Automatic Fleet Management System Computer Science Essay

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1. It is the management of an organizations vehicle fleet. Fleet (vehicle) management can include a range of functions, such as vehicle maintenance, vehicle telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management and health & safety management. The most important aspect involving an efficient fleet management system is its automation and use of vehicle tracking system.

Vehicle Tracking System. [27] 

2. The most basic function in all fleet management systems, is the vehicle tracking component. This component is usually GPS based, but sometimes it can be based on a Cellular triangulation platform. Once vehicle location, direction and speed are determined from the GPS components, additional tracking capabilities transmit this information to a Fleet Management software application. Methods for data transmission include both terrestrial and satellite. Satellite communications, while more expensive, are critical if vehicle tracking is to work in remote environments without interruption [28] . A vehicle tracking system is an electronic device installed in a vehicle to enable the owner or a third party to track the vehicle's location. Most modern vehicle tracking systems use Global Positioning System (GPS) modules for accurate location of the vehicle. Many systems also combine a communications component such as cellular or satellite transmitters to communicate the vehicle's location to a remote user. Vehicle information can be viewed on . There are two types of tracking they are active and passive tracking.

3. Active versus passive tracking. [29] 

(a) Passive Tracking. The devices store GPS location, speed, heading and sometimes a trigger event such as key on/off, door open/closed. Once the vehicle returns to a predetermined point, the device is removed and the data downloaded to a computer for evaluation.

(b) Active Tracking. These devices also collect the same information but usually transmit the data in real-time via cellular or satellite networks to a computer or data centre for evaluation.

4. Many modern vehicle tracking devices combine both active and passive tracking abilities: when cellular network is available and a tracking device is connected it transmits data to a server; when network is not available the device stores data in internal memory and will transmit stored data to the server later when the network becomes available again [30] .

5. Military Application. Vehicle tracking systems have got a tremendous use in the Military operations as such. They can be used for functions such as routing, dispatch, on-board information and security. Other applications for which vehicle tracking system can be used are :-

(a) Fleet Management When managing a fleet of vehicles in a short war scenario it enables, knowing the real-time location of all drivers allows management to meet the push model system in logistic needs of army more efficiently.

(b) Asset Tracking It will help in monitoring the various commodities being move to forward area to troops so that the exact status of the stocks can be monitored, and in case the vehicle column is interdicted by the enemy then it will inform the status in real time so that more stocks can be pushed to the forward zone. This will help in maintaining the logistics balance at all times.

(c) Field Repair and Recovery Management. Accurate knowledge of the vehicles on move enables the off road state to be known in real time. In the wars of future which will be fought with high tempo, the logistics requirement in terms of ammunition will be quite heavy. This will involve movement of large number of vehicles on a restricted track available during the operations. Any vehicle breakdown en route will result in a blockage of road. Vehicle tracking will facilitate quick identification of such choke points and can be used to direct the nearest repair and recovery echelon to be move d to the location in order to clear the blockage at the earliest. The other aspect in relation to repair and recovery is that it will help in maintaining a high state of vehicle availability at all times which in turn will help in maximum logistic support reaching the formations.

(d) Transit Tracking. This is the temporary tracking of assets or cargoes from one point to another. Users will ensure that the assets do not stop on route or do a U-Turn in order to ensure the security of the assets.

Automatic Fleet Management System.

6. The Army is operating a huge fleet of vehicles not only for logistics support but also for transportation of troops and stores. The introduction of GPS and GIS has revolutionalised the whole concept of fleet management system. The objective of fleet management system is as follows :-

(a) Integration of GPS with GIS for tracking of vehicles on a real time basis which will also have a two way messaging including distress messaging between the vehicle and the control station. This feature is particularly useful as it will reduce the mean time to repair as the offroad state of the vehicle will be instantaneously available. In a short war scenario where the intensity of operations will be very high, the logistics train moving to forward units will be heavy catering for the requirement of ammunition, ration, and other such stores. In such a scenario this technology will be very useful for traffic control, allocation of vehicles and rerouting of vehicles in case of any obstruction.

(b) To monitor whether the vehicles are in schedule and in time so as to ensure better allocation management.

