Telematica & connectivity

Bundling more and more applications

In telematics, not only is there a trend towards more functionalities, their use and implementation are characterised by increasing flexibility at the same time. More possibilities also means that the domains in which they are used have increased. Whereas telematics used to focus mainly on the vehicle, today it is just as much about load control, temperature control or eco-driving and real-time navigation. In the previous issue of VAN Management, we focused on the solutions of van manufacturers. In this article, we look at the external solutions. 
- Michaël Vandamme - 

Source: VAN Magazine

Throughout the years, the functionalities offered by telematics have increased. And the potential of tablets or smartphones is no stranger to that. Years ago, telematics mainly revolved around the question of where a vehicle was located, known as track & trace. That functionality is still there today, and still very important in practice, but there is so much more. Interaction with the tachograph for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes followed, maintenance was given a role, just as a registration of the driving behaviour became possible. Needless to say, the latter has both an economic and a security dimension. 


Tablets or smartphones have their practical uses. Determining a delivery, signing a (digital) document, or simply taking photographs… When the connection with the delivery vehicle can be made, this brings the vehicle into the digital age. Not a goal in and of itself, but an important way to streamline business processes and automate manual tasks. But there is another benefit. Telematics is essential in providing an adequate service, which can sometimes be problematic in case of subcontracting. By giving mobile devices a place, subcontracting doesn't have to mean sacrificing quality service. 

“There is a clear trend towards combining solutions and systems more”, explains Remar Bernadina, Project Manager Implementation and Training at GPS-Buddy. “This results in solutions that contain various functionalities and you can rightly talk about true fleet management solutions. In practice, and here we are talking specifically about the offer from GPS-Buddy, this translates into a single system for planning routes and tasks, which is responsible for navigation and communication during transport, registers packaging, consignment notes and temperature, can read the tachograph but also contains a trailer tracking system, and attention is paid to driver behaviour. A key challenge for the future is the development of accessible systems, so that more companies can use fleet management solutions without high investments and a long implementation time.” 


“Our collaboration with Webfleet is crystallising around the track & trace system that all our delivery vans are equipped with”, says Erwin Callaert, Service & Parts Manager at heating installer Elco. “The benefits are obvious. It is a useful tool for timekeeping. It is also useful to know the exact position of the delivery vehicles. But at the same time, this can be a sensitive issue for the employees. Clear communication is key here. Make them understand that this is about registration, not control.  

The advantage of this system is that you can connect it in a very simple way, a bit like with diagnostic equipment. It therefore provides a lot of data that can be consulted at random. This will give you insight into the driving behaviour, which you can then link to a reward. What is also very convenient is that you can disconnect the system and use it in another vehicle, without the need for a difficult disassembly.”