Within Automotive and Transportation, there are 3 key applications of the Internet of Things (IoT)

Mobile Asset Tracking

Traditionally, monitoring of assets in the world of transportation was limited to expensive vehicles.  The reduction in cost/size of asset trackers has opened the market up to lower cost items and packages.  With the introduction of new cellular technologies, assert tracking is expected to accelerate in popularity.

Applications of IoT in Mobile Asset Tracking

IoT solutions can benefit businesses by enabling:

Reducing the travel/delivery time of key assets

  • Every extra second that a package spends on a truck, you are wasting money.
  • Mobile tracking solutions ensure that things arrive when they are supposed to and alert you to any issues in real time.

Combatting Vandalism/Theft

  • Nothing is more annoying when a key shipment arrives damaged or worse, does not arrive at all.
  • Sensors can alert to conditions that may damage your shipment, such as excessive motion, heat or mishandling.
  • GPS allows you to be alerted if a shipment is not where it is supposed to be, ensuring that things are not lost or stolen.

Lifecycle Tracking

  • Many parts or machinery have a “useful” lifespan for them. However, keeping track of how long something has been used for can be cumbersome if you have many assets.
  • Be alerted when an item has been deployed for a particular length of time or used for a pre-set number of hours.

Scheduled Maintenance

  • Items such as machinery often have required maintenance that is required to be done to ensure their operation goes smoothly.
  • Be alerted when it is time to change cables, plugs or oil to ensure you keep things running.

What IoT Hardware is Suited to Mobile Asset Tracking?

To develop these applications for you business, you need hardware, software and in most cases, custom solutions.

Novotech carries the top brands in IoT Gateways Routers Modems. Brands like Sierra, Inhand, and Cradlepoint all make excellent products for mobile Asset Tracking

To browse our line card click the logos below for our most popular brands.

Sierra Wireless Logo
Inhand Networks
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Asset Trackers

All-in-one asset trackers combines the monitoring capabilities with communication of that data to a database that can report on all monitoring in real-time. Cellular communication can be LTE-M / NB-IoT for low-speed, low-data applications, or 4G LTE where high-speed is required.

In addition to motion, the trackers can monitor Monitors location, temperature, and humidity.

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Asset Tags

Non-cellular asset tags transmit monitor data via bluetooth, RFID or other non-cellular technology to an application that stores and visualizes data. Unlike the all-in-one solutions, these asset tag have a limit of how far the monitoring information can travel. Generally, asset information is sent to a cellular phone, or, router within a few hundred feet. Data is then transmitted via cellular or internet to a cloud-based application. As a result, non-cellular asset tags require a device to communicate the data to a remote database.

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Cellular Routers, Gateways, or Modems

Cellular routers or Cellular modems are often used to transmit data from asset trackers through the cellular network to a cloud database. Generally, low-speed, low bandwidth routers including LTE-M/NB IoT routers are well suited to asset tracking. All of Novotech's manufacturer partners carry full lines of LTE-M routers.

Fleet Management

Companies spend billions of dollars each day on transportation.  Whether it is the transporting of goods or your team using one of your vehicles to drive to a customer location, the world is more mobile than ever before.  Fleet Management solutions help optimize your business by:

GPS Route/Usages Optimization

  • You rely on your vehicles to last as long as they are supposed to. However, many vehicles are used more than they are supposed to, shortening their life in the field.
  • Whether it is from your drivers getting lost of vehicles being used after-hours, GPS solutions help to reduce unwanted usage.

Resource Conservation

  • Most consumers understand the cost of a vehicle ... imagine if you had dozens, hundreds or thousands!
  • GPS solutions greatly reduce the cost of operating your vehicle by reducing unnecessary driving, alerting to excessive idling and preventing costly breakdowns.

Dispatching efficiency

  • For many industries, they are required to respond to a location/customer in a certain period of time. Even if you are not, GPS solutions can help to improve the efficiency of your team.
  • By ensuring that the closest team member is dispatched, you can reduce unnecessary driving (reducing cost) while improving your service levels.

Panic Alerts and No-motion Sensors

  • An often-overlooked area of GPS solutions is how it keeps your team safe.
  • First, be alerted if a team member fails to arrive at a particular location by a particular time, possibly indicating they are in trouble.
  • Working alone means that there is often no one to help in the event of an accident or an attack. On-board solutions alert to the activation of an airbag, indicating an accident has occurred.
  • On-person solutions allow for the worker to alert to an issue through a panic button, or in some cases, an inactivity alert can be sent if they are unconscious.

Fleet operators must strive to achieve the lowest possible total cost of ownership (TCO) for their fleets while complying with increasingly stringent environmental and safety regulations. Fuel consumption, route management, driver performance and vehicle maintenance all play a part in this goal.

Fortunately, there are many hardware and software products and solutions to address the needs of fleet operators.

What IoT Hardware is Suited for Fleet Management?

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Routers and Gateways

While sensors and trackers collect valuable data, cellular routers and gateways transmit that data to the servers anywhere in the world to be analyzed. Typically these routers and gateways are more rugged and can handle vibration resulting from moving vehicles.

Modules

Modules

In some cases the tracking device or sensor is combined with the hardware to communicate the data over the cellular network. In this case, a cellular module is built into the all-in-one device and is in charge of communicating the data.

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Software

All of the data collected is fed into a web-based operations console. Through this software, all assets can be monitored and managed. This software can be stand-alone, or, integrated within existing operations software.

Mass Transit

As a way to improve gridlock, allow many without cars to get around and to reduce their carbon footprint, many municipalities have made major investments in Mass Transit projects.  IoT solutions help to make improve those investments by:

Customer Notifications

  • Nothing is more frustrating for a transit rider to wait unnecessarily for a bus, especially during inclement weather.
  • IoT solutions enable the transit company to send out alerts as to the next bus that is expected at a particular stop. If the bus is delayed, an alert is sent to the user.
  • This allows them to better plan their travels and even to opt for an alternative means if necessary.

Vehicle Idling and Schedule Planning

  • Even when the bus drives a pre-set route, IoT information can help to make things more productive! Solutions such as passenger counters can detect the patterns of ridership, allowing the transit company to better plan their schedules.
  • As well, Fleet Management solutions alert to unwanted vehicle idling, which may indicate bad employee behavior or excessive traffic that needs to be accounted for.

Entertainment Options

  • Transit companies are always looking for ways to both increase ridership as well as to raise their non-fare revenue. IoT helps to power solutions that do both!
  • On-board Wi-Fi helps to keep users entertained and is often used as an incentive to purchase a monthly pass. Video screens can be used to both inform riders of events as well as to offer revenue opportunities.

Targeted Advertising 

  • Most of us have seen billboards on the side of buses, this is not a new thing.
  • However, the combination of low-cost digital screens, GPS and cellular-based connectivity is increasing its effectiveness.
  • GPS solutions alert to the bus being in a particular location, allowing for more relevant content to be displayed. This increases the revenue opportunities for bus companies, as well as allows for real-time alerts of key items.

Case Studies

Read here to see how Sierra Wireless helped Utah Transit Authority Improve Operations and the Passenger Experience for 2 million residents.