GPS Black Box
The GPS black box is one of the most essential items in telematics. This small device is installed in the vehicle and is capable of gathering useful data about the vehicle and driver. The FleetGO black box is one of the smartest devices available and makes it possible to get a wide variety of data from GPS location to possible error codes in the internal vehicle network.
How does the GPS black box work (car telematics)?
The black box has two main capabilities: gathering data and transferring data. To gather data, the device can be connected to different sources like CAN-bus, OBD-port or native sensors like ignition, fuel gauge, door sensors etc. Internal algorithm’s in the black box make sense of all data and pre-formatted information is created. Next, all data is transmitted in real-time with the internal SIM-card that uses a standard cellular network. On an external platform (in our case, the FleetGO platform) collects all data and make it accessible for the end user where different reports and analytics are available.
If, for what reason, there is no cellular network, the black box acts like a flight data recorder and stores all data on the internal memory. Once the network is available again, data is transmitted.
What data can be collected by a black box?
Today’s black boxes are very powerful and can collect a wide range of vehicle and driver data. Some examples:
- GPS location
- Trip recordings
- Drive times
- Time on location
- Fuel use
- Harsh driver behaviour (with accelerometer)
- Vehicle utility
- Driver of the vehicle (with external ID)
If the black box is connected to CAN, OBD or FMS it’s possible to get more specific data like:
- Errors and error codes
- Use of cruise control
- Door open/closed
- Use of seatbelts
- Engine load
- Engine temperature
The most powerful black box can even be connected to the digital tachograph (which is used in trucks) to get insights is driving and rest times and even can download the legal tachograph files that transport companies need to archive for legal compliance.
Solutions of the GPS Black Box
FleetGO offers a wide range of turnkey solutions like:
The technological world of telematics serves numerous industries. Where in the 90s the transportation industry was one of the first main users, today every business that owns vehicles can benefit from telematics. Below we describe some general benefits from the use of a car black box.
Reduction of Fuel Cost
With the use of the tracking features, you can monitor the vehicle, which can subsequently lead to the decrease in fuel consumption. It is possible because you can see the speed of the cars and you can maintain the speed limits, which has a significant effect on the fuel usage of the cars or trucks. Tracking solutions can provide information about the speed, and you can be alerted when the vehicle exceeds the preset threshold for speed.
Furthermore, it is also possible for you to track the vehicles on idle mode. You should be aware that excessive idling can contribute profoundly to significant fuel costs for several businesses. Unproductive use of fuel, especially for climate control can undoubtedly cut a hole in your budget.
It is true that drivers are integral to your fleet management ad it is paramount that you know how to help them. With car black box, you can have a variety of information about the driving behavior, such as vehicle speed, startup, and shutdown of the engine, idling time, and mapping movement. You can use all these pieces of information to allow your business to come up with practical policies for training your drivers so that they will be even more efficient.
Additionally, it can also help that you can manage the risks since you can help curb unwanted behaviors of the drivers, including too much vehicle idling, speeding, and even tardiness if the driver initiates it.
Increased Safety and Security
Another reason why you should start using GPS tracking for your fleet management is that it can help enhance the staff’s security and safety – as well as your whole fleet. For example, if you are in the mining industry and your business requires movement of the trucks in various remote locations, you can take advantage of telematics. What it does for you is that it can help you know the whereabouts as well as the status of your team.
Tracking your fleet will alert you immediately if there are cases, such as stolen vehicles or even accidents. As mentioned earlier, you can also use it to learn about poor driving actions. You will always stay alert if your truck is used outside work guidelines, whether it is a working day or it is after-hours.
Abel Korevaar FleetGO Consultant
Image: Connected Fleet