New sensor integration enhances trailer tracking value

New sensor integration enhances trailer tracking value

Simple location tracking of mobile assets such as trailers and containers was one of the original applications that launched the commercial telematics industry soon after GPS technology became available for non-military purposes.

While this basic function is still the core of the trailer tracking business, as server applications have become more powerful and better digital mapping and faster graphics have been developed, the data available to fleet managers is far more comprehensive than it was in the early days.

ABI Research principal analyst David Alexander points out that refrigerated container temperature and trailer door open/close sensors were the initial offerings, with new developments in load content and tyre pressure monitoring becoming available from many of the market participants.

Integrated sensors now enable greater operational efficiency. While temperature monitoring of refrigerated trailers is an essential requirement for a specific group of customers in a particular business vertical, the recent fuel price hikes has created increasing interest in monitoring the fuel usage of auxiliary power units as well as truck engines.

ABI expects to see new applications emerging that will optimise temperature control to stay within specified limits whilst minimising fuel usage.

"Tyre pressure monitoring is one technology that can contribute to overall fleet efficiency," says Alexander. "Underinflated trailer tyres require more fuel to overcome increased rolling resistance, and tyres are more likely to burst if excessively under- or over-inflated. So there are cost-avoidance benefits as well as operational efficiencies to be gained from the latest generation of trailer tracking systems."

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