Although most people had their personal, their business vehicles, or even their Uber parked at home during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the streets were never that empty. From food delivery fleets, emergency medical services, to post mail fleets— these fleets were the busiest as they ever were.
But managing a distributed fleet with hundreds to thousands of vehicles and drivers remotely can get overwhelming, leaving no time to focus on the business itself.
Fleet managers can embrace telematics and video to monitor those distributed fleets remotely. They can consolidate many of their day-to-day tasks into a comprehensive digital solution. The on-board fleet management solution is a vehicle-based system that includes monitoring, navigation, tracking, communication, and data logging to a remote office.
In this solution brief, we will review the common challenges faced by fleet managers. We will also describe how to solve most of these challenges and provide them with a higher level of awareness.
The Lanner’s V6S in-vehicle computer has been verified by Genetec to deploy its Fleet Management solution. This joint solution provides fleet managers with a higher level of monitoring, management, and security.
In a nutshell… The V6S is a ruggedized onboard NVR computer that can collect, save, and send data from up to 10 video cameras (plus other rich I/O data from an input like CAN bus). V6S, when integrated into an LTE module such as the PGN-600, can transfer all video data reliably to a remote server through the mobile LTE network. When the on-board NVR is combined with the Genetec Unified Security Center, the remote platform for management, fleet managers can control, secure, and analyze the video feeds and other telematics data.
Fleet Management Challenges
Companies relying on transportation are always looking for ways to minimize the risk associated with vehicle investment. They don’t want to risk getting expensive overhauls, repairs, and, worst of all, lawsuits. Minimizing risk is a top priority, but at the same time they want to improve the entire fleet’s efficiency; How can they reduce costs related to transportation and staff? How can they deal with strict compliance?
Managing a fleet is a challenging job.
They have to deal with everything — from everyday vehicle leasing, financing, repairs, maintenance, licensing, compliance, supply-chain, accident management, insurance, vehicle telematics, driver management, fuel management, and the list goes on.
Unfortunately, managers always find themselves solving meaningless everyday issues, which take their whole day, bringing nothing valuable to the company.
Fleet managers usually deal with the following challenges:
- Lack of communication with drivers. Communication is critical for efficient management. But most of the time, some vehicles must travel through areas where there is no coverage or vehicles are untrackable.
- Keeping transport on schedule. When managing a large fleet, keeping every vehicle on schedule requires time-consuming micromanagement. Fleet drivers could be taking inefficient routes or being unproductive, which results in delayed cargo or late passengers.
- Managing fuel efficiency and vehicle maintenance. According to an Entrepreneur article from 2019, “Fuel and vehicle management was an area for concern, with 66% saying they could do more to reduce fuel costs.” Most managers have a hard time tracking fuel consumption and dealing with the maintenance of vehicles.
- Passenger’s Safety. If the company deals with passengers, their safety becomes one of the biggest challenges. Dealing with passenger’s safety starts from monitoring the driver’s behavior, vehicle diagnostics, other threatening passengers, and even obstacles on the way.
Fleet managers, especially those dealing with public transportation or large fleets, need digital solutions that would handle most essential tasks and help them deal with everyday challenges. But most importantly, a solution that improves the safety of the passengers, drivers, and other vehicles on the road.
The Onboard Fleet Management Solution
To stand up to the challenges that fleet managers face, an onboard and remote fleet management solution is required. A solution that takes advantage of powerful in-vehicle NVR hardware such as Lanner’s V6S and allows the integration with vehicle fleet monitoring solutions such as Genetec Security Center.
The fleet management solution starts onboard — right on the vehicle. It should keep fleet managers fully aware of the status of the vehicles, drivers, and passengers.
How does the solution work?
A series of external/internal cameras (and sensors) deployed around the vehicle generate rich data. This data feeds into a ruggedized onboard computer (Lanner’s V6S) installed on the vehicle that deals with the video inputs and output communications. The data is then transmitted over mobile broadband networks such as LTE to Genetec Security Center platform that deals with monitoring, control, analytics, and reporting.
The solution is based on the following components:
- V6S’s Ruggedized Onboard NVR.
- Wireless Module for LTE and WiFi.
- Genetec Fleet Management Center.
- Other Components: Interior/exterior full HD IP Cameras, and IoT Sensors.
V6S’s Ruggedized Onboard NVR
Lanner’s V6S ruggedized onboard NVR (Network Video Recorder) is a core component in the solution. This device is specially designed for vehicle surveillance and onboard fleet operations. It is built for harsh environments, as it can withstand a wide range of temperatures, vibration, and shock.