(c) Automatic generation, collection, storage and retrieval and analysis of data & information and thus eliminating the human related error involved in collection of such data.

(d) Assist in monitoring of fleets, optimum utilisation of assets and reduction of operational cost.

Geographical Information System in Transportation Planning [31] 

7. The road network in India is huge with more than 3.01 million kilometres of road length with 34608 km of National Highway, 128622 km of State Highway and informal network of 2737080 km, operated in vastly different social, economic and climatic environments [32] . The adoption of newly emerging technologies such as Geographic Information System (GIS) can help to improve the decision making process in this area for better use of the available limited funds. Geographical Information System (GIS) are becoming more widely used in transportation planning agencies. Many more authorities are now able to use GIS for Highways and transport management, due to falling costs and GIS increasing overfriendliness. GIS offer transport planners a medium for storing and analyzing data on population densities, land uses, travel behaviour, etc. The most important objectives for using GIS are map/display and data integration.

8. The use of GIS for transportation applications is widespread. A fundamental requirement for most transportation GIS is a structured road network. Additional information concerning general topography, land cover and land use is pertinent to the consideration of the impact of construction. The lack of appropriate data for GIS remains a chronic problem. GIS describes a world in terms of longitudes and latitudes and other projection systems consisting of a hierarchical structure of graphical objects. The typical GIS represent the world as a map. The major requirements and issues surrounding GIS management technology are building and maintaining a database, selecting and upgrading hardware and software, using the technology to solve problems, funding, networking, providing access, and others. Standard GIS functions include thematic mapping, statistics, charting, matrix manipulation, decision support system, modelling and algorithms and simultaneous access to several databases.

9. Role of GIS Geographic Information System (GIS) represents a new paradigm for the organization of information and design of information systems, the essential aspect of which is use of the concept of location as the basis for the structuring of information systems. The application of GIS has relevance to transportation due to the essentially spatially distributed nature of transportation related data, and the need for various types of network level analysis, statistical analysis and spatial analysis and manipulation. Most transportation impacts are spatial. At GIS platform, the transport network database is generally extended by integrating many sets of its attribute and spatial data through its linear referencing system. Moreover, GIS will facilitate integration of all other socio-economic data with transport network database for wide variety of planning functions.

10. GIS for Transportation Engineering. The main advantage of using GIS is its ability to access and analyze spatially distributed data with respect to its actual spatial location overlaid on a base map of the area of coverage that allows analysis not possible with the other database management systems. The main benefit of using the GIS is not merely the user-friendly visual access and display, but also the spatial analysis capability and the applicability to apply standard GIS functionalities such as thematic mapping, charting, network-level analysis, simultaneous access to several layers of data and the overlayment of same, as well as the ability to interface with external programs and software for decision support, data management, and user-specific functions (Vonderohe, 1993) [33] .

11. The existing database does not allow the user to manipulate, access, and query the database other than in a very limited way. The user is limited to textual queries only, the selection and viewing of crossing attribute data with respect to spatial and topological relationships is not possible. Over related data, such as land use, population, and the road network characteristics of the area in the crossings vicinity, cannot be accessed in the present database. This ability of GIS, along with the final presentation of results on a digital base map, will allow the user a better perception of the problem, enable better decisions, and allow a better understanding of what is to be achieved in a broader sense. The ability to define conditional queries, perform statistical analysis, create thematic maps, and provide charting chances the crossing safety program by allowing for better understandability of the data.

12. Furthermore, the ability of most GIS software to provide many basic transportation models and algorithms may also be useful in specific situations. The ability to link up to external procedures and softwares also provides flexibility, as these procedures can access data within the GIS and present the results of analysis to the GIS for viewing and analysis.

13. GIS procedures provide a coordinated methodology for drawing together a wide variety of information sources under a single, visually oriented umbrella to make them available to a diverse user audience. GIS tools can be applied to aid technical and administrative specialists both in managing costly and intensively used resources and in supplying information to decision-makers.

