A Review On Fleet Management Systems Information Technology Essay

5341 words (21 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Information Technology Reference this

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Management system of company’s vehicles fleet with the help of commercial motor vehicles such as cars, vans, and trucks constitutes fleet management. The word fleet here refers to vehicle and a range of functions such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telemetric (taking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management and health & safety management. The companies whose businesses are based on transportation are helped by this system in a no of ways as:

Removing or minimize the risks associated vehicle investment.

Improving efficiency and productivity.

Reducing overall costs of transportation and staff.

In house fleet management department or an outsourced fleet management provided deal with these functions.

Automatic vehicle locating & tracking (AVLT) system

Automatic vehicle locating & tracking (AVLT) is a system through which the position of the vehicle can be located easily at any place in the earth at any point of time at any weather also with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).

Usage: This navigational system is commonly used in:

Public Transport

Many company management system like

Fleet management

Inventory management

Logistic management etc.

It also helps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in service as well as cost.

Types of technology used:

This system uses different technologies for functioning e.g. RFID technology, GIS-GPS based technology.

Global positioning system (GPS)

The space based global navigation satellite system providing reliable location and time information in all weather and at anytime and anywhere on or near the earth when and where there is an unobstructed line of sight to 4 or more GPS satellite called global positioning system (GPS).

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This system established in 1973. It was created and realized by U.S department of defense (DOD) and is maintained by U.S government originally run with 24 satellites. It was established to overcome limitations of previous navigation system. Anyone with GPS receiver can freely access it.

Usage:

Today GPS is taken as a dual-use technology having applications both in military project originally.

For commerce and scientific uses tracking and surveillance it has become a widely used and useful tool.

Banking, mobile phone operations, control of power grids and other every activity are facilitated by GPS’s accurate timing. Because of this system efficient, safe, economic and accurate work is being performed by farmers, surveyors, geologists and others. There are three basic components: absolute location, relative movement and time transfer that are used in civilian applications.

Surveying: Surveyors use absolute locations to make maps and determine property boundaries

Map-making used by both civilian and military cartographers use GPS extensively.

Navigation Navigators digitally precise velocity and orientation measurements are valued by navigator.

Cellular telephony: GPS/cellular position detection for mobile emergency calls and other applications.

Tectonics: direct fault motion measurement in earthquakes is enabled by GPS.

Disaster relief/emergency services: To know location and timing capabilities. GPS is used by these services.

GPS tours: content to display; for instance, information about an approaching point of interest is displayed is determined by location.

Geofencing: Vehicle tracking systems, person tracking systems, and pet tracking systems use GPS to locate a vehicle, person, or pet. These devices attach to the vehicle, person, or the pet collar. The application provides 24/7 tracking and mobile or Internet updates should the tracker leave a designated area.

Recreation: geocaching, geodashing, GPS drawing and way marking

GPS Aircraft Tracking

Geotagging: For purposes such as photographs and creating map overlays location coordinates are applied to digital object and other documents respectively. However there are only few GPS enabled digital camera.

How GPS works:

GPS consists of three parts:

space segment,

control segment

User segment.

The space and control segments are developed, maintained and operated by U.S Air Force. Each GPS receiver uses to calculate its three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus the current time using broadcasted from space through GPS satellite. A master control station, an alternate master control station, and a host of dedicated and shared ground antennas and monitor stations constitute control segment.

Geographical Information System (GIS)

Any system that captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that are linked to location is called Geographical Information System (GIS). It is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and database technology. Google is the most common example which consist data and captured image of locations and shows corresponding location on user screen for which longitude latitude are mentioned.

USAGE:

cartography,

 remote sensing, 

land surveying,

public utility management 

natural resource management

geography

urban planning

 emergency management

 navigation

 Localized search engines.

Working of Automatic Vehicle Locating & Tracking (AVLT) System

The system uses computer technology for primarily for tracking vehicles, freight system and automobiles. The information about real-time position of vehicle to a control system is passed on through signals send out by tracking device already attached to vehicle. Among several techniques available for determining the position and transmitting it, the selection of technique to be actually used depends upon the requirements. The position information is stored in a device for a specific period, which could be anything from a few seconds to some minutes. The information is send out by device either in the raw form (electronic signals) or as processed information.

Transit agencies often use AVLT systems in combination with computer-aided dispatch, mobile data terminals and emergency alarms for improving passenger services, in real-time passenger information, automatic passenger counters and automated fare payment systems.

Purposes like automatic stop announcements, automated destination signs, monitoring vehicle components and prioritizing traffic signals can also use AVLT system for functioning.

Diagram below illustrates representative working of GPS based AVLT system.

Advantages of AVLT

The AVLT has the following advantages:

AVLT is used by Transit agencies for enhancing optimum utilization of fleet and reducing fuel consumption, labor and capital costs. It helps in improving adherence to schedule and accessing passenger information. Availability of plenty of data enables easier management of transit systems which further accounts for increase in net efficiency and productivity of the systems.

Along with increase in operational efficiency, AVL systems’ ability to predict bus arrival timings in real time also enhances customer service, thus making increased customer service and satisfaction as the greatest benefit of AVL. The analysis of service performance in real time as well as chronologically, enabling system planning and emergency repairs is enabled by Supplementary technologies like automatic passenger counters. A direct link between AVL and increased ridership and revenues is shown in study conducted in 2003.

Productivity enhanced- more trips, capital savings due to the ability to better utilize vehicles, maintenance costs reduced and thus general reduction of cost per vehicle

Better adherence to schedule, accuracy in monitoring and coordination

More number of users and higher user loyalty

Need for supervisors and manual data entry reduced

Ability to control operations and driver performance improved

Off-route vehicles are tracked effectively.

Improved communication network between drivers, supervisors, operators and other staff.

Radio messages are lost in less numbers.

