Security and telematics in freight transport


The current pandemic has brought home to us even more firmly the crucial importance of freight transport in keeping our society running properly. Punctual deliveries needed to be made to supermarkets (suffering shortages for the first time due to panic buying) while due arrangements had to be made for the soaring increase in home deliveries for the population living in lockdown, etc…

It is at such times when a modern, telematics-based fleet management system really comes into its own in any transport company.

Telematics was first taken up by the transport sector over 20 years ago; regrettably, however, this take-up is not yet widespread; to make matters worse, the systems are not always capable of meeting the needs of increasingly discerning and demanding customers. These systems therefore fall short in challenges like those posed over the last few months. All transport companies need these systems: not even small and family-run businesses can any longer claim that “we don’t need a fleet management system because we know our drivers”. This doesn’t hold true at all: the reasons for bringing telematic services into the company’s daily toolkit go well beyond the mistrusted vehicle “control” systems to oversee the drivers.

A company with onboard telematics can tap at will into business-optimization information. It will be able to track all vehicles in real time, find out where they are headed, if they are running behind time (in which case customers can be informed of the delay to avoid any downtime in loading/unloading areas) and even if any incident has occurred (speeding up the response time for laying on a replacement vehicle) or accident, in this case automatically triggering an alert indicating vehicle location and the gravity of the accident. GMV’s equipment provides an analysis of the accident dynamics, facilitating a reconstruction, integrating information not only from the onboard equipment (position, speed, acceleration rates) and also from the vehicle (malfunction indicator lights on, etc.).

If we also fit on the truck various sensors connected up to the onboard equipment, we then cull much more useful information, including:

  • When, where and for how long were the trailer doors opened?
  • Were load temperature limits exceeded, potentially affecting the transported goods?
  • How much legal driving time remained until the driver’s next rest stop?
  • Was more fuel than normal consumed on the route?
  • Etc.

Furthermore, the company can pass on this information to its client, giving it an edge over its competitors in terms of perceived transparency and safety. The company can also feed all this information into its back office as though both were a single platform, improving decision-making and helping the firm to adapt and survive.

Author: Ramón Dávila Ruiz

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