Xata to launch next-gen fleet management tools in for-hire market

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Xata Corp., a provider of fleet operations optimization, announced Monday, Oct. 5, during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference & Exhibition that it will roll out next-generation Fleet Performance Management (FPM) applications and a new onboard computer (OBC) to enable Xata’s fleet optimization solutions for the for-hire trucking market.

Xata has developed compliance and cost management tools for private fleets for 20 years, says Tom Flies, senior vice president of product management. Since the acquisition of GeoLogic in early 2008, Xata has been bringing the product lines together. GeoLogic had developed the MobileMax onboard computers for the for-hire trucking market.

To help for-hire companies make smart and informed decisions on using their fleet assets, Xata says it is rolling out a series of leading application enhancements over the next year. A trailer-tracking-and-reporting tool is scheduled for release in late 2009, followed by electronic, graphical driver logs for the for-hire market in early 2010. Later in 2010, Xata plans to deliver a complete reporting and analytics package as part of its FPM for-hire solution. Xata says for-hire customers will have access to powerful fleet- and business-insight capabilities based on the applications available in Xatanet, which is designed for private fleets.

Xata says its new nonproprietary onboard computer, supplied by global mobile-communications provider Digi International, will enable Xata to provide a compact, ruggedized unit that will deliver the communications and navigation technology currently available on Xata’s MobileMax platform; it also will offer a significant boost in processing power and an enhanced array of communications specifically designed to meet the needs of the for-hire market.

Xata says the new platform, which works with its existing family of in-cab color displays, will offer electronic driver logs, trailer tracking, configurable dashboards and fleet analytics, among other fleet optimization tools, fulfilling its strategy to provide the transportation market with hardware options that provide its customers with the flexibility to choose the best platform for their fleet operations environment.

“Rising costs and an ever-tightening compliance environment are forcing both for-hire and private fleets to further optimize their operations,” says Jay Coughlan, president and chief executive officer of Minneapolis-based Xata Corp. “Today, it’s all about giving managers and business leaders a timely, accurate read – from dispatch and vehicles to drivers and compliance – on how their fleet operations are providing them with a competitive advantage. Over the next year, our FPM solutions and next-generation technology will help for-hire companies do a better job of managing fleet and driver performance against their corporate strategic goals.”

According to the company, some high-level features and benefits of the new OBC include:

  • Supports ZigBee and WiFi wireless connectivity with low-power sensor networks within and around vehicles to monitor such items as tires, reefer units, door latches, temperature sensors, cargo sensors and RFID readers;
  • Supports both satellite and GPRS & CDMA cellular for instant always-on multimode communications;
  • Supports CAN J1939 and J1708 vehicle bus-interfaces; and
  • Ability to withstand the shock and vibrations found on heavy-duty trucks with SAE1455 certifications.
  • “With this new onboard computer, we have the ability to take the for-hire market well beyond what is available from competitors,” Flies says. “By tapping the expertise gained from nearly two decades of helping the country’s largest private fleets reduce costs, increase safety and enhance customer service, we have the talent and track record to deliver leading-edge fleet management tools to serve the for-hire market.”