There continue to be fascinating innovations in telematics. The “connected trailer” is no longer unusual as more trailer manufacturers fit telematics solutions to their trailers.
Innovations including video
Several recent innovations are for in-cab video cameras linked to the telematics systems. Drivers falling asleep at the wheel is a major issue. For example, UK-based vehicle CCTV developer SmartWitness has created a dashboard-based system that utilises facial recognition software to identify when a driver’s eyes have turned away from the road for more than three seconds. When this happens, the system emits an audible alert to the driver and an alert to the fleet manager via the fleet management system. The system can also pick up on when the driver is using his or her mobile phone or is distracted in other ways from the road. The company also supplies a solution capable of monitoring undesirable driving behaviour such as tailgating or last second braking. This data can then be used constructively to train drivers to improve their safe driving skills. (source: HGVUK)
Applicable across the EU from June 2019, all new commercial vehicles will be obliged to be equipped with a new 4thgeneration smart tachograph. Among the numerous functions of the new tachographs will be the ability of police officers on the side of the road to remotely access tachograph data as trucks drive past, thereby reducing the number of roadside inspections. The smart tachograph will use GPS to automatically register the driver’s location in all countries and enable the fleet manager to track their drivers’ locations in real-time. Tachograph data on driver’s working hours can be integrated into any telematics systems which will reduce the administration time dedicated to recording and managing drivers’ hours. (source: UKHaulier)
Transatlantic truck tracking
Keeping track of road freight moving across multiple geographies is a headache for international shippers including multinational retailers. It is difficult for them to gain visibility of their global transport capacity. A major issue is that they need to use different telematics systems for road transport companies in each geography. A solution may now be at hand. Two data sharing services, one in the US, project 44 and another in Europe, GateHouse have partnered to give their customers the opportunity to track 175,000 multimodal carriers of which approximately half are in the USA and half in Europe by giving them one single access point to the carriers’ telematics systems. (source: JOC)
Trailers and telematics
In addition to lowering their cost of trailer ownership and increasing their efficiency, connected trailers through telematics can benefit fleets in several ways:
- Prevention of cargo theft– Information fed from sensors on the trailer via telematics to the fleet manager can provide real-time tracking of the trailer’s location and, thanks to geo-fencing technology, alerts when the trailer doors are opened or closed in an unexpected location. This enables fleet managers to respond quickly through remote access to any attempts at theft and, if necessary, bring in law enforcement officers.
- Trailer maintenance– A connected trailer can feed information back to the fleet manager on the condition of specific mechanical components on the trailer including tyres, brakes, suspension and prompt him or her to bring the trailer back to a workshop for preventative maintenance before costly unexpected roadside breakdown occurs. This maximises trailer uptime and reduces cost of ownership.
- Food and pharmaceuticals safe transport– Telematics plays a critical role in cold chain management. It enables the fleet manager to remotely control factors in the reefer trailer such as temperatures, humidity, the status of the doors and the condition of the items being transported to ensure the safe and regulation-compliant delivery of food and pharmaceuticals. (source:FleetOwner)
- Administration–Telematics generate reports on trailers to help fleet managers maximise fleet utilisation, reduce detention time and empty miles. This data decreases fleet manager administration time and increases efficiency.
Trailer manufacturers and telematics
A few examples:
- Krone has embraced telematics for the connected trailer. It offers various telematics solutions. One monitors the physical and mechanical conditions of the trailer. A space detection system views and helps manage the cargo capacity in the trailer. Another telematics solution connects the trailer to freight exchanges. (source:HGVUK)
At Solutrans 2017, several trailer manufacturers highlighted their telematics credentials:
- Lamberet, a French reefer trailer specialist, launched a telematics pack Smart & Safe which it developed with partner Novacom for clients purchasing its Frigomatics semi-trailer reefer range. It permits the fleet manager and driver to control remotely trailer, reefer and mechanical functions in real-time using a terminal-, smartphone- or tablet-based application.
- Schmitz Cargobull presented a telematics solution called TrailerConnect which gives similar functionality to Lamberet’s.
- Chereau, another French reefer trailer manufacturer, has taken a different approach. It focuses on facilitating trailer connectivity. Chereau has decided not to build a proprietary telematic solution. It prefers to ensure the easy integration of telematics from different telematics providers onto its trailers. It demonstrated this ability at Solutrans 2017 using Trakopolis Chereau is also working with the major European truck manufacturers to integrate their telematics into its semi-trailers. (source: TransportInfo)
TIP trailer rental and telematics
TIP supplies trailers on a rental and lease basis in many forms as well as light commercial vehicles and trucks. TIP Trailer Services has built up considerable expertise in supplying and fitting telematic solutions from all major telematics providers onto trailers and trucks. For further information on flexible trailer rental with TIP Trailer Services and the telematics solutions it can provide, please contact TIP using this form.
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