Map-based Planning Meets our Most Highly-Sensored Machines

by Matt Ball on November 22, 2011

Today, TomTom announced the addition of vehicle maintenance planning for their WEBFLEET online fleet operation tools. This combination of vehicle planning and mapping introduces some exciting possibilities for mapping and sensing, because today’s vehicles are our most highly sensored machines.

TomTom’s offering helps businesses to keep an eye on maintenance in order to improve efficiency and performance, which can reduce emissions and provide cost savings. The online maintenance overview provides fleet operators with a view of upcoming maintenance and service intervals, as well as annual inspections. The tool allows users to create maintenance tasks per vehicle, copy them to vehicle groups, monitor their status and plan accordingly.

In related news today, TomTom announced that their community of drivers have shared over 5,000,000,000,000 (5 trillion) anonymous travel data points since 2006. That covers 140 billion kilometers and equals driving each and every road in their markets 3,000 times. This onboard sensing capacity provides an important advantage for the companies data collection capacity for their navigation products.

While TomTom’s fleet mapping tool doesn’t tie directly to the onboard diagnostics and vehicle sensors in the vehicles, imagine the level of efficiency that such an integration would offer. With our increasing connectivity, such a tool could be monitoring vehicle performance based on onboard feedback and diagnostic interfaces, to finely tune the vehicle performance.

Today’s airplanes have sensors that relay information to mechanics on the ground regarding their performance, so that maintenance crews can be alerted and prepared prior to a plane’s arrival. Why couldn’t our vehicle fleets operate similarly, where not only maintenance schedules are tied to routing and vehicle locations, but our vehicles become more actively sensed in terms of fuel mileage, performance, and emissions? With all the data that we would gain from the road, such inputs could dramatically improve fuel and fleet efficiency, and also aid in better vehicle design.

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