Bus

'Smart' Telematics Solutions Increase Efficiency, Affordability

Posted on February 15, 2013 by Brittni Rubin, Assistant Editor

Page 1 of 3

Transportation vehicles have the potential to become the biggest cost center for transit agencies. Therefore, employing telematics, whether it’s a vehicle health monitoring system or modes of communication en route, is essential to sustaining an economical budget.

As technology grows exponentially, new devices and “smart” solutions help operators examine their vehicles on the spot rather than waiting for weekly, monthly or even quarterly performance reports to make educated modifications. And the visibility, via data collection, can provide guidance on troubleshooting as well.

Tablets and Open Data
Seattle-based Zonar, a provider of electronic fleet operations systems, introduced the 2020 telematics tablet scheduled for release this quarter. The portable touch-screen device provides electronic inspection, hours-of-service, instant driver feedback, fuel efficiency, two-way messaging and more.

Utilizing popularizing data technology, as seen with smartphones, 2020 tablets are built on an open Android platform. This gives customers the ability to implement Zonar’s additional offerings or contact third-party companies to develop customized apps.

“We recognize that some agencies already use a particular software, so rather than forcing customers to use ours exclusively, we’re opening it up so collected data can be integrated into other software packages,” says Chris Oliver, CMO for Zonar.

In vehicles, the tablets hook up through V3 Zonar’s telematics box that plugs directly into the diagnostics port and engine control module. It transmits data through a 3G connection.

“The data captured is instantly available for powerful reporting and process improvements,” Oliver says. “Fleet managers get visibility, and drivers get a versatile tool.”

Other notable features on the 2020 include a 16GB NAND flash storage memory, ruggedized seven-inch display, SD/MMC card slot, five megapixel camera with LED flash, video recording capability, in-cab training, Bluetooth and a built-in flashlight.

Atlanta-based RouteMatch Software is taking advantage of consumer technology by utilizing tablets as well to compliment its software offerings. Tablets come fully ruggedized through RouteMatch mounting partners, and RouteMatch provides power and cabling solutions specifically designed for the transit environment.

The tablet’s main perks are that it has a flexible Android platform and is significantly more affordable than traditional vehicle tracking devices or mobile data computers.

According to Rob Bryans, fleet director for RouteMatch, 95% of the company’s customers are either using or switching to tablets.

RouteMatch has also released the newest version of its enterprise software, which can run on a tablet, to keep operations running smoothly and cost-effectively. There’s one platform for all components of the system. The technology is also hosted through RouteMatch cloud services, which started four years ago with heightened adoption within the past two years.

“We had to create a solution that’s incredibly flexible to fit into each of our customers’ different infrastructures,” says Bryans. “We now have a one-size-fits-many product suite.”

The solution provides emergency response notifications; full driver dispatch communications; route and schedule adherence feedback to supervisors; integrated work order management and vehicle inspection reporting.

When a driver logs into their tablet, there are a series of prompts that encourages them to walk around their vehicle and perform the required inspections.

“The driver is the last person to see the vehicle before it hits the road,”  Bryans says. “[They have] the ability to save people more than anyone. These forced checks are becoming tremendously popular and an important tool.”

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

San Diego's MTS bus service gets $2M boost

The changes to approximately 60 bus routes were approved by the MTS Board of Directors at its meeting on Thursday.

METRO Magazine launching new transit bus event

TBX is designed to connect an influential group of public transportation bus operators with a select group of product and service suppliers for an exchange of information, ideas, and solutions.

Transportation's future, electric vehicles hot topics at BusCon 2017

The show featured nearly 135 exhibitors and close to 60 vehicles, ranging from transit buses to motorcoaches and cutaways to vans, as well as some of the latest technologies available to operators on the market today.

N.C.'s CATS adds 9 new MCI Commuter Coaches

The latest MCI additions to CATS fleet feature the newest clean-diesel engine technology for near-zero emissions and improved fuel economy.

Proterra bus sets world record, drives 1K-plus miles on single charge

The 40-foot Catalyst E2 max traveled 1,101.2 miles this month with 660 kWh of energy storage capacity at the Navistar Proving Grounds in New Carlisle, Ind.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close