Posts Tagged ‘fleet managemant’

Practical applications of vehicle telematics

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

When used in a commercial environment vehicle telematics can potentially be a powerful and valuable tool to improve the efficiency of an organisation. Some practical applications of vehicle telematics include;

Vehicle tracking

Vehicle tracking is a way of monitoring the location, movements, status and behaviour of a vehicle or fleet of vehicles. This is achieved through a combination of a GPS(GNSS) receiver and an electronic device (usually comprising a GSM GPRS modem or SMS sender) installed in each vehicle, communicating with the user (dispatching, emergency or co-ordinating unit) and PC- or web-based software. The data are turned into information by management reporting tools in conjunction with a visual display on computerised mapping software. Advanced vehicle localisation system for public transport may employ odometry instead of GPS/GNSS.

Trailer tracking

Trailer tracking is the technology of tracking the movements and position of an articulated vehicle’s trailer unit, through the use of a location unit fitted to the trailer and a method of returning the position data via mobile communication network or geostationary satellite communications, for use through either PC- or web-based software.

Cold store freight logistics

Cold store freight trailers that are used to deliver fresh or frozen foods are increasingly incorporating telematics to gather time-series data on the temperature inside the cargo container, both to trigger alarms and record an audit trail for business purposes. An increasingly sophisticated array of sensors, many incorporating RFID technology, are being used to ensure that temperature throughout the cargo remains within food-safety parameters.

Fleet management

Fleet management is the management of a company’s vehicle fleet. Fleet management includes the management of ships and or motor vehicles such as cars, vans and trucks. Fleet (vehicle) Management can include a range of Fleet Management functions, such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management and health & safety management. Fleet Management is a function which allows companies which rely on transportation in their business to remove or minimize the risks associated with vehicle investment, improving efficiency, productivity and reducing their overall transportation costs, providing 100% compliancy with government legislation and Duty of Care obligations. These functions can either be dealt with by and in-house Fleet Management department or an outsourced Fleet Management provider.

Satellite navigation

Satellite navigation in the context of vehicle telematics is the technology of using a GPS and electronic mapping tool to enable the driver of a vehicle to locate a position, then route plan and navigate a journey.

Mobile data and mobile television

Mobile data is use of wireless data communications using radio waves to send and receive real time computer data to, from and between devices used by field based personnel. These devices can be fitted solely for use while in the vehicle (Fixed Data Terminal) or for use in and out of the vehicle (Mobile Data Terminal).

Mobile data can be used to receive TV channels and programs, in a similar way to mobile phones, but using LCD TV devices.

Wireless vehicle safety communications

Wireless vehicle safety communications telematics aid in car safety and road safety. It is an electronic sub-system in a car or other vehicle for the purpose of exchanging safety information, about such things as road hazards and the locations and speeds of vehicles, over short range radio links. This may involve temporary ad hoc wireless local area networks.

Wireless units will be installed in vehicles and probably also in fixed locations such as near traffic signals and emergency call boxes along the road. Sensors in the cars and at the fixed locations, as well as possible connections to wider networks, will provide the information, which will be displayed to the drivers in some way. The range of the radio links can be extended by forwarding messages along multi-hop paths. Even without fixed units, information about fixed hazards can be maintained by moving vehicles by passing it backwards. It also seems possible for traffic lights, which one can expect to become smarter, to use this information to reduce the chance of collisions.

Farther in the future, it may connect directly to the adaptive cruise control or other vehicle control aids. Cars and trucks with the wireless system connected to their brakes may move in convoys, to save fuel and space on the roads. When any column member slows down, all those behind it will automatically slow also. There are also possibilities that need less engineering effort. A radio beacon could be connected to the brake light, for example.

Emergency warning system for vehicles

Telematics technologies are self-orientating open network architecture structure of variable programmable intelligent beacons developed for application in the development of intelligent vehicles — with target intent to accord (blend, or mesh) warning information with surrounding vehicles in the vicinity of travel, intra-vehicle, and infrastructure. Emergency warning system for vehicles telematics particularly developed for international harmonisation and standardisation of vehicle-to-vehicle — infrastructure-to-vehicle — and vehicle-to-infrastructure real-time Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) systems.

Telematics most commonly relate to computerised systems that update information at the same rate as they receive data, enabling them to direct or control a process such as an instantaneous autonomous warning notification in a remote machine or group of machines. By use of telematics as applied to intelligent vehicle technologies, instantaneous direction travel cognizance of a vehicle may be transmitted in real-time to surrounding vehicles traveling in the local area of vehicles equipped (with EWSV) to receive said warning signals of danger.

Intelligent vehicle technologies

Telematics comprise electronic, electromechanical, and electromagnetic devices — usually silicon micromachined components operating in conjunction with computer controlled devices and radio transceivers to provide precision repeatability functions (such as in robotics artificial intelligence systems) emergency warning validation performance reconstruction.

Intelligent vehicle technologies commonly apply to car safety systems and self-contained autonomous electromechanical sensors generating warnings that can be transmitted within a specified targeted area of interest, say within 100 meters of the emergency warning system for vehicles transceiver. In ground applications, intelligent vehicle technologies are utilized for safety and commercial communications between vehicles or between a vehicle and a sensor along the road.

Car clubs

Telematics technology has allowed car clubs to emerge, such as City Car Club in the UK. Telematics-enabled computers allow organisers to track members usage and bill them on a pay-as-you-drive basis.




Auto insurance

The basic idea of telematic auto insurance is that a driver’s behavior is monitored directly while the person drives and this information is transmitted to an insurance company. The insurance company then assesses the risk of that driver having an accident and charges insurance premiums accordingly. A driver who drives long distance at high speed, for example, will be charged a higher rate than a driver who drives short distances at slower speeds.

Telematic auto insurance was independently invented and patented by a major U.S. auto insurance company, Progressive Auto Insurance U.S. Patent 5,797,134 and a Spanish independent inventor, Salvador Minguijon Perez (European Patent EP0700009B1). The Progressive patents cover the use of a cell phone and GPS to track movements of a car. The Perez patents cover monitoring the car’s engine control computer to determine distance driven, speed, time of day, braking force, etc. Ironically, Progressive is developing the Perez technology in the US and European auto insurer Norwich Union is developing the Progressive technology for Europe.

Trials conducted by Norwich Union in 2005 have found that young drivers (18 to 23 year olds) signing up for telematic auto insurance have had a 20% lower accident rate than average.

Recent theoretical economic research on the social welfare effects of Progressive’s telematics technology business process patents have questioned whether the business process patents are pareto efficient for society. Preliminary results suggest that it is not, but more work is needed.