Capabilities to inform passengers of bus arrival times improve the quality of service and help the travelers to take better decisions

complaints from customers are reduced and thus need for customer information personnel

these steps improve overall image of the transit agency

The data is more accurate and complete and thus the agency is able to schedule and plan better

Preparation time for schedule as well as number of staff required can be reduced.

Better bus stop placement

Better security for driver as well as travelers by enabling faster location of vehicles and response to accidents

Better operational decisions towards detours due to sudden developments like bad weather, roadway closings and accidents

COSTS FOR AVLT

For the on-board device and the control center procurement, installation and software are included in the costs of AVLT. The costs of AVL also include labor costs concerning maintenance and new staff to operate the systems. Depending on the size, number of components and the sophistication of the system AVL systems are available at different prices.

Today, there are wide ranges of AVL system models available. The simplest and basic models possess features like GPS/ DGPS AVL that have computerized dispatching, mobile data terminals and silent alarms. Models with highly sophisticated features are also available. For large fleet that needs similar features, as the cost of the central monitoring system is distributed over a larger number of vehicles, these systems workout to be cheaper ones.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of this review paper is to make a thorough study on:

1 . A review on where AVLT is being used.

2. Name of different service providers of AVLT in India

3. How this useful technology – AVLT has helped Indian companies

(Citing example of some Indian companies)

4. Effectiveness and trends of AVLT in Indian market

5. The difficulties faced to implement AVLT in large scale.

A Review on Where AVLT is being used

Transit agencies use AVLT to enhance optimum utilization of fleet and reduce fuel consumption, labor and capital costs. AVLT helps to improve adherence to schedule and access passenger information. With AVL, more data is available and this makes it easier to manage transit systems. The net efficiency and productivity of the systems thus increases.

According to Kent Stable, Marketing Manager, Chameleon Direct are suppliers of GPS vehicle tracking systems “Vehicle tracking devices can save your business significant amounts of money by providing you with information about inefficient practices that you would not easily be able to find out by any other means. Many problems associated with multi fleet businesses can be ironed out very swiftly when you have the right information”.

“Track and monitor your entire fleet’s movements with the Automatic Vehicle Location System. An easy to install, implement, and cost efficient solution. Know exactly where your vehicles have been, where they´re headed, and how fast.”- (an advertisement given by Vodafone, India on all time real fleet management system )

Use of AVLT in India & abroad

Vehicle tracking system in India is mainly used in transport industry that keeps a real-time track of all vehicles in the fleet. Though there are various GPS software and hardware developing companies in India working for tracking solutions, however, its application is not all that popular as in other countries like USA, Japan, Malaysia etc. which regulates the whole GPS network. In India it is mostly used in Indian transport and logistics industry and not much personal vehicle tracking eg. Delhi Transport Corporation , Meru Cabs.

“In a call-taxi operation, tracking the location of each available taxi in real-time is extremely critical. It would not be possible to scale up beyond 200-300 taxis with manual tracking, with the use of walkie-talkies or mobile phones. Hence we have opted for technology that is scalable for thousands of taxis, and is a highly successful model in countries like Singapore” -MERU CABS

Freight forwarding

Logistic service providers are now increasingly adopting vehicle-tracking system for better fleet management and timely service. The system can continuously monitor shipment location and so can direct the drivers directly in case of any change of plan. Fleet managers can keep an eye on all activities of workers, vehicle over speed, route deviation etc. The driver in turn can access emergency service incase of sickness, accident or vehicle breakdown. All in turn supports money and time management, resulting better customer service.

Acoording to Dr.Vinod N.Sambrani, (Institute of Management Studies Kuvempu University, Karnataka) and Dr. M. S. Subhas (Karnatak University, Dharwad, Karnataka) “Route analysis helps managers to generate the most efficient route (best route / shortest route) that the vehicle should take between the company and it supply chain link. Alternative routes can also be generated and analyzed. Alternative routes help in rerouting of the supplies in case of problems (either man -made or natural on one route.)”

The best example of application of AVLT in freight forwarding is the popular logistic and courier company Federal Express(FedEx) totally depends on AVLT system .

Emergency Management system

Emergency management system is now a days getting is popularity in India . Health Management Research Institute (HMRI ) Hyderabad runs an emergency ambulance system (108) through AVLT to give customer proper service and reach at the emergency place within 30minites of the occurance of any accidents.

Call centers

In commercial vehicle segments the taxi operators of various call centers are now using vehicle-tracking system for better information access. 

However, its application is in its infant stage in India and if adequate steps are taken in bringing the cost of hardware and software low then it can be used for tracking personal vehicle, farming (tractor), tourist buses, security and emergency vehicle etc. Again Government needs to cut down the restriction imposed upon the availability of digital maps for commercial use and this will encourage software industry in developing cost-effective tracking solutions. Though, sales of both commercial and passenger vehicles are growing but price of tracking service is very high and this is the key issue in Indian market. Hence, it’s important for market participants to reduce prices of GPS chips and other products in order to attract more and more users.

As far as Indian vehicle tracking and navigation market is concerned the recent association of India with Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) will act as a catalyst in the improvement of vehicle tracking system. This will give an advantage in managing traffic, roadways and ports and also as an important tool for police and security agency to track stolen vehicles. Hence, in near future there is large prospect for the utility of vehicle tracking system in India, which can revolutionize the way we are communicating.

Companies in India using AVLT in Fleet Management

SAIL ( Steel Authority of India) : SAIL , India’s one of the top 10 public sector company in terms of turnover , uses AVLT for their Fleet Management system to optimize the routes, real time functionalities like tracking , reporting , controlling , monitoring , emergency situation handling etc.

DTC(Delhi Transport Corporation) : DTC is one of the largest city road transport undertaking in India. It has a fleet of around 15000 vehicle carrying on the business on passenger transport on 800 routes from 33 depots all over Delhi with product mix comprising of City & Intercity services.

