Customer: Teletrac Navman, NZ
Project name: EDR2, Electronic Distance Recorder for Trailers
Teletrac Navman is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider leveraging location-based technology and services for managing mobile assets. With specialised solutions that deliver greater visibility into real-time insights and analytics, Teletrac Navman helps companies make better business decisions that enhance productivity and profitability. Its fleet and asset management technology uncovers information that would otherwise go unseen, helping customers reduce risk and confidently move their business forward with certainty. It tracks and manages more than 550,000 vehicles and assets for more than 40,000 companies around the world. The company is headquartered in Garden Grove, CA, with additional offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico.
In New Zealand, all vehicles powered by a fuel not taxed at the source must pay Road User Charges (RUC). This includes heavy trailers independent of prime movers. The collaboration between Hummingbird and Teletrac Navman began four years ago with the development of the EDR1, a device fitted to the dash of the heavy-vehicle’s cabin that accurately monitors the vehicle’s usage and helps customers manage their New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) license requirements.
The root challenge that led to the development of the electronic distance recorder for independent trailers (EDR2) was the difficulty of accurately recording RUC on independent trailers1.
Teletrac Navman tested the idea with the heavy vehicle industry, truck owners, fleet managers, the NZTA, and heavy vehicle maintenance providers to validate the solution and ensure it addressed all their concerns.
RUC is charged based on the distance travelled, so it is important to register when the trailer is not being used. Because there is so much variability in fleets when it comes to trailer usage, an automatic and flexible solution was needed to correctly register trailer usage1.
An example of this can be seen in the logging industry where trucks travel to and from the logging site to the port to deliver logs. Seeing as the trailers are only in use when going to the port and stay stationary for the return trip – RUC should only be calculated for 50% of the distance travelled for that job1.
Another consideration that Teletrac Navman had to account for was the importance of a self-powered device. This is because different trailers are wired differently to the prime mover, so there is not one logical location where the device could get a constant power supply from. In addition, fleet managers were not keen on having to interfere with the ABS, EBS, and other systems through rewiring and adding more sensors1.
Teletrac Navman took this, and other challenges reported by their Kiwi customers, into consideration when they developed the new solution for independent heavy trailers1.
From the stakeholder engagement, a functional product specification was developed with Hummingbird Electronics, who conducted the detailed design work and built the firmware to bring the concept to life.
Teletrac Navman conducted field testing and ERD2 was made available via a controlled release to the heavy vehicle industry of New Zealand in June 2020.
Features and customisation
The challenge given to Hummingbird’s engineers was to design a low impact, simple to install device that could fit to the trailer’s axle. As such, the device needed to be ruggedised to withstand the rigours of transport. It needed to include smart features such as a self-charging internal battery that could harness power from the wheel rotation making it completely self-sufficient, with no requirement of external wiring and no interference with the trailer ABS, EBS, or other systems.
Under a controlled release in June 2020, the EDR2 is the latest technology automating the recharge of RUC licenses. The EDR2 innovation uses GPS technologies and wheel rotation measurements to track the location of heavy-trailers and measure their distance travelled. To the benefit of the heavy vehicle industry, the EDR2 also creates efficiencies by automating the recharge of RUC licenses, including calculating off-road rebates for heavy trailers and tracking their location independently of prime movers. Being mounted on the trailer axle, the device does not interfere with basic maintenance such as changing tyres. Operators can self-install the device and use it as part of their Teletrac Navman RUC management solution.
Beyond RUC, the trailer tracking functionality allows the business further flexibility and visibility in running their operation. Knowing where trailers are, and ensuring the payload is monitored provides a new window of insight into the business. The industry advantage is an increased adoption of electronic road user charging devices such as the EDR2 in the heavy trailer market.
Hummingbird develop market leading Australian made products with a comprehensive portfolio including audio-visual alarms and alert systems, monitoring and detection systems, inclinometers and tilt switches, GPS trip meters, speedometers, and trailer odometers, as well as digital signboards.
Key customers continue to bring great ideas to Hummingbird’s team of Electronics Engineers who provide a full-service capability to conceptualise and design advanced electronic products, ultimately delivering new and exciting technologies to the mining, civil construction, industrial, and fleet management industries.
Find out more
To find out more about Teletrac Navman visit teletracnavman.co.nz.
To find out how Hummingbird can bring your solutions to life visit hmbe.com.au.