Case study on existing solutions to issues in the transport industry
Course title: Transport Management and Technology
– One of the main objectives for this case study is to summarise the relevant information required for a transport manager in relation to telematics. Under the following subheadings
– Legality of telematics
– Safety requirements
– Management requirements and responsibility
– Evaluate the main technology available and information systems being used today in modern day fleets. Also identify the make up and function of the system. Highlighting the information being collected.
– Investigate the modern-day issues within the transport sector, which telematics reduces and removes.
Legality of telematics
Some general guidelines to telematics legalities. To keep the business and all employees running efficiently. Also, to help the longevity of the business.by preventing law suits and court courses against the business due to incorrect management of the telematics system and operations. On the contrast this system if legally obeyed and operating correctly can prevent court and law suits even coming into practice. Some of the main EU law guidelines relating to vehicle telematics are as follows.
– You are legally allowed to track business vehicles owed by the company, all employees should be made aware of this and have signed consent.
– If using tracking or telematics on business vehicles that are also used in private uses. A privacy feather or button must be installed on the system. This is to protect the driver’s privacy outside business or company hours.
– Under no circumstances is it legal to retrieve employees’ locations or track individuals. The tracking is only legally for following truck movements that an employee oversees.
– If the business vehicle if over 3500kg it legally requires a Tachograph to monitor drivers’ hours. This tachograph is independent of telematics system. The tachograph simply records drivers’ hours. it is the legal responsibility of the driver and transport manager to ensure the driver is obeying his hours and that the route is achievable within set hours.
– The EU data protection directive. This was set in play by the EU to protect people’s person information. any relevant data collected by the employer over the employees. The reason for collecting it, who it concerns and for what purpose must be made aware to the employees.
– The EU data protection laws are more relevant and of a higher risk to fleets operation out of the EU states. Is illegal to release information collect of any EU citizens to non-EU states or third-party companies.
(Telematics.com , 2017)
Safety actions of telematics
Vehicle telematics pay a huge role is reducing fleet costs annually.by preventing safety incidents or accidents. The information conveyed on the live system is only as good as the person interpreting the information and the corresponding measures carried out. Some of the ways telematics systems offer security and safety to a fleet are as follows
Identifying training required by drivers
The telematics system offers a whole host of information to the route planners and transport managers. Including vehicle speeds within designated zones, driver driving times, harsh braking percentage, harsh acceleration, excessive rpm, time of vehicle idling and as well as other less relevant features.
By being able to monitor drivers’ habits and controls it gives an insight into certain driver’s undesirable characteristics. For example, a high percentage of harsh braking may reveal a driver who is unable to anticipate the road conditions ahead. This can result in dangerous driving and excessive wear and tear. The manager reviewing the information should compare drivers and routes in a similar situation before making any major decision. Once a decision has been the driver may require training to counteract this behaviour. This driver improvement may reduce the chance of an accident occurring and lower overall running costs. The telematics system can help identify areas of potential concern for employers. Drivers also consider that they are more accountable for their actions and are being monitored across the clock.
The Hawthorne effect
‘The Hawthorne effect is a type of reactivity in which individuals modify an aspect of their behaviour in response to their awareness of being observed.’
The Hawthorne effect works hand in hand with telematics systems and drivers. Drivers feel more responsible for driving habits and manoeuvres which can be accessed on the live feed. Drivers can also be shown the results at weekly and monthly meeting to show what needs to be done to improve and errors which are noted by management. The driver almost feels he is under observation all the time during working hours. The days of drivers not giving a concern in the world once they left the yard are long gone.
Management requirements and responsibility
The requirements and actions carried out by management in a direct response to the information provided by telematics are essential. The information if assed and validated correctly could result reduced overall costs of the company.
Reviewing driver’s performance
As discussed earlier the telematics system can identify drivers who require training. This can be a good and bad commodity for the business. The good side potentially reducing costs and lowering risk of accidents. But this can give a counter intuitive effect if a driver is involved in a collision and the telematics is reviewed by a third party outsource and finds the drivers characteristics to be negative over a period and no proof of counteracting this is available. The decision may fall back upon management.
The telematics system also has the luxury of being able to carry out the daily walk around test and imputing this live into the system. the manager should be able to view and compare the results to make sure they don’t not conflict. meaning a driver has the same impute over a period. This will also help improve vehicle safety by being checked daily. Also, this information can be essential if an accident may occur.
The system can also be used as a way of reducing costing. For example, the system gives the amount of time and percentage engine is idling. This information can be replayed onto the driver and route planner to help minimise excessive idling. this can be achieved by avoiding certain routes during peak hours. Also making sure customers and drivers are fully aware of each other’s intentions of delivery and time constraints.
