Isuzu step up to the telematics plate

It’s not until the dominant manufacturers get on board, that people start to take some subjects seriously. We saw it with electronic braking systems. Many truck makers offered it, but when Kenworth announced their EBSS options, the industry sat up and took notice. Now, Isuzu, the other dominant brand in the Australian truck market, have come up with a telematics package which moves away from the narrow ‘only fitted to our brand of trucks’ model chosen by many truck makers.

The new initiative by Isuzu should have the effect of making it easier for fleets with a diversity of vehicle brands to find a single solution to their telematics needs, from a truck manufacturer. Operators are looking to have more transparency in the information from within their fleet. The growth of data communication means telematics is destined to become an integral component of the modern truck.

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Isuzu says it has developed a product which allows for future developments to be easily installed, making the system relevant over a period of years. Real time data is acquired through the system’s tracking and monitoring capabilities. The GPS offers 24/7 vehicle-tracking, journey playback and arrival notification, accessible from any internet-enabled device in the world.

What’s new from Isuzu, is the ability to fit the same system into other brands of truck within the fleet making it possible to monitor all vehicles via the same system. This kind of functionality has been available in systems from third party suppliers, but not from an integrated truck maker system.

Units fitted into Isuzu brand trucks will include data from the truck’s CANbus electronic control systems in the data available online. However, when fitted in other brands the data will include basic position, speed and other data which the unit itself can monitor.

Features to be included are a driver-assistance button, theft-alert, and, later this year, a two-way driver messaging component. The system is to be made available at two levels of sophistication, with the Isuzu Connect Plus adding items like monitoring and management of truck mechanical efficiency and more extensive driver safety monitoring, including a panic button, collision alert, tilt sensor and door-open monitor.

Future developments should include the ability to use the system in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP), as well as a Driver ID through 4-digit pin or, optionally, through an individual transponder. The ability to use the system as an electronic work diary (EWD) is also on the cards.