Meru Cab Services: One of the famous call taxi service in India, totally manages their fleets through AVLT .Locating the clients pick up and drop point , finding the shortest route and also monitoring the drivers performance and fuel efficiency in all the cases AVLT provides the solution.

Maruti Udyog Limited: Maruti the leader in Indian automobile industry for two decades also uses AVLT system for their fleet management system .Tracking the inventory , supply and monitoring etc is done by AVLT system

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) : AVLT system is used to track the total fleet management . All the new buses have this GIS -GPS based navigation facility. Garbage Truck Monitoring (Swachcha Bangalore ) is another project taken by Bangalore Government with AVLT technology.

EMRI & HMRI 108 Service , Hyderabad : Emergency Management system and Health Management & Research Institute of Hyderabad has launched 108 Ambulance services . They promises to reach any specific location within the 30min of the causalities. They fully depend on the AVLT system and totally manages their fleets. The Goa Government has also started this facility recently.

Companies Providing Fleet Management services in India

(Cities in India where GIS based vehicle tracking systems are used)

The companies providing these services are as follows:

Vodafone Telecom Services

Airtel Telecom Services

Albireo Telematics Pvt Ltd

TriCAD Design Consultants (P) Ltd.

Vajra Infratech

Aayur Technology Solution

Adhyan Techno Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Arya Omnitalk Wireless Solutions Private Limited

CERT InfoTrack

Clay Telematics Pvt. Ltd.

Dhanus

Digi m-Track

Digitrack

Eagleeye India

effiKC

Findnsecure

Geo Edge Private Limited

Indtrack Solutions

INEN Solutions P Ltd

Intergrated Digital Info Services Limited

Invendis Technologies

iWate Systems

MahaVentures

Next Gen Technologies

Noble Integrated Solutions

Nucleus Microsystems

Omatics

Remedy Software Systems Pvt. Ltd.

Rilapp Network

SATCOP India

Sattvah Embedded Technologies (P) Ltd

Smart Signals Pvt. Ltd.

Symbioun Solutions Limited

Traccia

Traxis India Pvt. Ltd.

CASE STUDIES OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES USING AVLT

1.Fleet Management System adopted by Maruti

Maruti Udyog Limited has been the market leader in Indian Automobile Industry from the past two decades.

MUL launched a service named N2N Fleet To facilitate the sales of MUL cars using the relationship management approach through Leasing and Fleet Management as two products, Management Solution, Through tie ups with other service providers like insurance company, replacement car service provider, and manpower service provider MUL presented a common face to the end client with a whole gamut of services. End-to-end backups/solutions across the vehicle’s life like: Leasing, Maintenance, Convenience services and Remarketing are some of the key services being offered by MUL.

CHALLENGES FACED

MUL was in search of a B2B solution, a common platform for all the partners, clients and respective MUL departments. As this service included interaction and data exchange between multiple organizations therefore safety and security of data became a very important issue not only for MUL, but also for partners and customers. Strict performance criteria and tight deadlines were the other challenges involved in the project.

THE SOLUTION

After a very tough business process analysis the AVLT system was by a business solutions provider. The modular architecture was customized in such a way so that the diff users can use the system as per their requirements. Scalability, security and flexibility were most important issues that were taken account of.

THE BENEFITS

The AVLT system provided MSU with Complete monitoring capabilities for its fleet of vehicles, maintenance, insurance, accident, rescue, and remarketing.

2. The success story of Meru Cabs

Meru the new call taxi service launched last year by V-Link Taxi Pvt. Ltd, has re established the belief that IT can be deployed in just about any field, and can lead to phenomenal gains.

As it is rightly said,

“Technology does not drive change-it enables change.”

The same has been the case with V-Link Taxis Pvt. Ltd.

There was a complete transformation in the way V – link carried out its operations after deploying the GPS-based system to track the newly-launched fleet of cabs called Meru. This service was first started of from Mumbai.

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The Challenges

Sharing the importance of the solution, Nilesh Sangoi, CTO, V-Link said, “In a call-taxi operation, tracking the location of each available taxi in real-time is extremely critical. It would not be possible to scale up beyond 200-300 taxis with manual tracking, with the use of walkie-talkies or mobile phones. Hence we have opted for technology that is scalable for thousands of taxis, and is a highly successful model in countries like Singapore.”

The Solutions

V-Link has deployed different technologies from a number of different firms in India and abroad, including Dubai and Singapore.

“We use high-end GPS and GPRS (general packet radio service) technology in our Maruti Esteem vehicles. The technology has been specially deployed to ensure that passengers receive a timely response and are picked up and dropped at their destinations without any unnecessary delay,” reveals Nilesah Sangoi (Tech. Head of Meru Cabs)

“Our vision is to give urban commuters in India a world-class traveling experience, by using a technology that has evolved in developed countries over the past twenty years,” adds Sangoi.

Every cab is fitted with a GPS-based tracking device that facilitates in locating the taxi closest to a customer pick-up location. Customer addresses and other details are communicated back to the driver on the display screen via the GPS enabled display in the cab avoiding the use of outdated radio trunking (walkie-talkie) technology. Every cab also has a tamper proof digital fare meter. The control room gets regular feed about the distance traveled, fare and the location of each cab. Customers also get a printed copy of the fare receipt at the end of the trip. Each cab is fitted with communication terminal (MCT), which has a built-in GPS receiver, LCD (liquid crystal display) screen and GPRS connectivity, which facilitates two way communication with the control room.

“Our data centre hosts a set of communication servers, application servers, and database servers, which are in constant touch with each taxi through GPRS. The latitude and longitude information is plotted on a GIS (Geographical Information Systems) map for real-time tracking,” says Sangoi.

The Benefits:

This GPS enabled technology empowers the customer to book a cab through phone internet and SMS, and the control room can track the cab nearest to the customer’s location enabling a significant reduction in the turnaround time.