The driver’s hours and time of running can also help with keeping within drivers’ hours. This can reduce costly fines and potential investigations in the future. The driver’s hours are fixed per day with gives no room for working overtime or excelling targets. This can leave drivers in a station rate of performance and not improving over time. The telematics system offers a KPI of drivers up against each other. this can be used by the manager to help improve overall driver qualities. by having a driver’s league of performance by offering a reward in exchange monthly. By revising and comparing the following traits of drivers. Fuel consumption per 100 km, excessive braking, acceleration, lower speeding times, excessive rpm and reduced idling time
Negatives of driver performance
On the negative side, some drivers may feel this system is too fare stretched and that the best driver will never be beaten and just stick to their own driving style. This can be avoided by having best improvement in the list. Also, the risk of unsafe or reclass driving can come back into the picture is some drivers feel they need a big push on towards the end of the month to boost overall proceedings.
The word telematics derives from two meanings. It is a merger of the tele and mastics which is short for telecommunication dans information. The main functions of telematics systems are to record, store and send data via telecommunications. (fraser, 2017)
The following list shows the most commonly monitored factors that are recorded and observed by transport managers.
In Journey Time: 08:26:08
Total Driving Time: 07:34:09
Km Travelled: 541.50
Excess RPM: 1.02%
Excess Idle Time: 0.06%
Total Idle Time: 10.27%
Harsh Accel: 279 times
Harsh Brake: 15 times
Average MPG: 9.6
Fuel Used: 160.00 l
CO2: 428.80 kg
Fuel Used on Idle: 2.10 l
Litres per 100 km: 29.55 l
Cruise Control: 02:59
Stopped Time: 02:25:04
This system can also be used in conjunction with 360-degree live cameras around the vehicle. To give a full vision of the vehicle during driving times.
Telematics operation and technology
The operations and set up of telematics systems in modern day fleets are relatively similar with different vehicles. The example of the telematics system I am using in this report is the Flex unit by Squarell technology. A company from the Netherlands who specialises in vehicle data and can bus systems. (Squarell Technology, 2018)
The flex unit is a compact module which transfer vehicle data to telematics. The unit has a bonus of extra add on parameters to monitor if required by the company. The optimal interface modules are as follows driver awareness panel, Bluetooth module, fuel level sensor and trailer ID system. The flex system interface works with CAN bus, SAE J1708 and the K-line. Its also obeys universal standards CAN (FMS/J1939) AND RS-232 (ASCII). (Squarell Technology, 2018)
Connection of flex module to the vehicle
The flex unit is generally universal, but some additional modules vary with manufactory. On the example down below showing how the system is set up. The CAN bus lines, vehicle ECU, tachograph and J1708 in the diagram below are the original vehicle components. The two block connectors DetacliQ, CANcliQ, squarell FLEX and driver awareness panel centre are all the parts of the flex unit. The flex unit reads data from the CAN bus line via the green connector and reads tachograph data via the K-line. The purple block connector reads signals from J1708 and feeds the data back to the flex unit. The driver awareness panel gives feedback to the driver about their driving behaviour. The information monitored is portrayed with several led indicators. Red green and amber. Red requires major improvement, amber is starting to become a problem and green needs no improvement. Under the following sections of high RPM, eco driving, unsteady driving, harsh acceleration and anticipating the road ahead. The indicators for each are seen below. The data received at FLEX is sent via two or more connection lines to the vehicle fleet management system or modem which can be viewed on pc or laptop.
(Squarell Technology, 2018)
Flex squarell connection to a vehicle diagram
(Squarell Technology, 2018)
The contactless can reader connector
The CAN bus system can be a complicated system, especially to connect into. the squarell unit is not directly hard wired into the system. The system works by reading signals through wire isolation. The CAN bus wires of interest are isolated, the CANcliQ clip is placed over the two can bus wires. The connection I simply clicked into place via plastic clips. Which then connects into the CANdiode port connection of the squarell unit.
