One of the most talked about concepts in the technology industry today is the Internet of Things (or as it´s also known, IoT). Still in its infancy, the IoT phenomenon spans many áreas from everyday objects and the automotive sector, to its integration in cities giving rise to Smart Cities.
By striving for greater efficiency, safety and mobility, real-time telecommunication systems are being developed that can be installed in police cars and emergency vehicles. The progress made in terms of connectivity between vehicles and different infrastructures will surely bring many advantages to this sector. (more…)
Fortunately, over the last few years, these drawbacks have been overcome and, through the use of state-of-the-art cellular technology, mobile broadband is now available.
Nowadays, mobile data coverage is well extended providing increasing bandwidth to vehicle fleets. As a consequence, more and more applications and solutions based on real time communications are arising into this market providing multiple advantages directly related with the financial statements of fleet operators by reducing operational costs, improving revenue streams and cross selling opportunities.
Reducing Operational Costs
The first applications that benefit from the maturity of communications have been those related to optimize operations in the fleets. Among all the solutions in the market, the following are the most relevant in terms of cost reduction and market penetration.
Fleet Tracking Systems
The latest systems for fleet tracking allow a real-time location of every vehicle in the fleet. Fleet tracking can increase vehicle fuel efficiency by identifying where in your fleet there is room for improvement. Costs are reduced in the following ways:
- Reducing vehicle speed: Diverse studies all over the world outline that driving with an adequate speed could save from 7% to 14% on fuel consumption. Most GPS vehicle tracking solutions provide accurate speed information about each vehicle tracked. But the best GPS solutions also include alerting features that will notify you immediately when a vehicle exceeds a set speed threshold. Connected with a reliable communication system alerts to driver can be given from the fleet management center to have a continuous improve on driving performance.According to Ford Motor Company, every hour of idle time is equal to approximately 25 miles of driving. GPS tracking systems with real-time communication help you to reduce fuel costs by notifying you when a vehicle idles for excessive periods of time, which can waste fuel and decrease productivity.
- Improved routing and dispatching: Having a real-time precise location of every vehicle, help dispatchers to manage effectively routing and dispatching. Ensuring that vehicles take the most direct route to any job site and can get lost drivers back on track. Synchronization with current traffic conditions allow diverting drivers around delays resulting in improved truck fuel efficiency. Depending on the routes and previous dispatching tasks fuel savings could be up to 25%.
- Proper vehicle maintenance: Vehicles that receive regular maintenance run more efficiently and use less fuel than neglected vehicles. Real-time communication allow remote alert management based on calendar time, engine on-time, or mileage depending on the type of service needed.
Video Surveillance (CCTV)
Installing real-time camera recording onboard increases security of passengers and drivers as well as accident management and reporting. Reliable communications ensure that whenever an incident come across a real-time video streaming can be sent to a monitoring center to decide how to manage it the best way preparing emergency services before they arrive minimizing management time of the incident and determining liabilities.
As well CCTV allows better solving of accident disputes and insurance companies safe on trials and determination of liabilities. Therefore, more and more insurances are offering discounts to those vehicles which have real-time CCTV which can go up to 15%.
Driving Management Systems
Having a connected bus console which informs fleet management center and the driver about how efficiently is he driving allows a best practice from the driver and a best practices analysis in the headquarters for recommendations and training. Systems installed in fleets all over the world have resulted in fuel reduction from 10% to 15%.
This technology alerts the driver on how his acceleration and braking influences the energy consumption of the vehicle. Moreover, if this system is connected to a centralized system it allows to detect best practices, make training programs and schedule incentives for promoting those best practices among the rest of the drivers.
Corporate Networking and Wi-Fi for Service Fleets
Having a real-time connected vehicle with cybersecurity (VPNs) mechanisms allow extending the office to the vehicle. Lots of service fleets are used to move technicians for onsite inspections. Having an extended office allow real-time reporting of the situation ensuring best results on the services and lowering the ticket costs up to 30% in some cases for the following reasons.
- Reduced labor costs: There are cost savings in two areas, technician time to travel to the office for writing and delivering a whole report of the ticket and average of qualified technician needed (which are more expensive) thanks to a remote guidance system.
- Reduced fuel consumption: Saves unnecessary trips to the office by skilled technicians.
Teldat Automotive line provides highly-reliable communication platforms with multiple back-up features, extreme ruggedization and the most advanced networking protocols to ensure connectivity of all the above mentioned solutions as well as isolation and security among them.
At the Broadband World Forum, the telecoms operator event attended by Teldat last week, a recurring theme was the development of new networks and services that will allow network operators to continue providing differentiated value to companies. Network operators are at the risk of becoming mere utilities on which third parties provide value services (Over the Top model). This is a threat to both their competitive model and net profit since, in such a scenario, their services would become undifferentiated, implying much lower margins.
How can this situation be avoided?
The only way forward is to adapt their networks and services to meet the demands of new users, which in the environment we work in today are the companies and their workers.
Seventy-five percent of the labor force in 2020 will be made up of the so-called “Millennials”; those persons born between 1985 and 2000, approximately. Several socioeconomic characteristics differentiate this generation from others, but we are concerned with those relating to their use of technology and their conception of the company, ways of working and their demands as employees.
