All Pedigree Technologies posts related to the Transportation industry.


ELDs – More than a Paper Replacement

Back in 1976 Florida orange juice growers came up with a clever advertising slogan, “Orange juice, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.”  In the world of trucking your ELD “Is not just a logbook anymore.”  Since U.S. and Canadian ELD mandates require nearly all federally regulated trucks to replace their paper logbooks with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) to automate collection and reporting of Hours of Service (HOS) data, every truck has an intelligent device that can do more than be just a logbook. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how your ELD can enhance your driving experience, monitor your equipment/data sources and simply put – optimize your overall operations.    

An ELD can be Just an Electronic Logbook 

The ELD logbook replacement makes HOS logging simpler, more accurate, and avoids fines with its automated record keeping – so easy that hardly anyone would welcome going back to paper.  Drivers save time and the hassle of paper logs creating the ease of showing HOS compliance at the “click of a button”.  Inspectors see a consistent format, accurate records, and let’s admit it, a legible record that makes any engagement between drivers and officials faster and more efficient.  The ELD mandate only requires the ELD replace the logbook, but to the possibilities go far beyond just that function. 

ELD as Much More 

Your ELD is a smart electronic device that can do much more than simply replace your logbook.  With the introduction of tablet or phone into the cab, an ELD system now has significant computer power and communication capabilitiesThis means it can monitor many elements or “things” around or in the truck and upload this information to the internet or display it to the driver Essentially ELD has transformed a logbook into an “Internet of Things” (IoT) solution for trucking.  Here are some examples of how IoT around a truck might be valuable to both the driver and fleet operator.   

Flexible ELD Solution to meet your business needs

Sensors

Automatically monitor and alert the driver about what’s going on with the load, truck, and trailer by connecting to sensors that can detect liquid fuel load levels, tire pressure (TPMS), hub health, refrigerated load temperature, and more.  ELD software intelligence provides more than just gauges by displaying warnings before problems become failures. 

Dashcams 

Capture and transmit out-the-cab video records of incidents such as crashes or dangerous braking to document “at fault” evidence when needed.  ELD can record and transmit incident records to the carrier to help reduce insurance costs and improve driver safety performance. 

Applications 

ELDs, especially those built on open systems like Android, can be configured with a variety of applications either standalone or integrated with fleet management systems. Some of these configurable integrations include navigation, rest stop and parking advice, toll by-pass, safety alerts, and electronic paperwork capture and display of work-orders, receipts, and more. 

Diagnostics and Maintenance

An ELD connects to the engine OBD port to capture engine power status, vehicle motion status, miles driven, and engine hours to meet the ELD mandate.  That same connection gives access to vehicle diagnostic fault codes that the ELD can display to the driver and report to the FMS.  Faults like a stuck fuel adjuster, coolant temperature problem, exhaust faults, and more can be monitored and alarmed, if needed, to schedule maintenance to prevent issues from becoming breakdowns.  Think of it as a mechanic riding along under the hood to help ensure the drive train is performing as it should. 

ELDs, Fleet Management Platforms 

A Fleet Management System (FMS) manages the information from devices integrated with the ELD as well as devices like telematics/tracking devices by giving an integrated view to the driver and to the dispatcher.   

An ELD and its connected system of sensors and applications can operate standalone, but the FMS adds the big picture intelligence to provide dispatchers and operators the information they need to operate most efficiently and safely. 

Think Ahead 

Choosing an ELD is not something that you can or should put off.  Canada enforcement of the ELD mandate starts January 1, 2023.  It’s important to consider “future proofing” your ELD by selecting a solution that can expand as your needs change to integrate with sensors and vehicle monitoring devices making a substantial difference in your business success. 

Final Comments 

Your ELD is a tool that can do just one task, HOS capture/reporting, or it can be a key piece of a fleet management systemKeep in mind, you don’t have to jump in with both feet right away.  Choose an ELD that can be part of an open system, delivering value with your initial purchase and increasing its value over time. Our recommendation, take the time to educate yourself on which options are available and choose the best solution that meets your needs  ELDs, not just for logbooks anymore. 

 

Pedigree Technologies and Traxen Team Up to Provide 10% Fuel Savings

FARGO, N.D.Nov. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Pedigree Technologies, a leading provider of telematics and IoT solutions offering real-time visibility and management tools, has integrated Traxen’s iQ-Pilot™ into its suite of Cab-Mate ELD (Electronic Logging Device) solutions for Canada and the U.S. 

