Remco de Vijider, product manager, Astrata T

echnology has had a huge impact on the transport and logistics industry over the past decade. Technological innovations have enabled companies to find new ways to optimise their processes, such as identifying cost reductions and workflow improvements. Using route-planning and fleet management software helps to achieve these goals by optimising every aspect of a fleet, from drivers to vehicles, and thereby improving fleet efficiency and profitability.

There is a variety of software solutions to help companies optimise their fleets. Most people are well aware of basic telematics features, but the technology has changed a lot since the early days. Advanced telematics is a combination of the ‘basic’ black box and a communication system for the driver. This communication system can be a smartphone or tablet that is connected to the black box. This combination opens up a world of possibilities to improve your fleet’s efficiency and profitability. The most advanced telematics systems can help you to monitor fuel levels, tyre pressure, driver behaviour, and temperature-controlled transport (with sensors measuring the temperature of transported goods in real-time). They enable users to communicate directly with dispatch, scan documents in-cab, receive out-of- hours service alerts (ensuring they are compliant with EU directives and regulations on driving hours and rest times), and see vehicle faults in real-time. They also provide remote tacho download services (RTDS), enabling users to download data from the driver card and tachograph remotely.

One benefit of advanced web-based fleet management software is that the data is stored in the

cloud, meaning that users have no IT infrastructure to maintain on-site, no IT staff to employ, no licensing fees, and no software programmes to install and maintain. They save integration costs because partners and suppliers can also connect through the cloud, facilitating a quicker return on investment. And cloud models can be scaled up and down as required, enabling businesses to be more responsive to changes. Another advantage of web-based telematics software is that it is very secure, because the provider takes care of any security issues and patching vulnerabilities and will have systems in place to prevent data corruption and hardware failures. One of the advanced telematics platforms for commercial fleets is Astrata’s FleetVisor, which also comes with a smartphone app, FleetVisor Mobile (available for Android and iOS operating systems). The platform ensures seamless integration of telematics with software solutions while connecting three strategic pillars: extracting data; adding intelligence; and providing information. It collects data from vehicles, trailers, sensors, as well as data regarding drivers, goods, locations, and processes this data by adding know- how and intelligence.

Compared with other software, FleetVisor has an open telematics approach – it can display data from competitor telematics systems and other third party data all in one place. Users can view multiple deployments and sub-contractors, and data can be aggregated – all in one-place. At the same time, all our applications run in a secure environment, meaning data security is taken care of. Astrata works with well-known


partners, such as Microsoft’s Azure Platform, and has 24/7 monitoring in place that raises the alarm in case there is any stress on the system, both on security as well as on application level. FleetVisor implements commonly accepted UI design patterns that users are already familiar with from and other apps built on Material Design. This means system training is not required - the user interface and navigation is intuitive. Speed and usability are driven by HTML 5, which works on every modern browser. HTML 5 was developed by an organisation named WHATWG, which is made up of the major browser vendors Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft. This guarantees that whatever platform is developed in HTML 5, like our Commercial Fleet Platform, is compatible with Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge. The platform enables fleet managers to take full control over fuel consumption, driver hours administration and back-office performance improvement, in real time. This significantly increases vehicles’ utilisation, drivers’ performance and customers’ satisfaction, improves efficiency, profitability, safety and security.


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