If any customer leaves nay belonging in the cab the customer can lodge a complaint about the item left behind and the cab can be located to trace the lost item and it will be returned to the customer.

This Fleet Management system is also important from the point of view of the passengers safety, and can also be used to note the drivers performance.

V-Link Taxis Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of the V-Link Group, a corporate fleet management services organization that is headquartered in Mumbai, and operates in five major cities-Mumbai, Delhi and NCR, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The company manages a fleet of over 5000 vehicles running an aggregate of more than 150,000 km a day.

“We have invested heavily in technology to provide best-in-class and highly reliable customer service. The investments are in line with the needs of today’s competitive and swift-moving world,” concludes Sangoi.

In the future too, the organization aims to continuously upgrade its IT infrastructure to keep pace with the times.

3. EMRI & HMRI

Emergency Management & Research Institute and Health Management and Research Institute , Hyderabad took a revolutionary step in the history of Indian’s emergency and health management system .They managed to build up the fleet management so efficiently that anytime and anywhere e it’s an emergency (disaster) or health related problem , they will reach the certain place within minimum time after getting the call in 108 hotline number. Later GVK EMRI , Mumbai also followed the same steps

The Challenges

The first challenges faced was to establish the system widely .. They had to build up many centers throughout the state. They also had to build up an efficient call center and to establish an efficient fleet management system to diagnose the emergency point and detect the nearest location of the fleet (eg. Ambulance) and send the fleet to the destination accessing the shortest and efficient route.

The Solution

They took the IT service help from Satyam Technologies Limited (Currently known as Mahindra Satyam) and build up an efficient fleet management system .They established a module based system. The main module is called as MCC( Mission Control center ) which gets the first news about the emergency from the call center and then locate the nearest centers , fleet and shortest route that gives the fastest access to the destination .

The Benefits

This fleet management system not only changed the look out of the emergency management system in India but that also inspired other states to follow this path. The efficient and excellent service fetched many awards to EMRI & HMRI. Like GVK EMRI bagged NASSCOM CNBC TV18 IT user Award

4. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)

Delhi Transport Corporation is the one of the largest City Road Transport Undertaking in the India. It has a fleet of around 15,000 vehicles carrying on the business of passenger transport on 800 routes from 33 depots all over the state of Delhi with a product mix comprising of City and Inter-city services.

The Challenges

• Integration of GPS with GIS map of Delhi for tracking of vehicles on a real time basis with two way messaging including distress messaging between the vehicle and the control station.

• Monitoring whether the scheduled route and the time tables of the buses are followed or not.

• Automatic generation, collection, storage and retrieval and analysis of data & information and thus eliminating the human related errors involved in collecting of such data.

•Building a dedicated integrated database employees, buses, bus routes etc.

• Using the GIS model as a support system for implementation of the transport policies.

• Analysis of deviations from standard like schedule route, timing, Missing Bus stops, Punctuality factor etc. based on captured vehicle data.

•Enabling automatic bill generation for the buses.

• Quick dispatch of relief vehicles in case of breakdown.

• Integration with the Delhi metro smart card.

• Working out realistic schedules according to traffic conditions based on speed of bus during different hours of the day and at different segments

The Solution

To accomplish the above-mentioned objectives & challenges, CMC Ltd has developed an Automatic Fleet Management System incorporating its DGPS based Automatic Vehicle Tracking and Management system (AVTMS).

CMC Designed, Developed and Implemented the Automatic Fleet Management System that include Vehicle Tracking System, Application software for billing, Operational Transportation Model for scheduling of buses and integration of Smart Card Reader with the Vehicle Tracking System, provision for Real Time Passenger Information System to Delhi Transport Corporation. The AFMS system is currently operational from two depots for 200 buses since last two years.

• GPS based tracker unit installed on 200 buses belonging to 2 depots

• Monitoring from a Central Control Station for both the depots simultaneously

• Solar based Database Server, AVTMS server, Communication Server

• Display of vehicles at Workstation using ARC Info suite and VC++ based application software

• Established two way messaging system between buses & the central control room.

• Public Mobile Radio Trunking System (Wireless Communication network) for collecting data from buses. Area of coverage is 1500 square km’s.

The Benefits

Verification and Validation of GIS data of Delhi procured from a GIS data vendor, with the help of GPS in both standalone and differential mode. This is to ensure that the data is in required co-ordinate system.

Real time trials were conducted after the buses were installed with the GPS devices to ensure the integrity of the data. Additional custom data as required in the project were collected by conducting extensive field surveys and were encoded in the map of Delhi for facilitation. GIS data was integrated with the turntables containing all the relevant information about various junctions. Application and customization of the of the screen of the reports and queries of the GIS data includes all the info about the buses and other fleets.

5. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)

In 1997, BMTC was spun off from the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation(Ksrtc) in order to focus exclusively on Bangalore’s rapidly expanding transit needs. The Bangalore Transport Service became Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the colour scheme was changed from Red to a Blue and White combination.BMTC remains a division of KSRTC.

The Challenges

Integration of GPS with GIS map of Bangalore for tracking of vehicles on a real time basis with two way messaging including distress messaging between the vehicle and the control station.

• Monitoring whether the scheduled route and the time tables of the buses are followed or not.

• Automatic generation, collection, storage and retrieval and analysis of data & information and thus eliminating the human related errors involved in collecting of such data.

•Building a dedicated integrated database employees, buses, bus routes etc.

• Using the GIS model as a support system for implementation of the transport policies.

• Analysis of deviations from standard like schedule route, timing, Missing Bus stops, Punctuality factor etc. based on captured vehicle data.

•Enabling automatic bill generation for the buses.

• Quick dispatch of relief vehicles in case of breakdown.

• Working out realistic schedules according to traffic conditions based on speed of bus during different hours of the day and at different segments.

Providing Real time information to the passengers .