Traxen’s iQ-Pilot™ is an intelligent, AI-driven cruise control technology that reduces highway fuel consumption by an average of 10% for Class 7 and 8 trucks. 

The innovative iQ-Pilot™ system utilizes perception sensors such as radars, high-definition maps, GPS, over- the-air data and artificial intelligence to automatically control the speed of an on-highway heavy-duty truck. The AI software optimizes the truck velocity in response to traffic, grades, curves, speed limit changes, weather conditions, and other factors to significantly reduce fuel consumption or increase EV range. The solution also improves vehicle safety, driver convenience and insurance costs. 

iQ-Pilot™ also interfaces with the Pedigree’s Cab-Mate ELD tablet to provide a world class, informative and intuitive user interface to the drivers. Much like the smart screens being offered in consumer vehicles, the IQ Pilot application helps drivers better understand the traffic, weather, and road conditions that guide the truck’s speed. Without this display, drivers are less likely to trust AI-based decisions and tend not to use cruise control.

Other integrated display features include single logon, hours of service reports, gamification to drive fuel efficiency, trip computer, data analytics, fleet dashboards, efficiency reports, trucks eco-routing, over the air (OTA) updates and vehicle gateway interface. IQ-Pilot can be installed on any truck with automated manual transmission.

“iQ-Pilot is a Connected-Adaptive-Predictive Powertrain Control system on steroids.” says Ali Maleki, founder and CEO of Traxen. “It not only manages acceleration, coasting, engine braking, and gear optimization, but uses GPS location to consider speed limits, gradients, and real-time data like road conditions, traffic, weather and drivers’ Hours of Service.”

John Elsner, Pedigree Technologies’ CEO, adds, “Integrating advanced technology like Traxen’s iQ-Pilot into our Cab-Mate ELD platform is a further demonstration of our mission to seek out and add new, more effective technologies to serve our heartland customers.”

About Traxen Inc.

Traxen Inc. is a software AI technology company founded in 2018, located in Michigan. Traxen specializes in designing advanced driver-assistance systems for the commercial truck segment with a focus on maximizing fuel efficiency savings for fleet managers & owners.

info@traxen.ai media questions

About Pedigree Technologies

Pedigree is challenging the telematics status quo. Traditional solutions overlook the complex operating environments of Heartland industries such as transportation, Oil & Gas, and heavy equipment. These enterprises need panoramic insights into all service and supply chain assets, not just fleets. We can help with that. It starts by listening intently to our customers’ aspirations to connect the unconnected. With telematics as a foundation, we integrate and layer smart technologies to offer an additional visibility into assets, inventory, and business-critical systems all through a single pane of glass. For more information about this release or Pedigree Technologies, please contact Jessica Slyter at Jessica.Slyter@pedigreetechnologies.com.

SOURCE Pedigree Technologies

Six Ways to Use Technology to Save on Fuel

Let’s start by stating the obvious: Your two biggest trucking operational expenses are the cost of drivers and the cost of fuel. If you’re paying $70,000 a year for fuel logging 100,000 miles, the $7,000 savings you could receive with a 10% reduction in fuel costs is a pretty obvious reason to do all that you can to optimize fuel consumption. 

Here are six technologies to augment drivers’ performance and reduce fuel coststake note that not one of these technologies involves magnets, magic, or secret potions. 

 

1. Cruise Control:  Adaptive, Predictive Powertrain, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

Cruise control has come a long way in the last ten years in both cars and trucks. We’re all familiar with basic adaptive cruise control that helps reduce driver fatigue with a slight improvement in fuel usage. Adaptive cruise control manages distance to the vehicle ahead and more safely automates acceleration and deceleration to provide a limited level of automation and improve driver convenience.

Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) from OEMs like Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Mack Trucks can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 5% by controlling acceleration, coasting, braking, and gear optimization in concert with the GPS location to determine the best speed for the vehicle. 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) cruise control is PPC on steroids. Like PPC, it considers speed limits, gradients, downhill slopes, road conditions, and radius of bends to adjust speeds and predictively time gear shifts.   

AI systems, however, add real-time contextual data to dramatically improve fuel economy. These systems not only assess the vehicle load but also assess over-the-horizon traffic congestion and weather conditions, all while taking into account drivers’ Hours of Service and time of arrival requirements. Traxen, a provider of AI-based cruise control system called iQPilot for after-market installation, is seeing a 10-15% improvement in fuel efficiency on freeways. Interestingly, Traxen displays a map with upcoming conditions on ELD tablets, so drivers better understand AI-driven changes in truck activity. Without this display, drivers are less likely to trust AI-based decisions and tend not to use cruise control.

