Verilocation – VL tracer
VERILOCATION'S electronic tracking device uses mobile phone technology to trace drivers. A small black box that fits inside the vehicle enables fleets to locate vehicles through the internet.
The black box has a GSM transceiver and SIM card similar to those found in mobile phones. It is then wired into a vehicle's electrical system or powered by a battery.
It can track vehicles up to 100-metre accuracy, with the position being shown via online digital street maps. Tracking is configured using the Verilocation website and can either show real-time or e-mail reports.
Contact: 01327 349878
Cybit – Fleetstar-Online
CYBIT'S Fleetstar-Online telematics product is an online service that enables fleets to communicate with and locate fleet drivers.
The system uses satellite and mobile technology to track drivers using the internet and an electronic module fitted to each vehicle.
Vehicle positions are updated every 20 seconds and relayed to an online digital map.
Data from the software can then be downloaded in an Excel report format for analysis. The system also has a traffic function that allows drivers to plan around congested areas. Additional features include journey playback to improve choice of route, driver schedules, stolen vehicle tracking, mileage recording, route planning and text messaging.
Contact: 01480 389100 or visit www.cybit.co.uk
Fleet manager – Fleet Tracker
FLEET Tracker uses a fleet's current PC system to track vehicles through an online portal and anyone with an internet connection can use the system after supplying a security password.
Vehicle location updates are provided every 15 seconds using satellite and mobile phone technology. The data is stored for 12 months, allowing fleets to access current and historic information from a PC.
Additional services, including route planning, are also available and, although Fleet Tracker comes as a standard package, it can be modified to suit individual fleets.
Contact: 0800 083 7994
Mapminder – Mapaphone
MAPAPHONE traces mobile phones by linking to the driver's mobile network and relaying real-time updates. Each driver's mobile must be entered on to an online Mapminder account that is then accessed by the fleet manager.
However, all drivers must consent to their phone being used before activating Mapaphone on the system.
The system provides maps that also include listings for transport services, entertainment and restaurants. Locations are then transmitted with an accuracy of up to 100 metres in city locations and three kilometres in rural locations.
Mapaphone only tracks mobiles listed on the Vodafone, O2 and Orange networks.
2020 fleet management – Sentinel Live
SENTINEL Live is aimed at owners of large fleets and enables companies to track an unlimited number of vehicles simultaneously in real-time. Using an online portal, updated positions are transmitted using satellite technology and hardware fitted to each vehicle.
The group also offers an alternative for smaller fleets – Sentinel. This product uses a PC-based system that asks for vehicle positions periodically. The information is then downloaded tp the PC and reviewed at a later date on a map provided by Sentinel. Data from both products can be printed and analysed.
Contact: 01204 548744 or visit www.2020fm.net
MI International – Mapamobile
MAPAMOBILE does not use satellite technology but relies solely on mobile phones. The system is set to run during set hours and all drivers must have their mobile phones on for the system to work.
Companies can track drivers using either the internet, WAP or SMS technology. After a location has been requested, a message is returned by the driver showing a road name and postcode. Locations sent via the web are shown in map format.
The service can also identify which vehicle is closest to a specific postcode so that jobs can be allocated to the nearest driver.
Contact: 0800 915 2553 or visit www.mapamobile.com/corporate
Pinpoint aiming for accuracy
A £1 million investment programme dedicated to making global navigation systems more accurate has been announced.
The Pinpoint Faraday Partnership is funding the programme, which aims to improve the reliability and accuracy of global navigation satellite systems (GNSS).
Pinpoint has announced three new flagship projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and industrial partners.
John Lavery, Pinpoint's director, said: 'Our members represent the cream of academic knowledge and industrial expertise in global navigation satellite systems.
'By working towards an increase in GNSS reliability and accuracy, we are enabling the development of new applications which will play an important role in transport, telecommunications, environmental monitoring and surveying, among other sectors.'
Current systems transmit signals which provide positioning accuracy to about 20-30cm. Advanced systems can achieve millimetre accuracy but only with hi-tech and expensive equipment.
Pinpoint, which is a joint body of academics, industry and Government personnel established by the Department of Trade and Industry, wants to achieve millimetre accuracy on low-cost receivers through its research. It is also aiming to reduce errors across GNSS networks.
Groups involved in the research include LogicaCMG, Newcastle, City, Nottingham and Leeds universities, Ordnance Survey, BAE Systems and Thales Group.
Mobile phone tracking
ONLINE tracking facility FleetOnline.net has added a new option to its service, enabling fleets to log drivers' movements automatically on their PCs.
FleetOnline's system uses the driver's mobile phone as a base for tracking and then relays the information to an online portal.
The new service allows fleets to produce an audit trail of driver's whereabouts throughout the day.
Roelof Derickx, vice president at FleetOnline, explained: 'We have reviewed the process so fleets can track regularly throughout the day and review the process whenever they have time.
'Experienced managers in the transport industry will be able to use this to easily spot problems without having to phone drivers or have them fill out reports. Customer complaints or timesheet disputes always happen afterwards, but an audit trail of positions will often clear these up easily.'
Multiple-driver fleets or single drivers can be monitored through one main screen on the system, with costs per location set at 21p or 12p per text message. Billing is sent direct to the mobile phone of the main user or through credit card on a pay-as-you-go basis.