14. GIS for transportation (GIS-T) is the union of transportation information system (TIS) and GIS. The biggest advantage of GIS-T to Army is its potential for data integration. The data referenced to transportation network as well as many other stand-alone databases of the past like bridge inventories; signage location, accident record and other safety data; traffic volume and other operational data. Other data types such as administrative, land use, demographic, environmental, resource, terrain, and subsurface data can also be integrated. The main functions of GIS useful for solving transportation problems are editing, display, measurement, overlay, dynamic segmentation, surface modelling, raster display, and analysis, routing and links to other software.

15. GIS is a powerful tool in the analysis and design of transport routing networks. Its graphical display capabilities allow not only visualization of the different routes but also the sequence in which they are built, which allows the understanding of the logic behind the routing network design.

16. The interaction between the transportation system and its surrounding environment makes the GIS technology ideally suited for hazardous material, routing design, risk analysis, and decision making. GIS can also be integrated with sophisticated mathematical models and search procedures to analyze different management options and policies.

17. Transportation System Attributes. Transportation system attributes can be grouped into six categories:-

(a) Physical.

(b) Traffic.

(c) Travel.

(d) Freight.

(e) Operations and maintenance.

(f) Financial.

18. Transportation involves the interaction of supply (physical attributes) and demand (traffic attributes). Analysis of the interaction between supply and demand is enhanced by travel attributes that explain why traffic exists at one location and not another. The operations attributes provide information on the control of the transportation system and how the system is maintained. Finally, financial attributes are needed to address resource allocation questions. Financial attributes cover a wide variety of costs, which can be grouped into the three main categories of construction, maintenance, and vehicle operating costs.

19. Related Database A number of databases should be available for use in GIS-T applications including land use, demographic, environmental, utility, and hazardous materials databases. The first three involve polygon overlays generated by other agencies. The full range of attributes associated with these databases is potentially relevant for GIS-T applications. Hazardous materials can be represented as a "travel demand" with an origin and destination for a hazardous cargo, or as point or polygon overlays in the case of a contaminated site. In addition, the corporate management, accounting, and budgetary systems should be available for GIS-T applications.

20. GIS-T Functionality. [34] For the purpose of identifying and classifying GIS-T applications, seven GIS functions or groups of functions are used:

(a) Basic functions (editing, display, measurements)

(b) Overlay.

(c) Dynamic segmentation.

(d) Surface modelling.

(e) Raster display and analysis

(f) Routing, and

(g) Links to other software (e.g., transportation modelling packages).

21. The basic functions are used to edit, display, and measure base maps. The editing function allows the user to add or delete points, lines, or polygons and change the attributes of these features. The display function generates thematic maps that show the attributes of selected features using a variety of symbols and colours.

22. The overlay function permits two or more base maps to be displayed simultaneously. The union of two base maps displays all the features of both maps while the intersection of two base maps only displays the features that are common to both base maps.

23. Dynamic segmentation involves the division or segregation of network links into segments that are homogeneous for the specified set of link attributes. The segmentation is dynamic because it is created in response to the current attributes of the network. If the attributes are changed, then "dynamic segmentation" will create a new set of homogeneous segments.

24. The surface modelling function creates a three-dimensional model of land forms or other surface features. The digital topographic map created by the surface modelling function is essential for highway design. The actual highway design may be done with separate design software that imports the topographic map from the GIS. The resulting highway alignment is then exported to the GIS for further analysis.

25. The raster display function permits photographs and other images to be incorporated in a GIS. Overlays of aerial photographs with highway base maps can be used to update the base maps by adding new links, new features such as bridges or intersections, and correcting errors in alignment. Overlays with zonal (polygon) base maps can be used to code land use and other attributes.

26. Routing capabilities based on minimum time paths have been available in travel demand software for many years. Integration of routing in GIS software directly reduces the need to create links to other models and software. Links to other models and software, such as transportation planning demand models and highway design software, however, will still be necessary if the full power of GIS-T is to be realized.

27. GIS provide the uniform environment in which the data for numerous planning purposes can be integrated. GIS technology provides the core framework for an integrated route information system. The developed database can be further supplemented with new information as and when it is available. So, the database keeps on evolving, which is otherwise not possible to compile at one time. The topological information available in GIS database opens the new ways for analyzing the transportation related data for different purposes. Various GIS functionality, spatially the spatial analysis functions and querying capability, are very useful tools for the day-to-day management of the road network by the concerned organizations [35] .