The Solution

To accomplish the above-mentio

Management system of company’s vehicles fleet with the help of commercial motor vehicles such as cars, vans, and trucks constitutes fleet management. The word fleet here refers to vehicle and a range of functions such as vehicle financing, vehicle maintenance, vehicle telemetric (taking and diagnostics), driver management, fuel management and health & safety management. The companies whose businesses are based on transportation are helped by this system in a no of ways as:

Removing or minimize the risks associated vehicle investment.

Improving efficiency and productivity.

Reducing overall costs of transportation and staff.

In house fleet management department or an outsourced fleet management provided deal with these functions.

Automatic vehicle locating & tracking (AVLT) system

Automatic vehicle locating & tracking (AVLT) is a system through which the position of the vehicle can be located easily at any place in the earth at any point of time at any weather also with the help of Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographical Information System (GIS).

Usage: This navigational system is commonly used in:

Public Transport

Many company management system like

Fleet management

Inventory management

Logistic management etc.

It also helps to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in service as well as cost.

Types of technology used:

This system uses different technologies for functioning e.g. RFID technology, GIS-GPS based technology.

Global positioning system (GPS)

The space based global navigation satellite system providing reliable location and time information in all weather and at anytime and anywhere on or near the earth when and where there is an unobstructed line of sight to 4 or more GPS satellite called global positioning system (GPS).

This system established in 1973. It was created and realized by U.S department of defense (DOD) and is maintained by U.S government originally run with 24 satellites. It was established to overcome limitations of previous navigation system. Anyone with GPS receiver can freely access it.

Usage:

Today GPS is taken as a dual-use technology having applications both in military project originally.

For commerce and scientific uses tracking and surveillance it has become a widely used and useful tool.

Banking, mobile phone operations, control of power grids and other every activity are facilitated by GPS’s accurate timing. Because of this system efficient, safe, economic and accurate work is being performed by farmers, surveyors, geologists and others. There are three basic components: absolute location, relative movement and time transfer that are used in civilian applications.

Surveying: Surveyors use absolute locations to make maps and determine property boundaries

Map-making used by both civilian and military cartographers use GPS extensively.

Navigation Navigators digitally precise velocity and orientation measurements are valued by navigator.

Cellular telephony: GPS/cellular position detection for mobile emergency calls and other applications.

Tectonics: direct fault motion measurement in earthquakes is enabled by GPS.

Disaster relief/emergency services: To know location and timing capabilities. GPS is used by these services.

GPS tours: content to display; for instance, information about an approaching point of interest is displayed is determined by location.

Geofencing: Vehicle tracking systems, person tracking systems, and pet tracking systems use GPS to locate a vehicle, person, or pet. These devices attach to the vehicle, person, or the pet collar. The application provides 24/7 tracking and mobile or Internet updates should the tracker leave a designated area.

Recreation: geocaching, geodashing, GPS drawing and way marking

GPS Aircraft Tracking

Geotagging: For purposes such as photographs and creating map overlays location coordinates are applied to digital object and other documents respectively. However there are only few GPS enabled digital camera.

How GPS works:

GPS consists of three parts:

space segment,

control segment

User segment.

The space and control segments are developed, maintained and operated by U.S Air Force. Each GPS receiver uses to calculate its three-dimensional location (latitude, longitude, and altitude) plus the current time using broadcasted from space through GPS satellite. A master control station, an alternate master control station, and a host of dedicated and shared ground antennas and monitor stations constitute control segment.

Geographical Information System (GIS)

Any system that captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that are linked to location is called Geographical Information System (GIS). It is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and database technology. Google is the most common example which consist data and captured image of locations and shows corresponding location on user screen for which longitude latitude are mentioned.

USAGE:

cartography,

 remote sensing, 

land surveying,

public utility management 

natural resource management

geography

urban planning

 emergency management

 navigation

 Localized search engines.

Working of Automatic Vehicle Locating & Tracking (AVLT) System

The system uses computer technology for primarily for tracking vehicles, freight system and automobiles. The information about real-time position of vehicle to a control system is passed on through signals send out by tracking device already attached to vehicle. Among several techniques available for determining the position and transmitting it, the selection of technique to be actually used depends upon the requirements. The position information is stored in a device for a specific period, which could be anything from a few seconds to some minutes. The information is send out by device either in the raw form (electronic signals) or as processed information.

Transit agencies often use AVLT systems in combination with computer-aided dispatch, mobile data terminals and emergency alarms for improving passenger services, in real-time passenger information, automatic passenger counters and automated fare payment systems.

Purposes like automatic stop announcements, automated destination signs, monitoring vehicle components and prioritizing traffic signals can also use AVLT system for functioning.

Diagram below illustrates representative working of GPS based AVLT system.

Advantages of AVLT

The AVLT has the following advantages:

AVLT is used by Transit agencies for enhancing optimum utilization of fleet and reducing fuel consumption, labor and capital costs. It helps in improving adherence to schedule and accessing passenger information. Availability of plenty of data enables easier management of transit systems which further accounts for increase in net efficiency and productivity of the systems.

Along with increase in operational efficiency, AVL systems’ ability to predict bus arrival timings in real time also enhances customer service, thus making increased customer service and satisfaction as the greatest benefit of AVL. The analysis of service performance in real time as well as chronologically, enabling system planning and emergency repairs is enabled by Supplementary technologies like automatic passenger counters. A direct link between AVL and increased ridership and revenues is shown in study conducted in 2003.

Productivity enhanced- more trips, capital savings due to the ability to better utilize vehicles, maintenance costs reduced and thus general reduction of cost per vehicle

Better adherence to schedule, accuracy in monitoring and coordination

More number of users and higher user loyalty

Need for supervisors and manual data entry reduced

Ability to control operations and driver performance improved

Off-route vehicles are tracked effectively.

Improved communication network between drivers, supervisors, operators and other staff.

Radio messages are lost in less numbers.

