As head of R&D, I have been on board for more than 10 years. GPS-Buddy is a true technology company that has been pioneering Telematics and Internet of Things (IoT) for two decades. We develop everything from the hardware, firmware to the software in-house. The R&D department, led by CTO Hugo Lossie and myself, forms the core of the company with teams in the Netherlands, Italy and Uzbekistan. The past year has seen many changes and we are doing what we do best; using technology to connect vehicles and objects with people and organisations.
Marco Massi, Head of R&D - October 2022
WHAT TO EXPECT?
With the knowledge we have accumulated over 20 years, we decided to rebuild our entire system. Our view of the market has changed and we want to take full advantage of the latest technologies from our strategic partners. Because we do the development and integration of hardware, firm & software ourselves, we have built an unparalleled ecosystem tailored to the customer's processes. We monitor more data from units in the field, expand the variety of predictive alerts, make planning even more efficient and simplify communication. AND we now also offer customers the option to add features and services without the intervention of GPS-Buddy. Compare it to buying extra battery capacity online, as offered by Tesla, for example. Everything as a Service will be the benchmark for our future growth as well as the growth of our customers. The customer's business process is central to this.
We are going to remove some units from our portfolio and integrate all functionalities plus more into the new XT4. This will be our mother ship that generates all the required data used in various business processes of our customers. It includes an impressive 4G modem, BT beacon technology, NFC, GPRS and the latest RF gateway technology. The Pro version includes the latest L5 antenna technology, allowing the device to be used in life-critical applications. The XT4 is extremely fast in sending and receiving data. When a planner in the office selects a vehicle, communication with that unit is intensified to show real-time tracking. This will give users a whole new experience in tracking their fleet or equipment.
We will also be able to offer true modular upgrades after installation. For example, our R&D team has found the solution to integrate tacho and CANbus on the chip of our new XT4 unit. These can thus be updated remotely after installation. This way, huge savings are made in maintenance time and costs.
ASSET MANAGEMENT WITH RFID TECHNOLOGY
Another choice we made was to use updated RFID technology instead of Bluetooth for locating and monitoring assets without power supply. Although the latter is widely used for tracking large and small equipment, we believe Radio Frequency is a better fit for our customers' processes. The trade-off is simple: choosing a technology that quickly sends larger amount of data, like Bluetooth, but is prone to interference and has limited range, , then does not contribute to the customer's process. Tracking assets with low-frequency technology, such as RFID technology, has sufficient bandwidth for the amount of data sent, is less prone to interference and has a much longer range. It therefore offers customers the greatest security and convenience.
This new ability to track large and small equipment provides huge improvements in asset visibility and deployability. It simplifies planning, maintenance and invoicing for our customers.
REVAMPED PLATFORM: STUDIO NXT
All data from the units is brought together in Studio NxT. The brand-new web-based platform is at the heart of what we do. In it, we give the user control over how he handles the data collected. The starting point within our old system has always been the vehicle, but that no longer covers it. Today, there are many variations in vehicles and large and small equipment. Cars, vans, trucks, machinery, trailers, containers and buildings all have different characteristics and different requirements in use. So we have created in the new platform the ability to integrate the different logistics flows. And it gets even better, as users can add their own categories to manage their assets in the best possible way.
Furthermore, features such as user management, driver history, groups and locations have all been redesigned. We added projects, so you can link assets to a project and location (geofence) generating an automated file that can be used for reports or invoicing to customers. And I could go on and on. In the coming time, we will explain various choices at a detailed level.