 

2. Optimize Engine Settings

Electronic Control Modules (ECM) provide a wide variety of parameters that can be tuned to reduce fuel usage. ECM settings for cruise control, speed management, acceleration, and intelligent coasting can deliver consistent driving behavior to save fuel. Reducing idling time can also be configured in ECM parameters to yield significant savings. OEM and after-market devices using “out of the box” settings may underperform given your actual fleet’s usage, so it is worth your effort to understand what you can configure that best meets your operational needs and whether you can do so with your own maintenance resources or engage the help of experts. 

 

3. “Skip the Line” – Inspections and Tolls 

Every time a truck stops and starts, it takes more fuel. Waiting in line is even worse. Weigh station bypass services such as DriveWyze can help drivers avoid lengthy enforcement inspections. The service is based largely on a carrier’s safety score and other state screening criteria. Carriers with the best safety scores can receive bypasses, in some states, up to 98% of the time.  Saved time and less hassle keeps drivers happier and fuel isn’t wasted idling in line. 

Take advantage of automated toll services to keep rolling through toll stations. You’ll save on fuel by not having to stop and the automated billing that comes with this service often includes reduced toll rates to further save money. 

 

4. Wasting Fuel – It’s a Drag 

Aerodynamic drag using add-ons to the tractor and trailer is one obvious method to reduce drag and save fuel. Those are “table stakes” in long-haul trucking, so what else can you do to reduce drag? 

Road drag is a key element of fuel consumption. If your wheels aren’t rolling properly, you’re essentially “dragging a sled” and burning more fuel than you should. What can make your rig behave like a sled? Underinflated, unbalanced tires and unbalanced loads can do that. 

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) – Tires lose pressure all the time. A TPMS can monitor all tires and axels and alert the driver and the dispatch system when action is needed to correct a tire inflation problem. 
  • Axle Load – Uneven loads can lead to increased road friction and reduced fuel mileage. On-vehicle axle load monitoring systems alert you to load imbalances, which not only helps with fuel economy but can help avoid expensive fines. 
  • Bad Tires/Hubs Efficient forward motion means you want your tires to roll straight and stay on the road. Unbalanced tires, uneven wear, and bald spots will all have an impact. Wheel hub monitoring technology from companies like ConMet use vibration analysis to detect problems in both the hub and the tires. 

Monitoring and maintaining tires, wheels, and axle load can not only save fuel as you roll but can prevent costly repairs and downtime by alerting you to conditions before they become critical. 

 

5. Don’t Burn Fuel When Standing Still 

Idling engines consume a lot of fuel. The easy but not very practical answer is to turn the engine off and go “dark.” The practical answer: use the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) instead of the primary engine for power generation purposes to keep the cab’s “lights on.”  A diesel-fueled APU is just as much an “engine” as the primary power train engine, but it uses only a tenth of the fuel to operate. Battery-powered APUs can be even more efficient.

It is important to actively monitor APU use to gain maximum benefits: 

  • Ensure engines are not idling when they should be using the APU. 
  • Monitor the APU status before problems arise. 
  • Enforce engine idling policies to deliver fuel savings and avoid fines where strict “No Idling” rules are in place.

 

6. Better Planning  

Time, distance, and fuel prices can all be optimized by good planning. Giving dispatchers and drivers the tools to select the optimum route is an important means of saving fuel. 

  • Routing Software – Driving a route that considers duration, regulatory restrictions, rest stop locations, traffic patterns, etc., is going to optimize the time and distance required to minimize fuel usage. 
  • Fuel Stop Aware Routing Software – Stopping for fuel has its own cost in time and idling. A routing package that is aware of in-network fuel stops can plan routes and fuel stops for the best-priced fuel as well as time and distance.   
  • ELD and Fuel Stops – Allow your ELD and fleet management system to plan fuel stops with full knowledge of driver hours to save money and avoid inefficient and out-of-network fuel stops just because driver time is nearing its end. 

 

Summary 

There are lots of ways to waste fuel when transporting a load. Fortunately, there are lots of ways and tools to optimize fuel efficiency. Some of the solutions even provide additional cost-saving benefits like avoiding fines, extending tire life, and monitoring vehicle system health to avoid failures. Using solutions that improve efficiency and save the driver time could help with driver retention. 

Bottom line?  Fuel costs are so high that implementing any number of these solutions can be easily justified on fuel savings alone.