Capabilities to inform passengers of bus arrival times improve the quality of service and help the travelers to take better decisions

complaints from customers are reduced and thus need for customer information personnel

these steps improve overall image of the transit agency

The data is more accurate and complete and thus the agency is able to schedule and plan better

Preparation time for schedule as well as number of staff required can be reduced.

Better bus stop placement

Better security for driver as well as travelers by enabling faster location of vehicles and response to accidents

Better operational decisions towards detours due to sudden developments like bad weather, roadway closings and accidents

COSTS FOR AVLT

For the on-board device and the control center procurement, installation and software are included in the costs of AVLT. The costs of AVL also include labor costs concerning maintenance and new staff to operate the systems. Depending on the size, number of components and the sophistication of the system AVL systems are available at different prices.

Today, there are wide ranges of AVL system models available. The simplest and basic models possess features like GPS/ DGPS AVL that have computerized dispatching, mobile data terminals and silent alarms. Models with highly sophisticated features are also available. For large fleet that needs similar features, as the cost of the central monitoring system is distributed over a larger number of vehicles, these systems workout to be cheaper ones.

OBJECTIVES

The objective of this review paper is to make a thorough study on:

1 . A review on where AVLT is being used.

2. Name of different service providers of AVLT in India

3. How this useful technology – AVLT has helped Indian companies

(Citing example of some Indian companies)

4. Effectiveness and trends of AVLT in Indian market

5. The difficulties faced to implement AVLT in large scale.

A Review on Where AVLT is being used

Transit agencies use AVLT to enhance optimum utilization of fleet and reduce fuel consumption, labor and capital costs. AVLT helps to improve adherence to schedule and access passenger information. With AVL, more data is available and this makes it easier to manage transit systems. The net efficiency and productivity of the systems thus increases.

According to Kent Stable, Marketing Manager, Chameleon Direct are suppliers of GPS vehicle tracking systems “Vehicle tracking devices can save your business significant amounts of money by providing you with information about inefficient practices that you would not easily be able to find out by any other means. Many problems associated with multi fleet businesses can be ironed out very swiftly when you have the right information”.

“Track and monitor your entire fleet’s movements with the Automatic Vehicle Location System. An easy to install, implement, and cost efficient solution. Know exactly where your vehicles have been, where they´re headed, and how fast.”- (an advertisement given by Vodafone, India on all time real fleet management system )

Use of AVLT in India & abroad

Vehicle tracking system in India is mainly used in transport industry that keeps a real-time track of all vehicles in the fleet. Though there are various GPS software and hardware developing companies in India working for tracking solutions, however, its application is not all that popular as in other countries like USA, Japan, Malaysia etc. which regulates the whole GPS network. In India it is mostly used in Indian transport and logistics industry and not much personal vehicle tracking eg. Delhi Transport Corporation , Meru Cabs.

“In a call-taxi operation, tracking the location of each available taxi in real-time is extremely critical. It would not be possible to scale up beyond 200-300 taxis with manual tracking, with the use of walkie-talkies or mobile phones. Hence we have opted for technology that is scalable for thousands of taxis, and is a highly successful model in countries like Singapore” -MERU CABS

Freight forwarding

Logistic service providers are now increasingly adopting vehicle-tracking system for better fleet management and timely service. The system can continuously monitor shipment location and so can direct the drivers directly in case of any change of plan. Fleet managers can keep an eye on all activities of workers, vehicle over speed, route deviation etc. The driver in turn can access emergency service incase of sickness, accident or vehicle breakdown. All in turn supports money and time management, resulting better customer service.

Acoording to Dr.Vinod N.Sambrani, (Institute of Management Studies Kuvempu University, Karnataka) and Dr. M. S. Subhas (Karnatak University, Dharwad, Karnataka) “Route analysis helps managers to generate the most efficient route (best route / shortest route) that the vehicle should take between the company and it supply chain link. Alternative routes can also be generated and analyzed. Alternative routes help in rerouting of the supplies in case of problems (either man -made or natural on one route.)”

The best example of application of AVLT in freight forwarding is the popular logistic and courier company Federal Express(FedEx) totally depends on AVLT system .

Emergency Management system

Emergency management system is now a days getting is popularity in India . Health Management Research Institute (HMRI ) Hyderabad runs an emergency ambulance system (108) through AVLT to give customer proper service and reach at the emergency place within 30minites of the occurance of any accidents.

Call centers

In commercial vehicle segments the taxi operators of various call centers are now using vehicle-tracking system for better information access. 

However, its application is in its infant stage in India and if adequate steps are taken in bringing the cost of hardware and software low then it can be used for tracking personal vehicle, farming (tractor), tourist buses, security and emergency vehicle etc. Again Government needs to cut down the restriction imposed upon the availability of digital maps for commercial use and this will encourage software industry in developing cost-effective tracking solutions. Though, sales of both commercial and passenger vehicles are growing but price of tracking service is very high and this is the key issue in Indian market. Hence, it’s important for market participants to reduce prices of GPS chips and other products in order to attract more and more users.

As far as Indian vehicle tracking and navigation market is concerned the recent association of India with Russian Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) will act as a catalyst in the improvement of vehicle tracking system. This will give an advantage in managing traffic, roadways and ports and also as an important tool for police and security agency to track stolen vehicles. Hence, in near future there is large prospect for the utility of vehicle tracking system in India, which can revolutionize the way we are communicating.

Companies in India using AVLT in Fleet Management

SAIL ( Steel Authority of India) : SAIL , India’s one of the top 10 public sector company in terms of turnover , uses AVLT for their Fleet Management system to optimize the routes, real time functionalities like tracking , reporting , controlling , monitoring , emergency situation handling etc.

DTC(Delhi Transport Corporation) : DTC is one of the largest city road transport undertaking in India. It has a fleet of around 15000 vehicle carrying on the business on passenger transport on 800 routes from 33 depots all over Delhi with product mix comprising of City & Intercity services.

