This 6in by 4in unit has been developed by Leeds-based Minorplanet, in which GECFS owns a stake, and is the essential ingredient in three new services. These use global positioning satellite technology and GSM mobile communication links to record vehicles' mileages, journeys and locations.
The first of these services, Contract Command, will be free to all GECFS customers and radically improves the contract hire company's proactive management of its 91,100-strong fleet. The DCU logs a vehicle's mileage, and then transmits this via satellite to the maintenance department at GECFS. This will allow the company to contact customers or drivers about 10 days before a vehicle's scheduled service is due, and book an appointment for the vehicle at a garage.
For £8 per month (but free to vehicles costing more than £35,000) GECFS will also offer NavTrak Found!, a vehicle location system designed to combat car crime. The third service is Vehicle Management Information (£60 per month), a facility that logs the time of journeys, routes taken and the speeds of the vehicle, over as long as three months.