telematics? Here are a few predictions: ● Prognostics: Telematics providers are already working with OEMs to develop devices and applications that not only report when a failure has occurred, but by monitoring certain key data values, can actually predict when a failure is likely to occur. By rectifying a fault before it reaches a critical status, prognostics can prevent unplanned downtime of an asset or ensure the lowest cost of maintenance. ● ● DO MORE WITH TECHNOLOGY Just as telematics providers offer more options for hardware and interface, so too are they offering more ways to work with telematics data. Integration with other business applications and in-cab technology are just a few of the areas in which feets can do more with telematics. Integration Looking at data in isolation only goes so far. The ability to overlay various metrics makes it easier to turn telematics data into action. From fueling information and productivity to safety, there are endless opportunities for improvement when data is integrated. 6 THE CONNECTED FLEET GUIDE 2013 ● Improved Visuals: It's likely the future will bring even more dashboard options and graphically intensive views. Customer Communications: Look for more innovations for your customers. Instead of receiving a phone call that the driver will be there in 40 minutes, it could be a quick text or email to let that customer know the driver's ETA. Or, the customer could be the one to communicate with the driver — let's say if the customer is running late to get back to the house or job site. Hands-Free Solutions: With increasing legislation banning the use of cell phones while driving, more hands-free solutions will emerge.

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