According to the Ericsson ConsumerLab 2015 report, Poles are increasingly willing to use mobile devices, i.e. smartphones and tablets. The number of people using smartphones at least once a week has increased in the past two years more than double, reaching 76% of the population.
The assumption that smartphones will enjoy increasing popularity is obvious. On this basis, it is easy to predict growing increase in interest in mobile services. ”The market of electronic devices is still not filled in as much as in the countries of Western Europe. We are, however, on the right path to observe in our next report* that Polish users will have caught up with the European leaders in terms of the use of modern technology. Much depends on the development of the infrastructure of operators, through which the users will be able to enjoy, e.g., a faster mobile broadband using 4G and LTE technology” says Katarzyna Pąk, director of marketing and communications at Ericsson.
Phones with Internet access are no longer just a tool for communication and entertainment. They are also used for work – thanks to them, it is possible to schedule tasks and execute projects such as controlling a fleet of cars, i.e. analyzing travelled routes, generating reports on the activity of drivers, which in turn leads to the improved effectiveness of actions and costs reduction.
In the industry
Running a transport company is not an easy task – it involves a lot of time, energy and resources of various kinds. The growing demands of the market and competition are forcing business owners to seek solutions that will enable more effective planning, reporting and controlling fleet operation. Modern IT tools will certainly be helpful in this regard.
“New technologies it is not a fad, it’s a tool to which the owners of trucks and people responsible for fleets are increasingly turning. And no wonder, since the introduction of services based on mobile applications, on a cloud or GPS monitoring systems is resulting in real savings associated for example with more efficient management of the fleet of vehicles and employees. Using the application, a user can check the position of vehicles, prepare statements of travelled routes, and show significant notices. Mobile management it is a great tool for a manager. A chance to react from almost every place in the world and at any time can reduce costs and improve logistic processes. Cars that are not running make no money, machines that are not started on constructions sites bring no profits, and applications allow you to prevent such cases. What is important, some programs are running in the cloud with the result that all data is in the network and the system updates itself and works on any device. The software automatically records information, so there is no risk of unexpected data loss.’ – explains Maciej Pobocha from „Connected Life Magazine”.
To streamline fleet business
It has been well known that the efficient fleet management and thus obtained, among others, optimization of travels is impossible without efficient communication and rapid flow of information between a driver and a dispatcher. Devices installed in vehicles for this purpose must provide drivers with an easy operation and functions necessary for the smooth travelling.
For this reason, the potential of monitoring systems in fleet management is very large. “While until recently monitoring systems provided basic information about a vehicle location, speed or travelled route, nowadays customers expect from service providers more advanced applications that will not only enable inspection of vehicles, but most of all will contribute to achieving measurable savings and facilitate the work of people using cars equipped with GPS systems. As for the Polish market, systems intended for use as fuel control and providing savings associated with it still enjoy great popularity. More and more important, however, is to test driving styles and eliminate bad habits, which directly translates to driving efficiency and depreciation of a vehicle. The integration of monitoring with other systems, such as e.g. freight exchanges is the future. It is also important to remotely communicate with the driver through shared applications” – said Dariusz Kwakszys, IT Manager, Gannet Guard Systems.
Together with navigation
Also the “modern” navigations are helpful in optimizing costs, routes and travels. Advanced navigations with current data pertaining to traffic congestion, but also with functions created with the aim of the drivers of trucks complement the monitoring system for fleet. “Navigation market for trucks, campers and buses is growing rapidly and the year 2015 is the confirmation of this. Customers are not only aware of the differences between navigation “simple” and specialised, where you can enter a vehicle profile (height, weight, hazardous materials, exhaust emissions, etc.), but they also ask for additional functionality. Lifetime maps update in the version for trucks or the system of bypassing a traffic obstruction – TMC – is already the standard for Becker navigation. The latest feature “sloping route profile”, through which a driver can check and compare alternative routes with the change of their slope and height, allows you to quickly evaluate and choose the right path, to avoid surprises, especially during the winter. This solution was created in response to the needs of drivers, “- said Marek Krygier, manager at Becker.
Let’s note that at present, Becker offers several models of navigation Becker Transit for special – purpose vehicles, which differ in screen size (5 “, 6” and 7 “) and the availability of features such as connecting a reversing camera, TMC Premium or safety camera database.
You could say that Garmin went one step further, which basing on its own experience in the field of navigation and using flexibility of the Android system (the ability to create new applications and tools based on the individual needs of a given customer) allows the use of the products fleet 660 and 670 for fleet management.