Meru Cab Services: One of the famous call taxi service in India, totally manages their fleets through AVLT .Locating the clients pick up and drop point , finding the shortest route and also monitoring the drivers performance and fuel efficiency in all the cases AVLT provides the solution.

Maruti Udyog Limited: Maruti the leader in Indian automobile industry for two decades also uses AVLT system for their fleet management system .Tracking the inventory , supply and monitoring etc is done by AVLT system

Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) : AVLT system is used to track the total fleet management . All the new buses have this GIS -GPS based navigation facility. Garbage Truck Monitoring (Swachcha Bangalore ) is another project taken by Bangalore Government with AVLT technology.

EMRI & HMRI 108 Service , Hyderabad : Emergency Management system and Health Management & Research Institute of Hyderabad has launched 108 Ambulance services . They promises to reach any specific location within the 30min of the causalities. They fully depend on the AVLT system and totally manages their fleets. The Goa Government has also started this facility recently.

Companies Providing Fleet Management services in India

(Cities in India where GIS based vehicle tracking systems are used)

The companies providing these services are as follows:

Vodafone Telecom Services

Airtel Telecom Services

Albireo Telematics Pvt Ltd

TriCAD Design Consultants (P) Ltd.

Vajra Infratech

Aayur Technology Solution

Adhyan Techno Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Arya Omnitalk Wireless Solutions Private Limited

CERT InfoTrack

Clay Telematics Pvt. Ltd.

Dhanus

Digi m-Track

Digitrack

Eagleeye India

effiKC

Findnsecure

Geo Edge Private Limited

Indtrack Solutions

INEN Solutions P Ltd

Intergrated Digital Info Services Limited

Invendis Technologies

iWate Systems

MahaVentures

Next Gen Technologies

Noble Integrated Solutions

Nucleus Microsystems

Omatics

Remedy Software Systems Pvt. Ltd.

Rilapp Network

SATCOP India

Sattvah Embedded Technologies (P) Ltd

Smart Signals Pvt. Ltd.

Symbioun Solutions Limited

Traccia

Traxis India Pvt. Ltd.

CASE STUDIES OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES USING AVLT

1.Fleet Management System adopted by Maruti

Maruti Udyog Limited has been the market leader in Indian Automobile Industry from the past two decades.

MUL launched a service named N2N Fleet To facilitate the sales of MUL cars using the relationship management approach through Leasing and Fleet Management as two products, Management Solution, Through tie ups with other service providers like insurance company, replacement car service provider, and manpower service provider MUL presented a common face to the end client with a whole gamut of services. End-to-end backups/solutions across the vehicle’s life like: Leasing, Maintenance, Convenience services and Remarketing are some of the key services being offered by MUL.

CHALLENGES FACED

MUL was in search of a B2B solution, a common platform for all the partners, clients and respective MUL departments. As this service included interaction and data exchange between multiple organizations therefore safety and security of data became a very important issue not only for MUL, but also for partners and customers. Strict performance criteria and tight deadlines were the other challenges involved in the project.

THE SOLUTION

After a very tough business process analysis the AVLT system was by a business solutions provider. The modular architecture was customized in such a way so that the diff users can use the system as per their requirements. Scalability, security and flexibility were most important issues that were taken account of.

THE BENEFITS

The AVLT system provided MSU with Complete monitoring capabilities for its fleet of vehicles, maintenance, insurance, accident, rescue, and remarketing.

2. The success story of Meru Cabs

Meru the new call taxi service launched last year by V-Link Taxi Pvt. Ltd, has re established the belief that IT can be deployed in just about any field, and can lead to phenomenal gains.

As it is rightly said,

“Technology does not drive change-it enables change.”

The same has been the case with V-Link Taxis Pvt. Ltd.

There was a complete transformation in the way V – link carried out its operations after deploying the GPS-based system to track the newly-launched fleet of cabs called Meru. This service was first started of from Mumbai.

The Challenges

Sharing the importance of the solution, Nilesh Sangoi, CTO, V-Link said, “In a call-taxi operation, tracking the location of each available taxi in real-time is extremely critical. It would not be possible to scale up beyond 200-300 taxis with manual tracking, with the use of walkie-talkies or mobile phones. Hence we have opted for technology that is scalable for thousands of taxis, and is a highly successful model in countries like Singapore.”

The Solutions

V-Link has deployed different technologies from a number of different firms in India and abroad, including Dubai and Singapore.

“We use high-end GPS and GPRS (general packet radio service) technology in our Maruti Esteem vehicles. The technology has been specially deployed to ensure that passengers receive a timely response and are picked up and dropped at their destinations without any unnecessary delay,” reveals Nilesah Sangoi (Tech. Head of Meru Cabs)

“Our vision is to give urban commuters in India a world-class traveling experience, by using a technology that has evolved in developed countries over the past twenty years,” adds Sangoi.

Every cab is fitted with a GPS-based tracking device that facilitates in locating the taxi closest to a customer pick-up location. Customer addresses and other details are communicated back to the driver on the display screen via the GPS enabled display in the cab avoiding the use of outdated radio trunking (walkie-talkie) technology. Every cab also has a tamper proof digital fare meter. The control room gets regular feed about the distance traveled, fare and the location of each cab. Customers also get a printed copy of the fare receipt at the end of the trip. Each cab is fitted with communication terminal (MCT), which has a built-in GPS receiver, LCD (liquid crystal display) screen and GPRS connectivity, which facilitates two way communication with the control room.

“Our data centre hosts a set of communication servers, application servers, and database servers, which are in constant touch with each taxi through GPRS. The latitude and longitude information is plotted on a GIS (Geographical Information Systems) map for real-time tracking,” says Sangoi.

The Benefits:

This GPS enabled technology empowers the customer to book a cab through phone internet and SMS, and the control room can track the cab nearest to the customer’s location enabling a significant reduction in the turnaround time.

