In the modern world we are surrounded by IoT devices in our homes and offices with smart phones, smart kettles, smart doorbells, Alexa and Echo as well as smart cars where the onboard computer communicates GPS, faults and mirrors updates to owners via a smartphone phone app.
The Internet of Things (IoT) & telematics are slowly becoming embroiled in all aspects of life, and this includes devices and displays, in all industries from Marine to Industrial & Agricultural Equipment.
The beauty of IoT technology is that it can transform onboard equipment monitoring away from needing the operator to observe information & alarms on a dashboard display to an integrated telematics solution transmitting data to the cloud and into information systems with data able to be accessed by multiple stakeholders.
A telematics system is able to take data from the same analog sensors that would traditionally only be read locally such as a vehicle dashboard, and send it to a centralized area where it can be analyzed and monitored. Essentially adding telematics capability to your dashboard is the ultimate upgrade.
Vehicle Telematics Potential
How the capability can be used varies from industry to industry, but a perfect example of IoT & telematics capabilities in a vehicle and the benefits it brings can be seen in supermarket delivery vans. In the back of these vans, in order to keep the food fresh whilst out on delivery there are different chiller zones where the temperatures are monitored by an analog sensor transmitting data to an onboard CANbus display that the driver checks periodically.
From the display the driver can see if the temperature in any of the zones goes outside of the specified range. If it does for a prolonged period of time, the van will return to base for repair. This method of monitoring is heavily reliant on the vehicle operator checking the sensors and is open to human error where data is misread, or not read at all.
In this scenario the dashboard display itself is not telematics enabled, but introducing a logger to the CANbus display & modem would convert it to a game changing telematics enabled system. The data could be transmitted to the cloud and the supermarket headquarters, meaning they would be able to spot potential problems before they actually happen as alarms are triggered for particular readings. This would remove the human element and would be more efficient.
Marine Telematics Potential
A comparative example of the benefits of IoT & telematics technology within the marine environment can be seen in large vessels like cruise ships which have a number of lifeboats on board. In order for the vessels to remain compliant these lifeboats have to be checked on a regular basis to ensure they meet SOLAS safety requirements.
However, human error with this record keeping could result in mistakes being made and lives lost. Therefore, introducing a telematics enabled system onboard could automatically record and transmit to an onboard log all relevant data removing any human error from record keeping, and therefore flagging any potential issues before they happen.
General Benefits of IoT & Telematics Technology
By moving away from analog technology and embracing digital it is a simple step to ensure the data can be transmitted from existing CANbus data logs through 3G modems to cloud telematics portals for example. There are multiple benefits to making this change.
- Real Time Data – With telematics capabilities, data is uploaded to the cloud at intervals set as required from near real-time to interval based such as hourly or at the end of the day depending on the business case. This means you have real-time data which is not reliant on collating hand completed data sheets from the vehicle operators.
- Less Human Error – Whilst there is always room for error, with real-time data being transmitted to the head office as required, there is less room for human error, mis-recordings or missed readings ensuring your data is as clean as it can be.
- Long-term Monitoring – Real-time data transmitted in this way makes it easier to monitor data over a long period making reporting easier, quicker and more accurate. Data can also be interrogated and learnt from for identification of trends and predict behaviors.
- Compatibility – You can receive data from both analog and digital sensors, ensuring all data is available centrally in a format which is easy to read and analyze.
- Improved Safety – By having all the data centralized in real time, can ensure that pre-emptive maintenance can take place, improving the longevity of the machine or engine and spotting an issue with it before it becomes a problem.
- Better Prepared Repairs – With reports available beforehand, the engineers will already know what the problem is with the machine or at least the issue code and therefore will be better prepared when attending with the correct tools and replacement parts.
- Reduced Down Time – By pre-empting problems and being prepared when attending a site visit will mean the machines will have reduced down time.
- Warranty Conditions – By monitoring the use of the vehicle you are able to ensure that vehicle or machine usage is within the boundaries of the warranty conditions, and spot issue with particular operator behavior highlighting training needs.
- Hire Fleet – Operating data of hire vehicles or vessels can ensure usage is within the boundaries of the contract and can be useful when verifying insurance claims.
- GPS Enabled – This allows you to monitor where the vehicle or vessel is at any time, and can be particularly valuable with hire vehicles, monitoring if the vessel is in out-of-bounds water, or theft.
- Fuel Efficiency – This can be useful with a fleet of vehicles to identify operators who are not driving efficiently or which vehicles are inefficient and can lead training schedules or can help make purchasing decisions for future vehicles.
One of the greatest benefits across industries is that in the long run IoT & telematics technology can save your business money, introducing a telematics enabled system will ensure all the data is available in one centralized place making it easier to monitor use, damage and performance improvements. Additionally, by reducing the number of manual record-keeping by vehicle operatives will make for a more productive workforce and can therefore make further savings for your business.
Whether your dashboard devices on your road vehicle, construction vehicle or marine vessel are digital or analog, embracing IoT technology could be a game-changer for your business. Here at Veethree we can help with your upgrade journey with a selection of digital displays with both analog and digital inputs as well as CANbus and NMEA 2000 compatibiity which combined with appropriate gateway technology means your data can be automatically uploaded to the cloud.
Talk to us about your project requirements, we work as an extension to your engineering team bringing our experience working together to develop a solution. Get in touch here.