- They are technology. They cannot conceive life without a permanent connection giving them instant access to information and people. And even though smartphones weren’t even around in 1980, they are perfectly able to handle all kinds of devices and technology which they use to stay in touch with others, work online and even search for jobs. It is not a way of working or relating but rather a way of life based on immediacy.
- Being able to access information immediately has allowed them to develop a need to investigate and search for information, an undeniable asset with huge growth potential for the companies employing them. They have a higher critical sense and they are capable of forming their own opinions and sharing them with others.
- Their concept of the company and employment is different. On the one hand they are flexible and creative professionals, but they are also extremely impatient as they are used to getting everything immediately. They get frustrated when they do not achieve their goals or when denied something, thus making them highly demanding professionals. For this reason, companies wishing to retain these professionals, mainly highly educated university students, will have to change in order to accommodate their needs. Key strategies include creating a motivating environment, being more flexible and offering them projects likely to bring short-term results.
This clearly is one of the most educated generations with the most potential in history. So the question arises: what can telecoms do to respond to their demands, and so that all that potential gets turned into real productivity for the companies employing them?
For three days we have taken part in one of the telecommunications sector’s biggest events, which has discussed the future of such topics as network virtualization, the evolution of fixed access, broadband on mobile phones and network intelligence. All with one goal: to create better networks that meet the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s users. And this is an objective with which we strongly identify, since it is the same goal that has guided Teldat since its founding.
Over the last few years, we have experienced a very significant advance in the efficiency of transmission over wireless technologies. Broadband capabilities have increased to the point where they have overtaken cable, ADSL for example, and come close to the experiences of home fiber internet (100Mbps)
The evolution of wireless connectivity has given us the means to provide connectivity to mobile environments such as cars, buses, trains, etc., providing a perfect and fertile ground for the emergence of numerous services based on connectivity. The appearance of data over cellular networks and smartphones less than 10 years ago (and the subsequent worldwide boom in applications) may serve as an example. Likewise, broadband in on-board environments will revolutionize the number of applications and services present in transport fleets and other vehicles.
The boom in on-board services is occurring as we speak. During the last 3 years, and in conjunction with broadband, solutions have been developed that range from security applications (CCTV, alarms, controlled start, synchronization with the police, to name but a few), to managing fleets (GPS tracking, communication over data networks, synchronization with road conditions, traffic density, etc.), and driving performance (SAE, speedometer control, fuel consumption, routes, breakdowns, level of occupation, etc.), as well as passenger on-board entertainment, WIFI, messaging, timetables and digital signage.
All these services have one point in common, they need communications. Up until now, there were two types of architectures:
- Firstly, those operating fleets who had decided to independently manage their communications, adding emerging services over their multiservice communications platform.
- Secondly, those operating fleets who had progressively contracted independent services including communications. We will now look at the advantages and drawbacks of both of them.
Multiple Services with Communications
- A service provider controls the whole service. Consequently, the responsibility of how the system operates lies with a single party.
- Each service needs a dedicated device. (Applications SW + Communications.)
- If you want to integrate a new service, you are under the obligation to go to your service provider.
- The devices are not specifically designed for communications. Performance is poorer in areas with low coverage, radio behavior, operating functions, etc., and frequently not approved by the connectivity provider. Who is responsible when there is a drop in communications? The carrier or the service provider?
- Difficulty in integrating multiple services. E.g., on-board entertainment service via WiFi and Internet access over the same radio wave means using the same provider. (Thus preventing you from choosing the market solutions that best meet your needs.)
- Complex maintenance and operation. Management of independent communications with numerous SIMs and devices that behave differently.
- Installations aren’t shared. For instance, having multiple antennas and cabling in vehicles restrict changes (perforations, etc.)
Multiple Services Communications
- A specialized communication device allows both the monitoring and debugging of communication faults. (Coverage, packet loss, network synchronization, etc.)
- Just like a router in an office, an on-board router is designed to interconnect different PCs, with QoS mechanisms, FW and monitoring per port, thus debugging service behavior and the interaction between network components.
- A single and reliable communication device allows the same interface to be shared among various services. (For example, WiFi services for marketing, entertainment and Internet access.)
- Simplifies communications maintenance to a single device and one or various pinpointed SIM cards.
- Sharing of installations: the same antennas are used for different services.
- Offers scalability, so adding new, emerging and future services is simple.
- Allows numerous services to be incorporated with independent services (making it possible to choose those that better adapt to each type of solution).
- Uses devices certified by the carrier, guaranteeing the communication provider is responsible for communication.
- A service provider does not control the communications. However, a multiservice platform has certain mechanisms, such as independent management plans, allowing some flexibility in customization through services.
- Another device is needed in addition to those installed by the service providers. However, each device with communication, provided by a service provider, has an additional cost to include said communications, which is discountable in this scenario.
In short, if the end client is interested in a single service per vehicle and not future expansion, the option of service with communications would be the best. However, if, on the other hand, the client wishes to gradually use the newer and improved technologies available, he is better off with an architecture based on a single communications installation (where new services can be added as they are required).
Teldat, as a corporate communications router manufacturer and a major supplier to large telecommunication carriers that offer multiple services using the company’s devices, supports (by means of its on-board Automotive and Rail platforms) the latest technologies providing multiservice communication environments.