If any customer leaves nay belonging in the cab the customer can lodge a complaint about the item left behind and the cab can be located to trace the lost item and it will be returned to the customer.

This Fleet Management system is also important from the point of view of the passengers safety, and can also be used to note the drivers performance.

V-Link Taxis Pvt. Ltd is a subsidiary of the V-Link Group, a corporate fleet management services organization that is headquartered in Mumbai, and operates in five major cities-Mumbai, Delhi and NCR, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The company manages a fleet of over 5000 vehicles running an aggregate of more than 150,000 km a day.

“We have invested heavily in technology to provide best-in-class and highly reliable customer service. The investments are in line with the needs of today’s competitive and swift-moving world,” concludes Sangoi.

In the future too, the organization aims to continuously upgrade its IT infrastructure to keep pace with the times.

3. EMRI & HMRI

Emergency Management & Research Institute and Health Management and Research Institute , Hyderabad took a revolutionary step in the history of Indian’s emergency and health management system .They managed to build up the fleet management so efficiently that anytime and anywhere e it’s an emergency (disaster) or health related problem , they will reach the certain place within minimum time after getting the call in 108 hotline number. Later GVK EMRI , Mumbai also followed the same steps

The Challenges

The first challenges faced was to establish the system widely .. They had to build up many centers throughout the state. They also had to build up an efficient call center and to establish an efficient fleet management system to diagnose the emergency point and detect the nearest location of the fleet (eg. Ambulance) and send the fleet to the destination accessing the shortest and efficient route.

The Solution

They took the IT service help from Satyam Technologies Limited (Currently known as Mahindra Satyam) and build up an efficient fleet management system .They established a module based system. The main module is called as MCC( Mission Control center ) which gets the first news about the emergency from the call center and then locate the nearest centers , fleet and shortest route that gives the fastest access to the destination .

The Benefits

This fleet management system not only changed the look out of the emergency management system in India but that also inspired other states to follow this path. The efficient and excellent service fetched many awards to EMRI & HMRI. Like GVK EMRI bagged NASSCOM CNBC TV18 IT user Award

4. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC)

Delhi Transport Corporation is the one of the largest City Road Transport Undertaking in the India. It has a fleet of around 15,000 vehicles carrying on the business of passenger transport on 800 routes from 33 depots all over the state of Delhi with a product mix comprising of City and Inter-city services.

The Challenges

• Integration of GPS with GIS map of Delhi for tracking of vehicles on a real time basis with two way messaging including distress messaging between the vehicle and the control station.

• Monitoring whether the scheduled route and the time tables of the buses are followed or not.

• Automatic generation, collection, storage and retrieval and analysis of data & information and thus eliminating the human related errors involved in collecting of such data.

•Building a dedicated integrated database employees, buses, bus routes etc.

• Using the GIS model as a support system for implementation of the transport policies.

• Analysis of deviations from standard like schedule route, timing, Missing Bus stops, Punctuality factor etc. based on captured vehicle data.

•Enabling automatic bill generation for the buses.

• Quick dispatch of relief vehicles in case of breakdown.

• Integration with the Delhi metro smart card.

• Working out realistic schedules according to traffic conditions based on speed of bus during different hours of the day and at different segments

The Solution

To accomplish the above-mentioned objectives & challenges, CMC Ltd has developed an Automatic Fleet Management System incorporating its DGPS based Automatic Vehicle Tracking and Management system (AVTMS).

CMC Designed, Developed and Implemented the Automatic Fleet Management System that include Vehicle Tracking System, Application software for billing, Operational Transportation Model for scheduling of buses and integration of Smart Card Reader with the Vehicle Tracking System, provision for Real Time Passenger Information System to Delhi Transport Corporation. The AFMS system is currently operational from two depots for 200 buses since last two years.

• GPS based tracker unit installed on 200 buses belonging to 2 depots

• Monitoring from a Central Control Station for both the depots simultaneously

• Solar based Database Server, AVTMS server, Communication Server

• Display of vehicles at Workstation using ARC Info suite and VC++ based application software

• Established two way messaging system between buses & the central control room.

• Public Mobile Radio Trunking System (Wireless Communication network) for collecting data from buses. Area of coverage is 1500 square km’s.

The Benefits

Verification and Validation of GIS data of Delhi procured from a GIS data vendor, with the help of GPS in both standalone and differential mode. This is to ensure that the data is in required co-ordinate system.

Real time trials were conducted after the buses were installed with the GPS devices to ensure the integrity of the data. Additional custom data as required in the project were collected by conducting extensive field surveys and were encoded in the map of Delhi for facilitation. GIS data was integrated with the turntables containing all the relevant information about various junctions. Application and customization of the of the screen of the reports and queries of the GIS data includes all the info about the buses and other fleets.

5. Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)

In 1997, BMTC was spun off from the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation(Ksrtc) in order to focus exclusively on Bangalore’s rapidly expanding transit needs. The Bangalore Transport Service became Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and the colour scheme was changed from Red to a Blue and White combination.BMTC remains a division of KSRTC.

The Challenges

Integration of GPS with GIS map of Bangalore for tracking of vehicles on a real time basis with two way messaging including distress messaging between the vehicle and the control station.

• Monitoring whether the scheduled route and the time tables of the buses are followed or not.

• Automatic generation, collection, storage and retrieval and analysis of data & information and thus eliminating the human related errors involved in collecting of such data.

•Building a dedicated integrated database employees, buses, bus routes etc.

• Using the GIS model as a support system for implementation of the transport policies.

• Analysis of deviations from standard like schedule route, timing, Missing Bus stops, Punctuality factor etc. based on captured vehicle data.

•Enabling automatic bill generation for the buses.

• Quick dispatch of relief vehicles in case of breakdown.

• Working out realistic schedules according to traffic conditions based on speed of bus during different hours of the day and at different segments.

Providing Real time information to the passengers .

The Solution

To accomplish the above-mentio

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