PeopleNet enhances BLU Driver Center display platform

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PeopleNet, a provider of intelligent onboard communications and fleet management solutions, announced Monday, Oct. 6, the introduction of a series of enhancements to its BLU onboard platform as part of the company’s fall 2008 product release. BLU, PeopleNet’s Driver Center display platform, was introduced last year.

“BLU was built with the latest touchscreen technology, open integration tools and a lot of computer power to stay ahead of technology developments,” says Brian McLaughlin, chief operating officer of the Minneapolis-based company. “Now we’re beginning to introduce the technologies BLU was built for.”

According to McLaughlin, the enhancements to BLU include:

Text-to-Speech Capability – This will enable drivers to hear in addition to read content on the BLU display. That content can be anything from dispatch instructions to personal e-mail and much more. Meanwhile, drivers’ eyes stay on the task at hand;

Driver Shortcuts – With one finger on BLU’s touchscreen, drivers can navigate instantly to critical displays of their choice, such as their 8-day driver log summary, their e-mail inbox or to logout and change-driver screens. The driver can program up to seven such shortcuts;

Safe Mode Options – At their option, fleets can choose to make selected BLU functions unavailable while a truck is in motion, keeping driver attention on the road. Safe Mode can be configured on individual units; and

In-Cab Navigation – Drivers now can view and listen to truck-centric turn-by-turn directions powered by Maptuit.

“Some of these enhancements were pre-announced when BLU was launched,” McLaughlin says. “Others have resulted from customer feedback and suggestions. All will help keep BLU at the leading edge of trucking technology and PeopleNet customers ahead of their competition.”

PeopleNet says BLU was designed from the ground up to provide a powerful, intuitive interface for drivers and an open platform for fleet-specific applications and devices. The 7-inch sharp full-color display is easy to read and imparts information quickly at a glance or in fine detail as needed, according to the company; BLU also brings definitive audio and video capability to the truck cab, delivering multimedia impact for effective communications.

PeopleNet says BLU has been deployed to more than 35 fleets across the United States and Canada as part of the company’s overall offering.