The telematics landscape is constantly changing with the pace of new technology driving product development and moving telematics ahead.
The pace of development in technology used in the trucking industry can sometimes be breathtaking. New brand names come and go as different technologies leapfrog each other. The telematics market in Australia is now becoming a more mature market with a more level-headed approach to adopting technological solutions within trucking businesses.
One of the well-known names in telematics is moving forward with the technology it has on offer. Ctrack has been around since 1986, when it was known as Digicore, and is now owned by Inseego Corp, a global leader in a number of important telematic solutions as well as being involved in the Internet of Things.
Inseego sells its telematics solutions under the Ctrack brand, including fleet management, asset tracking and monitoring. With over 30 years of experience, Ctrack operates in 50 countries and employs over 1,000 staff globally.
Jim McKinlay, founder of Telogis and General Manager for Verizon Connect in the region, recently took over leadership as Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand. Since then, the company says it has embarked on a journey of transformation and growth.
Ctrack does sell software as a service but can supply the hardware within a truck as well. Its portfolio spreads across the entire range of telematics.
“One of the good things about us is that we can be flexible in terms of tailoring solutions for our customers,” says Joanne Biddle, Ctrack Marketing Manager ANZ. “If somebody needs something, and we don’t do it currently, we will work out how we can best implement it into the hardware. We program all of the hardware to suit each customer’s individual needs before we send it out.”
According to Ctrack, its solutions can be deployed across all types of vehicles, trailers, plant machinery and equipment, from five to up 45,000. The range of solutions run across a range of industries such as resource management, mining, supply chain and logistics. Customers are looking for a number of benefits from using Ctrack systems, including improved safety, increased efficiency and reduced costs. Ctrack also hold multiple industry accreditations and their products are 100 per cent hosted in Australia.
“In terms of our product, it is very comprehensive and all of the standard functionality a trucking operator would expect to be included is available,” says Joanne. “One of our strong points is our level of Application Program Interface (API) integration with other systems a customer may already have within their business.”
Ctrack now have an integrated camera solution, Iris, which is being tested at the moment, is able to handle multiple cameras on a vehicle and able to both recording video onboard and stream video direct back to base, live, if needed.
“The main way we approach anything is by starting with the customer’s needs, to look at what their pain points are,” says Joanne. “It might be something like the company has a high cost on a monthly basis as a result of accidents. Another fleet might need extra help with fuel tax credits. Others are looking for better tracking of drivers and fatigue.
“We first need to understand their business and what their needs are and from there we can tell them what the best solutions are. It may be a straightforward plug and play option or something much more complex.
“This is where our ability to tailor systems comes into its own. If somebody needs additional functionality which isn’t in our standard offering we can usually create a solution which achieves it and then we integrate it into the system for them.”
At the moment, Ctrack are busy finalising upcoming product launches, including Routing and Scheduling, Electronic Work Diary, and the integrated camera solutions. Joanne informed Diesel that there would be some great dashboards coming through for reporting in the next couple of months too.
Like all of the telematics developing companies in Australia, Ctrack are working on an electronic work diary solution. Getting to the point of having a usable EWD is only half a battle, the company also have to get their system approved as a legitimate substitute for the paper diary and this is proving to be quite an onerous step for all telematics providers.
“We are putting our attention into our expanded product portfolio and then we can start moving beyond that,” says Joanne. “From our point of view, it doesn’t matter whether your fleet has got two vehicles or 22,000 vehicles our equipment will perform the functions required in any size fleet.”