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Omnitracs Announces One Platform to Serve Them All
If there were two words to describe the recent Omnitracs Outlook User Conference, which concluded on Feb. 28, they would probably be: leveraging data.
During a luncheon with trucking media and analysts at the conference, Omnitracs’ new chief executive officer, Ray Greer, said the Holy Grail of trucking is the efficient matching of carriers with shippers. By leveraging data from ELD applications, Omnitracs will be able to create that proverbial chalice and offer it to customers regardless of size.
Currently, carriers using Omnitracs mobile hardware and software systems, including the XRS and MCP platforms, can share information about loads to shippers through an application called Virtual Load View. It secures carrier location information and shares details carriers agree to share with trusted companies. By leveraging its route planning and optimization applications with Virtual Load View and other technologies, Omnitracs now plans to bring new capabilities to market through a unified software platform called Omnitracs One.
This new fleet management platform will eventually unite the software capabilities of Omnitracs various product lines – like Virtual Load View, Intelligent Vehicle Gateway and Mobile Computing Platforms — into a single offering for fleets of all sizes and types. The single platform has been designed to be compatible with the Android operating system. So, it will be device agnostic, meaning fleets will be able to use Omnitracs One on a variety of devices with “open and secure” architecture.
While serving as president of BNSF Logistics before becoming Omnitracs CEO about a month ago, Greer expressed an interest in freight matching technologies. While at BNSF Logistics, Greer discovered that many of BNSF Logistics’ partner carriers used ELD products from Omnitracs. Through Omnitracs, Greer said he recognized an opportunity to leverage telematics data from its ELD applications to gain visibility of shipment status and to locate capacity for loads more quickly and efficiently.
The accumulation of better data analytics as well as other companies may be required as Omnitracs continues to pursue and refine new ways to convert the growing amount of data fleets are collecting into deeper business insights, Greer said.
Offering an example of this freight matching function, Greer described how if a driver is running with an empty trailer with six hours remaining on his hours-of-service duty status, Omnitracs must have the capability to display loads the driver can deliver in under six hours.
Through Omnitracs One, users can use a single platform to access everything from fleet operations management to mobile driver interfaces, data analytics, data discovery and reporting. Users can get a comprehensive view of fleet operations with key indicators for vehicle and driver status. Additional features will allow users to find and take action on real-time information and predict potential problems ahead of time.
E-Inspection Trial Coming Soon to Several U.S. Cities
During one of many breakout sessions at the four-day conference, Drivewyze senior product manager Charles Buffone made a presentation on electronic roadside inspections and how such inspections would work in a real-world setting. Drivewyze plans to begin a field trial of wireless roadside inspections by year’s end at up to six locations in the United States, Buffone told the audience.
John Smith, editor of Today’s Trucking, attended Buffone’s presentation and posted this story on Today’s Trucking web site.
Smith reported that trial participants who are pulled in to a scale would be eligible for an expedited Level (3) DOT inspection since equipment would deliver the data to pre-populate inspection forms. As long as the driver’s hours of service are up to date and CDL is valid, the e-inspections could be completed in five to 10 minutes and the trucks could be on their way. This could help drivers avoid potentially longer processes.
Buffone told the audience about Drivewyze’s demonstration at the West Freindship, Maryland, weigh station several years ago. At the time, there was no clear definitions from the federal government or from CVSA about e-inspections. Data from ELDs offer a great leverage point for fleets to obtain e-inspections and there are clear advantages for both law enforcement and industry.
Law enforcement could conduct more inspections each year and fleets can earn credit for inspections they pass, providing them a way to see their CSA scores improve.
At Omnitracs Outlook 2018, conference-goers also:
- Learned more about FMCSA regulations regarding electronic logging devices and electronic onboard recording devices and how law enforcement agencies plan to enforce them after April 1;
- Heard ATA chief economist and senior vice president Bob Costello’s outlook for the trucking industry as the U.S. economy is in its third-longest expansion in history and is on track to become the second-longest by springtime;
- Considered warnings from federal investigators and cybercrime experts about their vulnerabilities to cybercrime and the steps they can take to secure their companies’ IT systems;
- Learned how training and proper documentation can help their drivers and their operations be better prepared for roadside inspections of electronic logging devices.
If you were unable to attend Omnitracs Outlook and would like more information about Omnitracs One or about the conference, please visit the Omnitracs Outlook blog; Omnitracs Outlook web site; or contact the Omnitracs support team through the “contact our support team” link on the Omnitracs login page.