Short-Range RF For Mobile Vehicle Telemetry

By Laird Connectivity

Fleet management companies — handling trucks, coaches, buses, cars, cargo containers, railway carriages, forklifts, and trailers — often need to exchange data between the vehicle and a base station. Such data can include engine performance for maintenance alerts, refrigeration unit performance, forklift battery condition, driver oversight (excessive speed/engine revs), driver performance such as hours worked, routes traveled, comparing fares collected with the number of passengers, etc.

The Benefits of RF
There are many benefits to be gained from deploying a vehicle data collection system. To avoid breakdowns, companies are able to diagnose and report engine problems from information contained in their timely, periodic updates. In a matter of seconds. For health and safety they can monitor the environmental conditions of a refrigerated cargo and report exceptions. They can monitor driver behavior, speed and hours, obtain records on fuel consumption, monitor brake wear and detect ABS brake faults, access electronic logs of vehicle servicing, and amazingly - from downloaded data they are often able to reconstruct accidents to avoid load claims.

In use, a server radio (base station) is connected to a central data collection PC. Multiple 'client' radios are mounted on vehicles. Periodically the radios receive downloads from the server (delivery instructions for example) but more commonly the radios will upload data gathered and stored while the vehicles were away for reasons as mentioned above.

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