The V6S ruggedized NVR supports up to ten IP cameras, which can be connected via PoE or WiFi (with a wireless module). The device records the video feed into a removable SSD/HDD storage in the computer and sends it to a central fleet management platform.
- Enhanced vehicle computing. V6S is especially designed for vehicles. It is power-efficient and graphics-accelerated. V6S comes with 7th Generation 14 nm Intel® Core™ i7-7600U SoC.
- Rich I/O. Connect up to 10 RJ-45 PoE (Power over Ethernet) IP cameras. V6S also comes with one GbE port, two removable 2.5″ HDD/SSD drive bays, one full-sized Mini-PCIe with dual SIM card reader for LTE/ Wi-Fi. Additionally, it includes 2x COM, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0, 6x DI/DO, optional CAN bus, Audio, DVI, VGA.
- Rugged Computer. V6S can operate under a wide range of temperatures and is resistant to shock and vibration. MIL-STD-810G and E-mark certified.
- Enhanced mobile broadband connectivity. V6S supports 4G/LTE modules (and dual SIM card readers) for mobile broadband connectivity.
Wireless Connectivity for LTE and WiFi.
The V6S onboard NVR supports PGN-600 and PGN-300 — two 4G/LTE radio modems designed for mission-critical communications. The PGN-300 LTE modem card is PTCRB and AT&T certification-ready, while the PGN-600 is certified to be PTCRB, AT&T ready, and compliant with CBRS and FirstNet.
Connecting any of these radio modules to the V6S allows video data transmission in real-time over the mobile LTE broadband network to the Security Center Fleet Monitoring.
Security Center Fleet Monitoring
The Security Center Fleet Monitoring Platform is another core component within the solution. Operated and controlled by the Genetec© unified platform, the Security Center collects, monitors, and distributes transit fleet video feeds and other data through the centralized platform. The Genetec Unified Security Center combines advanced IP security systems such as intrusion detection and access control, with the interface to simplify fleet management operations.
Lanner’s in-vehicle NVR V6S provides the network connectivity features that take full advantage of Genetec’s onboard fleet monitoring capabilities. The joint solution simplifies PoE camera connectivity, vehicle diagnostics, video feeds storage, and on-demand access.
Other Components: Interior/Exterior Full HD IP Cameras and Vehicle Sensors
Cameras and vehicle sensors will generate the data used by fleet managers and surveillance centers to guarantee safety. Interior cameras can ensure a safe environment within the vehicle. But internal cameras within passenger transportation are usually not approved in regulatory compliance due to the privacy of passengers.
Exterior cameras can help drivers maneuver on challenging roads. Sensors and additional IoT devices can provide vehicle telematics data, such as diagnostics, tracking, traffic ahead, weather, etc.
With the onboard monitoring solution on each vehicle, fleet managers can increase awareness of their entire fleet.
Beyond the typical driver’s phone call reporting just an “everything alright here!” — fleet managers can really get into the nitty-gritty details of the status of their fleet.
The Solution’s Benefits?
- Remote Monitoring. Monitor the entire fleet’s location, on-board video, and telematics from a central location. Fleet managers can also get immediate reports on status, incidents, and emergencies, and transfer gathered data and video feeds to the local authorities or first responders via FirstNet to quickly escalate any situation.
- Investigate and resolve incidents. Video telematics and vehicle data can be used as evidence to help resolve incidents. Having the right evidence can help save excessive fees in court due to lawsuits. It can also help with insurance claims.
- Train new drivers. Having real-time footage and historical video data can be very useful to train new fleet drivers. They can learn using videos of other more experienced drivers, study their routes, and learn how to drive safely.
- IP security and data privacy. On-board vehicle routers are often exposed to more vulnerabilities compared to other colocated equipment. The reason is that the physical surroundings where these devices are installed are not enforced. The V6S + Genetec solution keeps the video surveillance data safe and secured with Genetec Unified Security Center’s advanced access control. All data is immediately sent to the Security Center, which includes an intrusion detection system to keep data safe and secured from hackers.
- Video analytics. The Genetec Security Center also offers machine-vision capabilities that introduce new services. It will help with Licence Plate Recognition (LPR), which is useful for traffic monitoring in parking lots. Another application is geofencing, which alerts when a vehicle from the fleet goes outside a virtual geographical fence. Other analytics can help detect potholes or other dangerous obstacles on the road.
- Manage fuel efficiently. To manage fuel efficiently, fleet managers need to know the routes that are being taken and the driving habits. The video telematics system can help plan better routes, track vehicles, improve driving behaviors (such as speeding), or know if drivers are idling.