The benefits of this system include
– One cable / connector fits all
– Non-intrusive technology
– Reusable system on other vehicles
– Reliable and safe can bus data collected
– No hard wire connection, no soldering, cutting or crimping
– Quick and clean installation
– No issue with manufacture warranty voids
The connector wiring diagram below
(Squarell Technology, 2018)
Transport issues adjourned by fleet telematics
The transport industry like others has issues and challenges when operating on a day to day basis. Some of the main issues facing any business are costs, employee welfare and training, the environmental challenge and keeping everything up to standard and above board. Some of the issues in which telematics are as follows driver overspeed, excessive braking / RPM, idling times, time on site
Time on site
Time on site refers to the time a driver spends at each route drops off location. The manager would only have the drivers trust and word. telematics gives an in-depth analysis into each driver’s times per day, per weeks and per month. A vast saving and efficiency can be achieved by reducing unnecessary time on site. This can be done reducing idle times of vehicles, becoming more accurate with delivery times for customers with less delays. The system can also be set up to send a delivery notice on time of arrival to the next customer. The driver may also spend less time chatting and conversing with customers if he knows his times are being observed. The issues reduced by telematics in this instinct are lower CO2 produced, less ideal time, improved fuel efficiency, shorter driver times, less overtime of drivers, more loads potentially moved and improved customers service
A camera report offers a large amount of piece off mind for drivers and managers. It can be included in most telematic systems. Giving the vehicle and driver cover on vulnerable angles. The driver also 100 % accountable for his actions. Any third-party claims of damage can be linked to specific times and area the driver was in. This footage can be used to prove innocence or guilt on part of the company. This asset if fitted to all the fleet vehicles can significantly reduce the company annual insurance bill. Thus, reducing overall cost and leaves the company with stronger security measures.
Fuel level reports
Fuel level reports can offer a huge insight into driver performance and styles. if you have a relatively unvaried fleet with static routes. It is much easier to compare drivers fuel level performance and to view any discrepancy’s in the level of fuel. The days of every truck driver owing a diesel are gone. The system identifies any discrepancies is fuel level lost. it also gives the true location and time, while offering the percentage of fuel increase this is available on a graph. This system can highlight deceitful drivers and personal but also person who takes diesel deceitfully. This can give managers the information needed if major changes are required. If a person is found of the charge they are also more than likely not the most caring and respectful operator. Which could prevent break downs and repairs in the future. An example of a graph is seen below.
Fill Ups: 3
Fuel Filled: 0.000000
Unexpected Fuel Loss: 0
Fuel Lost: 0
|Date Time||Driver||Location||Before||After||Neckfill||Approx Litres||Odometer [km]||Show On Map||Graph|
|2018-10-01 07:37:06||Anglesea Street, Cork, , IE||34||99.6||N||65.6||0 l||246165.03293184|
|2018-10-03 10:53:57||Promenade Road, Dublin, 3 , IE||19.6||99.6||N||80||0 l||247231.03021056|
|2018-10-05 12:03:06||Murphy Transport Cork||31.2||99.6||N||68.4||0 l||248119.99964928|
Daily and weekly full end report
The weekly report offers managers a quick and accessible report into each individual driver and vehicle. It can be essential when summarising which vehicles and driver may not suit a specific load. It can also reduce management time by filtering through individual reports. Its offers fuel reports, drivers’ undesirable traits, time spent driving and idling, distances covered, emissions and cruise control times.
all this information can be vital to help reduce emissions, fuel consumption and improve MPG, lower driver times and improve general driver safety on the road. The list of real time information recorded are seen below.
In Journey Time: 42:52:50
Total Driving Time: 33:29:44
Km Travelled: 1999.55
Excess RPM: 1.39%
Excess Idle Time: 0.82%
Total Idle Time: 21.89%
Harsh Accel: 1628 times
Harsh Brake: 79 times
Average MPG: 8.2
Fuel Used: 691.00 l
CO2: 1851.88 kg
Fuel Used on Idle: 16.40 l
Litres per 100 km: 34.56
Cruise Control: 11:57
Stopped Time: 62:59:09
My overall conclusion from this report is that telematics has made the transport world are much more efficient operating one. Without telematics the transport sector would be fare costlier effective. The systems give managers freedom to allow drivers work and rewards good driving styles. Undesirable drivers are filtered out and this can only help improve both drivers and general road safety. The system while improving road safety and working conditions also offers managers reassurance that they are obeying current legislation.
The overall effectiveness of the telematics system is only as good as the operator. Both the manager and drivers need to on board with the system to maximise its full potential. The managers need to act and put procedure in place following reviews of the information collected.
The system without doubt holds many positive attributes which are beneficial to any fleet regardless of size or construction. The savings, performance and greater overall efficiency are hard to discount against. this is why I would highly recommend the system to anybody working within or looking to join the transport industry.
(Squarell Technology, 2018)
(Telematics.com , 2017)
(NIBC, 2018 )
- Telelmatics.com – https://www.telematics.com/telematics-and-the-law-what-the-boss-needs-to-know/
- Kunbus.com – https://www.kunbus.com/k-line.html
- EE publishers.com – http://www.ee.co.za/article/telematics-technology-actually-work.html
- Squarell marketing https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC96lmbD2Fi9xNrgtrefGxsg
- Squarell.com- https://squarell.com/en/products/cancliq/
- tcognition.com – https://www.tcognition.com/blog/remote-telematics-solutions-overview/
- Trade route solution.com – http://www.traderoutesolutions.ie/haulage.html
- NIBC.CO.UK – http://hub.nibc.co.uk/Main.aspx