Weekly Brief: Wireless roadside inspections enter final test phase in U.S.

Weekly Brief: Wireless roadside inspections enter final test phase in U.S.

In this week’s Brief: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Innovative Software Solutions, Qualcomm, CSR, Tesla, Electric Power Research Institute, Ford, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Toyota, SBD, NCC Group, TomTom, deCarta, Masternaut and Continental.

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) moved its wireless roadside inspections (WRI) program forward into its final phase — a three-year field operational test with roughly 1,000 trucks and busses across five states in the American southeast.

The WRI program aims to expedite the inspection of trucks and busses by virtually gathering info from that vehicle’s on-board telematics system, then relaying that information in real time to the appropriate government agencies. The FMCSA says that the pilot phase 2 of the project proved that the benefits of implementing such a system would exceed the cost, with biggest projected savings come from eliminating accidents and infrastructure damage from overweight trucks at inspection sites.

FMCSA selected Innovative Software Solutions to provide the telematics for the field test, which will get underway in 2015. The WRI technology will virtually collect onboard weight sensor data as well as an electronic logging device report and a unique ID of the carrier, vehicle, and driver.

 

In other news, Qualcomm made a $2.5 billion acquisition of CSR, a Cambridge-England-based connectivity specialist whose solutions span from Bluetooth to voice to audio infotainment. "The addition of CSR's technology leadership in Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart and audio processing will strengthen Qualcomm's position in providing critical solutions that drive the rapid growth of the Internet of Everything, including business areas such as portable audio, automotive and wearable devices," says Qualcomm’s CEO, Steve Mollenkopf. The deal is pending regulatory approval from the U.S. and from CSR shareholders.

Following the debut of Tesla’s newest car, the Model D, it was another big week for electric vehicles, as the Electric Power Research Institute unveiled its wireless charging communication platform at a special demonstration in Sacramento, California. As we reported back in August, the platform enables utilities to send a message directly to electric vehicles, asking them to stop charging temporarily as a way of helping a grid that is becoming overloaded. Drivers can opt-in and get financial incentives to participate. A host of prominent automakers are helping to pilot the platform, including Ford, Honda, BMW, Chrysler, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

On the cyber security front, SBD and global information assurance firm NCC Group partnered up to create an engineering framework — the Automotive Secure Development Lifecycle (ASDL) — to help carmakers and their suppliers mitigate cyber security risks when developing connected cars. A seven-step process, the ASDL includes system and design architecture, definition of what’s being defined, threat modelling, countermeasures, best practice guidance, penetration testing and incidence response.

TomTom launched a new online, turn-by-turn navigation service targeting the emerging wearables and internet-of-things market. The service enables customers (mobile device vendors, web service providers) to integrate a navigation app into an internet-connected device without having to store a large offline map. TomTom expanded its relationship with location-based-services specialist deCarta in support of its new online service.

Returning to fleet, 68% of drivers are now comfortable with telematics being installed in their vehicles, according to new research published by Masternaut. This shift in consumer attitudes follows the increasing use of telematics for corporate and personal use, with privacy issues and ‘Big Brother’ style monitoring no longer presenting a barrier to entry for installation. Seventy-two percent of respondents said that neither their work nor personal vehicles were fitted with a telematics device, however, and just 17% of respondents said their work vehicles were tracked, while only 11% said the personal vehicles they use for work are tracked.

Finally, the wireless charging revolution will be coming to a motorbike near you soon, at least if Continental has its way. The provider is at work on  a wireless charging system that allows motorcyclists to place their smartphones in a stowage box integrated into the motorcycle that protects the cell phone from vibrations and weather and charges it continuously. Continental plans to integrate near field communication along with wireless charging, allowing a Bluetooth connection to the motorcycle's electronics.

The Weekly Brief is a round-up of the week’s top telematics news, combining TU analysis with information from industry press releases.

Charlotte Wright is a regular TU contributor.

For the latest telematics trends, check out Telematics West Coast 2014 on October 30-31 in San Diego, USA, Telematics Munich 2014 on November 10-11 in Munich, Germany, Connected Fleets USA on November 20-21 in Atlanta, USA and Consumer Telematics Show 2015, January 5 in Las Vegas. 


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