Rand McNally expands vehicle telematics platform into additional field service markets

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Technology Shorts

Technology news and briefs for the week of Nov. 13, 2022: 

Rand Platform is now available for additional markets

Rand McNally has expanded its vehicle telematics platform into additional field service markets.

Rand Platform, an API-first platform has several new, diverse offerings tailored for field service customers, from small to large fleets, from construction companies to oil, gas and mining operations.

Commercial carriers have had access to the platform for some time, using asset tracking, cameras and more.

“We are pleased to offer an expanded group of customers access to the Rand Platform,” said Adam Ricketts, Rand McNally’s vice president of product. “Our platform has been designed to very simply fit the unique business needs of companies, rather than have customers adhere to a set of predefined features that may not fit their unique business needs.”

The no-code environment of Rand Platform has a number of automated features like automatic VIN decoding that ease fleet onboarding complexities. Its drag-and-drop business rules engine allows easy setup of any alert or exception reporting required.

Ricketts said the platform has resulted in increased safety and cost savings for fleets. Rand McNally said its customers have experienced a 45% reduction in fleet maintenance and administration costs; an 80% drop in speeding violations among drivers and a 99% recovery in stolen vehicle and equipment assets.

Hardware on the Rand Platform includes vehicle and video telematics and high-value asset tracking.

With the move into field services, Rand McNally has tailored its tiered platform subscription offerings to meet the goals of all companies, from small fleets concerned with vehicle and driver tracking, to larger enterprise operations developing services and integrations using the platform’s APIs.

Telematics provider offers new 4G product offerings

Global vehicle telematics device designer and manufacturer ATrack Technology Inc. is expanding its line of vehicle telematics products with its recent launch of two new 4G fleet management products.

These include the AX300 OBD tracker and AK500 telematics gateway, both of which facilitate logistics operators improving management efficiency and reducing operating costs.

The AX300 OBD tracker has a compact size, OBD interface and supports ISO 15765-4, ISO J1939 and SAE J1708 communication protocols. An RP1226 interface for newer trucks makes it suitable for both commercial vehicle and heavy machinery applications. Differing from typical on-board vehicle trackers that can only read a single CAN bus on the vehicle, the AX300 can read data from two CAN bus systems simultaneously to obtain more detailed key engine data, including mileage, speed and fuel level. Parameters such as fuel volume, consumption and speed, engine speed, idle time and other data can assist fleet managers in conducting in-depth data analysis, which can enable early detection of potential problems such as excess fuel consumption or engine temperature, abnormal driving behavior and other factors. This allows for performing preventive maintenance and management of driving behavior to help significantly reduce operating costs.

The AK500 Telematics Gateway incorporates an LTE Cat. 4 ultra-high-speed wireless mobile network with 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi sharing, Bluetooth, engine diagnosis and real-time position monitoring among other functions. It also has multiple interfaces that can be connected to various sensors such as tire pressure monitors and ID card readers among others for various types of trucks, trailers and other vehicles that have multiple applications. In addition, driving hours can be displayed on Bluetooth-capable mobile devices such as mobile phones or tablets in order to comply with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandatory requirement that all commercial vehicles be equipped with an electronic logging device. This standard provides important assistance to the transportation industry for fleet management.

The AX300 OBD tracker and AK500 telematics gateway provide a solution for trucks, heavy machinery and the logistics industry to help customers detect vehicle and machinery location in real time, which can speed up dispatch and avoid theft. They also facilitate understanding asset status through engine diagnosis to allow performing preventive maintenance to avoid interrupted vehicle operation as well as manage driving behavior, thereby improving driving safety, reducing fuel consumption and reducing operating costs.

To help customers remotely configure settings and firmware of numerous devices dispersed over multiple locations, ATrack provides its ATrack Device Management platform to allow administrators to easily manage a large number of devices to reduce management labor and cost.

Zonar to install Truckers Against Trafficking app on in-cab tablets

All of Zonar’s customers with Samsung in-cab tablets will soon be able to download the Truckers Against Trafficking app for free.

The app is a new version of the original TAT app that helps truckers identify and quickly report instances of labor and sex trafficking observed while on their routes.

By providing the availability of this new version of the TAT app on Zonar in-cab tablets, drivers can view human trafficking red flags and examples, as well as scan QR codes with their personal mobile devices to access training videos, podcast episodes and more.

There are an estimated 50 million victims of human trafficking worldwide, with approximately 24.9 million men, women and children trafficked and sold globally each year.

"The adage ‘see something, say something’ works," said Laura Cyrus, senior director of industry training and outreach at TAT. "Since 2009, TAT has trained over 1.3 million industry professionals on human trafficking and drivers have now made thousands of calls to the hotline and law enforcement, resulting in the recovery of victims and the arrest of perpetrators. Given the nature of this crime and that it is often hiding in plain sight, professional drivers are uniquely positioned to be the eyes and ears of the roadways as critical points of safety and recovery for victims of human trafficking."

The TAT app trains truckers to identify signs of victimization, particularly in areas that members of the transportation industry frequent such as truck stops, rest areas, city streets and warehouses. The platform encourages tips be made to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, where all reports are confidential. After tips are reported, law enforcement and emergency workers are contacted by the hotline. Additionally, the app and the hotline may encourage tips be made directly to 911.

HyperTrack adds new features to streamline operations

Cloud-based live location platform HyperTrack has added new features to its BuilderX platform, including Order Lifecycle API and Order Score capabilities that improve fulfillment accuracy and streamline operations for developers building logistics solutions.

With the new Order Lifecycle API, developers can combine the planning, assigning and tracking stages of the order lifecycle into one API for on-demand, same-day and future fulfillment capabilities. The single API integrates HyperTrack’s planning and tracking capabilities into one interface, enabling teams to batch and sequence on-demand and same-day orders for more accurate order fulfillment. With a single point of integration for the entire order lifecycle, logistics teams can automatically provide the most accurate fulfillment time frame to their customers while improving the ability to forecast and plan for growth with simple per-order pricing.

“While traditional order fulfillment lifecycles require multiple calls to cloud, mobile and mapping services, HyperTrack eliminates the need to stitch these services together by offering a single API that automatically identifies ways to improve efficiency while providing the most efficient planning, assignment and tracking for every step of the order lifecycle,” said HyperTrack Founder and CEO Kashyap Deorah.

Last-mile logistics teams lack access to data that explains why orders are not fulfilled on time and what steps can be taken to improve efficiency moving forward.

With the new Order Score feature, operations teams receive a rating that’s based on a comprehensive range of parameters, measuring overall fulfillment performance while identifying actionable areas of improvement. The score is calculated based on four key components: route efficiency - whether the driver took the most efficient route and if there was any idle time en route to fulfillment; delays - whether the driver reached the destination and completed the order on time; address accuracy - whether orders are fulfilled at the specified order destination, helping to improve end customer address locations using ground truth fulfillment data; and tracking rate - whether the order was tracked throughout its lifecycle or if there were outages due to issues with the driver’s device.

HyperTrack is also hosting its first Logistics + Tech Summit, a virtual event this week with over 1,500 attendees from 80 countries who are developing technology for gig work, field service, sales and on-demand delivery.