Telematics under spotlight at Commercial Fleet Van and Truck

Telematics providers at Commercial Fleet Van and Truck were showcasing an array of updates to the driver behaviour and tracking tool.

The market is seeing a shift towards plug-in dongles and even smartphone apps, but the biggest change is the inclusion of video.

Dash cams aren’t new technology but their recent rise in popularity had led to a hybrid of the two technology types being created.

Crystal Ball made its first exhibition appearance to showcase its new telematics and video product, Smartcam. The entire unit is incorporated into a replacement rear view mirror and features a full-HD dash cam with 3G video uploads, a suite of telematics functions including live tracking and a Bluetooth system. The camera will automatically record clips when prompted by the telematics system and send it directly to the fleet manager.

Visiontrack also had its range on display, the VT1000 is a full HD camera which logs GPS position. The Visiontrack dashboard is fully integrated with Google maps. The more advanced VT2000 incorporates 3G technology meaning footage can be beamed back to the fleet manager at the click of a mouse. Both units are hardwired into the vehicle and feature anti-tamper security.

Another video telematics system on display was the Smartdrive SmartRecorder 3. It’s a dual camera solution that records both the driver and the road ahead. The company is committed to improving driver behaviour and therefore all recorded footage is analysed by a team of specialists at Smartdrive first, so the fleet manager only sees the content that is relevant to their requirements.

TomTom had its full range of Webfleet telematics and navigation systems on display and took the opportunity to launch its new PRO 2020 driver terminal at the show - it allows driver identification via an RFID card.  Four essential telematics features are offered; Driver ID, Logbook to capture business and private mileage, Working Times and OptiDrive 360, which assists drivers to improve driving performance with visual and audible feedback as they drive.

For truck drivers, Snooper had its range of truck navigation units to showcase. The team at Snooper were keen to educate fleet operators of the importance of using truck specific units which can identify restricted or inaccessible roads. Many truck fleets rely on printed route plans, but if the driver gets lost or diverted the value of a navigation system quickly becomes apparent.

For fleets looking for a simple to install telematics solution, Hubio launched its Hubio Fleet service which uses a small dongle that is easily plugged in to the vehicles diagnostic port. The system provides live tracking and can identify instances of speeding and heavy braking or cornering. All the results are displayed on Google maps, giving the fleet operator total transparency of their fleet.

With any driver behaviour monitoring system, a clear message from all the suppliers was the same: The technology is only worthwhile if the operator is committed to a programme of positive driving coaching.

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