Vehicle fleet managers rely on M2M

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  • Increasing use of telematics in the transport sector
  • Optimize routes and reduce fuel consumption with M2M
  • MAN, Daimler, and SchmitzCargobull in partnership with Deutsche Telekom

More and more shipping companies and courier services are turning to solutions based on machine-to-machine technology, also known as M2M, not least because M2M simplifies workflows, streamlines processes, and reduces costs. Shipping companies need to work cost-effectively if they want to ensure long-term success. They also need to offer their customers a good service by delivering the goods reliably, fast, on time, and in perfect condition. M2M solutions such as tracking systems help them do just this. Market researchers at Machina Research predict that the number of M2M connections worldwide will increase from 8.4 billion currently to 59.5 billion by 2022 in the transport and logistics sector alone. Deutsche Telekom helps companies of all sizes, whether small, medium or large, to take advantage of the benefits of M2M solutions.

When it comes to M2M, fleet managers are at the cutting edge, because they have been using vehicle fleet solutions based on M2M technology for several decades already. According to the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), telematics saves shipping companies around 5,000 euros per vehicle per year—for example by reducing the fleet's fuel consumption by ten to twenty percent thanks to optimized routes.

Tracking systems as small as a cigarette pack
All this is made possible by special tracking boxes that are integrated in the vehicle architecture. These tracking systems contain a GPS module that determines the current location of the vehicle and a radio unit with integrated M2M SIM card—and in many cases are no larger than a cigarette pack. Some solutions also contain sensors that record, for example, rapid accelerations, abrupt movements, current speed, and idle times. The fleet manager can then view the formatted data via a web portal for better fleet management of company vehicles.

Example number one: MAN solution
MAN's M2M solution is called MAN TeleMatics and is currently used in around 7,500 MAN HGVs by around 1,000 shipping companies. The software offers a very diverse range of analyses and helps companies from the transport and logistics sector to reduce their running costs. With MAN TeleMatics, shipping companies have four applications in one: maintenance portal, vehicle deployment analysis, fleet control, and fleet management. The vehicle deployment analysis, for example, creates a report on the status of wear-and-tear parts and consumables such as brake pads and motor oil. This information is sent to a maintenance data portal that can be viewed by the contracted workshop as well as the shipping company. This allows the mechanics to determine the best time for the next inspection and arrange a date with the shipping company well in advance. The deployment analysis also helps to reduce fuel consumption. The on-board module continually gathers data on, for example, fuel consumption, speed, accelerator position, rpm, gear changes, and braking. With just a few mouse clicks, you can calculate whether a driver uses 30 or 35 liters of diesel on average to travel 100 kilometers.

Example number two: Daimler solution
Daimler's FleetBoard telematics system also enables HGV and van fleets to be managed more efficiently. It reduces fuel consumption and optimizes transport management. FleetBoard offers the following three packages: vehicle management, transport management, and time management. All services are available in ten languages and can be used all over Europe as well as the Middle East, South Africa, Brazil, and other parts of the world. Deutsche Telekom has been supplying the M2M SIM cards to the Daimler subsidiary since July 2011 and ensures the global connectivity needed to transfer data for intelligent fleet management securely. FleetBoard is installed as standard in Daimler's Actros range. This solution can also be used in busses and vans.

Example number three: SchmitzCargobull solution
Shipping companies in the past had to use two different solutions to monitor tractors and trailers. When putting together HGVs and trailers for road trains, they had to update the input data from various systems such as MAN TeleMatics manually. Deutsche Telekom therefore joined forces with SchmitzCargobull to develop the TelematicOne solution. This gives shipping companies a central control unit for all logistics activities. They can monitor order-specific position data of trucks and trailers, or document the refrigeration temperature of the goods. TelematicOne also records the transport route of containers and trailers in real time. Shipping companies and logistics service providers have all the data necessary to track deliveries and delivery times, enabling them to inform customers if any delays should occur. Users access the solution from the cloud via the Internet. Thus they don't need to install or maintain the software. Among the companies to take advantage of the TelematicOne IT platform is Europe's leading, manufacturer-independent HGV, trailer, and semitrailer hire company PEMA. PEMA's fleet consisting of around 18,000 vehicles is being gradually linked to the telematics portal from June 2013 onward. This will enable customers to track vehicle and loading data more easily.

Example number four: Tramigo solution
Together with its Finnish partner Tramigo, Deutsche Telekom has also been supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) worldwide with real-time tracking of their vehicle fleets since July 2013. The complete solution, available for a fixed monthly price, helps companies protect their vehicles against theft and optimize their routes. This not only reduces fuel consumption, but also prevents empty runs. At the core of the solution is the T23 tracking box that is delivered ready for installation and is equipped with sensors, a GPS antenna, a radio module and a SIM card, among other features. Customers can access the data with either a web browser or a smartphone app, allowing them to coordinate and keep better track of their vehicles.

Example number five: solution to combat diesel theft
Another Deutsche Telekom partner project demonstrates that the transport and logistics sector can reap still more benefits from M2M technology. This is a solution aimed at curbing fuel theft. Depending on the tank size, the tank protection module detects discrepancies of between five and twelve liters of fuel using M2M technology. If the discrepancies were not caused by normal driving consumption, the system triggers an alert which is sent to up to three persons by e-mail or SMS. This system benefits companies that park their vehicles in unguarded construction sites overnight, or HGV drivers who stop for rests in highway rest areas and cannot always keep sight of their tank.