The ability to monitor school buses and commercial trucks in real-time through GPS technology is a rapidly growing need in the marketplace. International Truck and Engine Corp. is the first truck and bus manufacturer to offer a comprehensive telematics solution for buses, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. The company’s efforts with this innovation have led Frost & Sullivan to award International the 2006 Industry Innovation and Advancement of the Year Award in the medium-heavy truck original equipment market.
The award recognizes International’s development of the International AWARE Vehicle Intelligence solution, a significant step forward in the introduction of advanced electronic communication systems in the North American commercial truck and school bus market. The system incorporates GPS technology to track the exact position of vehicles and uses in-vehicle monitors to relay key operating data such as vehicle functions and conditions back to fleet managers, owners and service teams through secure wireless networks.
“International Truck and Engine is pleased to accept this award from the industry experts at Frost & Sullivan,” said Dan Lindberg, vice president and general manager of AWARE Vehicle Intelligence at International. “Our extensive research, engineering and coordination with our customers have led to the development of a solution that will help businesses in various vocations streamline its vehicle operations.”
The GPS-based vehicle positioning system helps fleet managers locate vehicles anywhere within the continental U.S., allowing the remote monitoring of route and stops the vehicle makes. This assists with planning logistics for a more fuel-efficient route.
A “geo-fence” feature alerts fleet managers with an automatic email or text message if a vehicle enters or leaves a pre-designated region. This is especially useful for homeland security implications with sensitive truck cargo such as propane trucks or in the event that a school bus is ever hijacked. In emergency situations on the vehicle, drivers can immediately communicate with the fleet operations control center by pressing a driver alert switch—an onboard alarm button to alert fleet operations to a potential issue with the vehicle or concern with security a driver may be experiencing.
The advantage to customers with the International AWARE Vehicle Intelligence solution is the streamlining of maintenance. The system monitors key vehicle parameters like fuel usage, battery voltage, engine hours and even accessory equipment to provide comprehensive, easily organized reports for maintenance teams to improve fleet efficiency and uptime. Fault code monitoring also helps fleet managers react to issues as they happen.
“This innovative product signifies the end-user-focused product planning of International and showcases the company’s focus on offering maximum value for money to its customers,” said Sandeep Kar, analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “The company does so by offering commercial vehicle systems that can result in significant improvements in the productivity and performance of vehicles, the key considerations for any commercial vehicle buyer.”
The award will be given at a ceremony during the 2006 Excellence in Automotive & Transportation Awards Banquet in La Jolla, Calif., on Feb. 8.