An example of the use of the devices Garmin for fleet management is a frameLOGIC solution, which allows you, among others, to keep records of vehicles and drivers, to control the working time of drivers, fuel consumption, to manage orders and (which is new) to provide feedback information to the dispatcher about the estimated time of arrival (ETA).
On a large and clear screen, navigation in the devices in the fleet series (with lifetime maps updates) shows a driver the way in an intuitive manner, using recognizable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights (e.g. turn left at the next traffic light) in the driving directions and the active lane guidance with voice messages determines an appropriate lane for the selected route. BirdsEye junctions view provides a detailed overview of turnouts, as if you looked at them from the top, while PhotoReal junction view realistically displays junctions and interchanges with the surrounding landscape.
The device fleet 670 enables personalized route selection based on a size and weight of a vehicle and provides warnings about the height of bridges, weight limits, sharp curves, steep gradients, which is especially important in the case of trucks. The maps also contain an extensive database of POI, which makes it easier to find the best places to stop and rest as well as service points.
Daimler FleetBoard offers customers a wide variety of applications for mobile devices. One new application is FleetBoard Driver.app, which analyses the driving time and a driver’s rest time and thus provides detailed information on the manner of driving. So far, access to such information was solely available to business owners or managers of fleets.
Currently, basing on a free of charge FleetBoard Driver app. based on Android (download from Google Play), drivers can test their FleetBoard driving style assessment and independently use the services of time management. Based on the FleetBoard driving style assessment (drivers who drive a car in a predictable and clear way and achieve constant speed will get the highest grades in the FleetBoard driving style assessment system), the application provides up to date information on the manner of driving at the time of the last travelled routes. The screen presents both a general note, and the assessments of the individual components: predictability or the acceleration and braking.
Time Manager Feature makes it possible to track drivers’ working rest times. It indicates the remaining driving time to the minute, both daily and weekly. 30 minutes before the end of the driving time, a driver receives an audible and visual sign – they can also define a time slot for alarm to start looking around for a place to stop and park at the appropriate time.
Moreover, the application has additional features that are useful once the drive is over. Digital trainer shows what exercises should be done to stretch the muscles of the neck, shoulders, arms and abdomen, and upper and lower back. Users can also record what they ate and how many kilometres they walked. Using the social section My Community, a driver can also communicate and exchange opinions with other drivers.
It Will fit tires
Tire Interactive – it is an application for iPads (available for download from the App Store) prepared by Continental for the OEM customers in the commercial vehicles sector. A key element of the application is a search engine Continental Tire Finder, which has been adapted to the individual requirements of manufacturers of trucks and buses. Thanks to interactive e-tool it is possible to fit the right kind of tires for commercial vehicles from the entire offer of Continental, based on the relevant parameters of searching tires, such as size, type, purpose of tires or the type of transport concerned.
The application also allows you to read and download full descriptions of all tire models designed for the manufacturers of OEMs in the offer of Continental – including three-dimensional projections, technical documentation, product brochures and additional materials, such as the already known Technical Data Sheet in PDF format.
Tire Interactive aims to increase efficiency of commercial activities and provide real support for customers and advisers for sales in the OEM sector. Moreover, thanks to this solution, employees of sales departments have access to current information on products from their iPads and may send it by e-mail directly to their end customers. Currently, there is an offer in the application directed to the vehicle brands such as DAF, Iveco, MAN, Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Renault Trucks, Scania and Volvo Trucks.
Mobility on motorways
Based on the research regarding the needs of clients, General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways and the viaToll system operator decided to create a mobile application for managing your account in the viaToll system.
The application offers the following functionality: access to information on prepaid account balance (including anonymous viaAuto account), the ability to recharge the account by credit card or fleet card, route planning to the nearest Customer Service Place and the list of basic information on the contract.
When creating the application, one of the most important criteria was the security of user data, so the application is compatible with the standards of banking. In addition, it is equipped with many features that are designed to provide the highest level of protection of both personal data and the transactions of recharges. Programmers have used, among others, the mechanism of automatic logout after a set time, encrypted SSL connection and block for 30 minutes after 20 unsuccessful login attempts.
Currently, the viaToll application is available for Android devices (including version 2.3 for download from Google Play) and iOS (version min. 7.0 to download from the Apple iTunes). It can be used on both smartphones and tablets. Work on the preparation of the version for the devices with Windows is underway.