Phillips Connect sets sights on the 'smart trailer'

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Trailer gladhand
With the SmartLock Door attached, the trailer door can only be unlocked using the digital command by fleet dispatch personnel, an authorized person at the receiving location, or it can be set to automatically unlock when entering the yard by leveraging the Connect1 platform.

Advancements in technological innovation of on a tractor are undeniable, but the trailer rarely gets the same cutting-edge treatment. 

Phillips Connect is seeking to change that with a series of techie upgrades that modernize trailer technologies, and highlighted the products Sunday at the Technology and Maintenance Council Fall Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition, in Cleveland.

Two new SmartLock products are designed to safeguard loads by ensuring only authorized persons can move or unload the trailer. Both are activated or deactivated by a digitally authenticated command completely controlled via Bluetooth LE communication interface.

Phillips SmartLockThe SmartLock Gladhand prevents any unauthorized movement or towing of any asset requiring a pneumatic gladhand connection.The SmartLock Gladhand prevents any unauthorized movement or towing of any asset requiring a pneumatic gladhand connection. The locking pin that prevents air to the gladhand can only be activated or deactivated with the digital command. It is powered by an integrated non-rechargeable battery pack and requires no external electrical connection. The SmartLock Gladhand can be used on either the Red (emergency) line or the Blue (service) line.

“Trailers haul valuable commodities that the fleet is responsible for once they pick it up.  And with common carriers pulling trailers that belong to others, there has always been the risk of hooking up to and hauling the wrong unit from a crowded yard,” commented Jim Epler, EVP Phillips Connect. “These two pretty simple devices could easily eliminate those risks.”

The SmartLock Door is a stand-alone device that replaces the standard seal and can be installed in five minutes. With the SmartLock Door attached, the trailer door can only be unlocked using the digital command by fleet dispatch personnel, an authorized person at the receiving location, or it can be set to automatically unlock when entering the yard by leveraging the Connect1 platform. High value trailer loads and the drivers hauling them are at risk throughout their assigned trip. The SmartLock Door device guarantees that the full load is secure from shipper location to customer location.

Solar powered cargo camera

CargoVision camera systemThe fully solar powered interior cargo camera captures the status of the load in real time and can report the quality of the load (green = safe, red = unsafe) before the doors are open for unloading.While SmartLock products help safeguard the trailer and its load, Phillips Connect CargoVision helps watch it. 

The fully solar powered interior cargo camera captures the status of the load in real time and can report the quality of the load (green = safe, red = unsafe) before the doors are open for unloading. With this information, actions can be taken to safeguard against injury.

Trailer cargo can shift during transport and create safety hazards. The 100 percent solar-powered Phillips Connect CargoVision™ camera monitors 

Currently available interior trailer cargo cameras tend to be complex and pretty expensive, Epler said, noting Phillips took a different approach by "developing a very effective, affordable interior cargo camera that our fleet customers can install quickly to monitor their trailer loads for unsafe conditions, or verify the load condition without a large investment in money and time.”

Epler said the Phillips Connect CargoVision solution can be installed in 15 minutes and its 1080p cargo images are continuously captured to be delivered on demand, in a pre-programmed time interval, or driven by a specific event (motion or door open/closed) via Bluetooth connectivity to the Phillips Connect trailer gateway module.