Working seamlessly

Working seamlessly

Integration challenges in fleet operations are unique.

Unlike systems that are networked throughout facilities, in inherently mobile businesses vehicle-based solutions must be integrated, as well. “IT considerations with on-board systems can be complex,” says Jason Palmer, president of SmartDrive Systems (www.smartdrive.net), provider of an onboard video event recording system and video analysis, predictive analytics and personalized performance programs. “We have worked to provide solutions that do not require major IT integration, but that interface effectively with fleet management and training systems.”

SmartDrive’s technology integrates onboard hardware and management solutions. The company’s SmartRecorder 3 event recording system captures video and audio from the road and the cab. Driving and vehicle data come from the engine’s electronic control unit—enabled by the SAE J1939 data bus—and from a 96 G-force crash sensor, an industry standard three-axis accelerometer and third-party telematics sensors in ATC, lane departure and other solutions.

SmartDrive recently was awarded a U.S. patent for its data transfer technology.

PeopleNet (www.peoplenetonline.com), an onboard computing and communications system provider, said it offers a range of solutions that IT managers can easily integrate with enterprise systems. In partnership with Instructional Technologies Pro-TREAD In-Cab, the company’s customers can provide drivers with multimedia lessons in the cab. Drivers can access training at any time and from any location, and fleet managers can track their progress online.

Speed Monitoring on the PeopleNet system is integrated with SpeedGauge to help fleets identify high-risk drivers by pinpointing event times and locations and to provide management coaching opportunities. PeopleNet also offers Remote Vehicle Shutdown in partnership with Magtec. The integrated system engages automatically, allowing carriers to completely disable operation of the truck if there is a potential threat. Carriers can also remotely set and control idle times and speed thresholds to maximize fuel efficiency.

With In-Cab Scanning from PeopleNet, fleets can have a fully integrated solution to improve billing and payroll efficiency. IT systems that replace paper forms with images from an in-cab scanner improve data integrity, eliminate manual sorting and filing, and promote faster billing cycles and enhance customer service.

In partnership with EBE Technologies, PeopleNet Driver and Vehicle Management Workflow Solutions automate repetitive, labor-intensive tasks, including performance monitoring, violation management, vehicle inspection reporting and CSA compliance with an integrated system.

Omnitracs, formerly Qualcomm Enterprise Services (www.omnitracs.com), also enables a variety of integrations between onboard and enterprise management systems. To increase visibility into unsafe driver behavior, the company offers applications such as Critical Event Reporting, Performance Monitoring and report capabilities that give managers access to data about safety behaviors and risks.

With the cost of fuel still one of a fleet’s largest expenses, Omnitracs addresses the growing problem of fuel theft with an integrated solution. Exact Fuel transmits available fuel level data from the vehicle data bus via a web-based service. Included are the percentage of the tank that is full and the vehicle’s odometer reading. Through the integration, fleets can identify patterns in fuel consumption and develop strategies to optimize fuel use, as well as quickly identify possible instances of fuel theft or loss.

With SmartDrive, an integrated onboard video- and data-capture system detects and observes risky driving behavior such as sudden stops, hard cornering, aggressive acceleration and excessive speed. The system stores, reviews and analyzes data. Applying predictive analytics to a database of analyzed audio, video and vehicle information that is captured, the company provides fleets with focused individualized training and coaching programs for drivers.

Specific programs offered by SmartDrive include SmartDrive Safety and SmartDrive Fuel, which track driving maneuvers and operating practices so adjustments can be made to improve safety and fuel efficiencies.

“The integration of video and vehicle data provides actionable performance information to fleets and their drivers,” SmartDrive’s Jason Palmer says. “In addition, we are now providing drivers with access to their own fuel data and enabling them to self-coach using handheld devices such as smartphones.”

Enabled by effective integration of hardware and software-based solutions, industry suppliers are helping fleets in a range of transportation markets improve safety and generate cost savings. 

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