PeopleNet, Microdea introduce In-Cab Scanning

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PeopleNet in partnership with Microdea Inc. has introduced In-Cab Scanning for the transportation industry. This new function provides the capability to scan and transmit documents directly from the cab of a truck using the advanced technology of Microdea and the bandwidth of PeopleNet mobile communications.

PeopleNet, based in Minneapolis, Minn., is the fastest-growing provider of intelligent onboard communications, GPS and fleet management solutions. Microdea, of Richmond Hill, Ont., Canada, is a provider of Synergize OnRamp integrated work flow and document management.

In-Cab Scanning enables drivers to scan and transmit critical transportation documents such as bills of lading and signed delivery receipts immediately from virtually anywhere. In-Cab Scanning speeds the business cycle for carriers, eliminates the need for truck stop scanning and expedites international border crossings.

“In-Cab Scanning is the future and it is here now,” said Glenn Williams, PeopleNet’s senior product manager. “This landmark technology for PeopleNet customers will take carrier business operations to a new level, cutting hours and days from the billing cycle. Drivers will be very pleased to avoid unnecessary, unproductive miles used to find scanning locations and waiting in the lines they sometimes find there.”

Microdea supplies a rugged, small-footprint scanning device securely mounted in the truck cab. Scanned document images are transmitted using the open interface of PeopleNet’s g3 Services and are captured by Microdea, which makes documents immediately available to third parties. A third party can be a carrier, its customers or a carrier’s third party document management provider.

International truckload carrier Berry & Smith of Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, is a PeopleNet customer looking forward to the benefits of In-Cab Scanning.

“We are looking to In-Cab Scanning to improve driver efficiency by expediting document flow to and from the vehicle, whether that be customer required documents, documents to assist cross-border travel or vehicle documents,” said Dorothy Vankoughnett, controller and IT manager for Berry & Smith. “Our goal is to increase hours available to drive and reduce nonproductive hours”

Carriers also benefit from more satisfied drivers who have been relieved of driving out-of-route miles simply to deliver paperwork. In addition, In-Cab Scanning will actually cost less than typical per-page truck stop scanning charges, PeopleNet says.

In-Cab Scanning is the first of a two-part initiative by PeopleNet. The second is In-Cab Printing, which will be introduced in the early part of 2008.

“In-Cab Printing will use the same wireless and software technologies to move documents between truck and company, but in the other direction,” Williams said.

Drivers will be able to receive and print hard copies of documents like highway permits, bills of lading and even violation notices. Drivers using PeopleNet’s eDriver Logs automated log application will also be able to print out logs on the spot for enforcement officers, saving time during roadside inspections.

“PeopleNet is increasing the velocity of transportation information,” Williams said.