New Vehicle Intelligence System Tracks Truck Locations

May 27, 2005
At the Homeland Security Summit in Washington, D.C., International Truck and Engine Corp. unveiled the International Aware Vehicle Intelligence system to track trucks anywhere in the country.

The comprehensive system, when combined with a factory-installed theft-deterrent, becomes a two-stage crime prevention system manageable from a fleet manager's desktop.

"Whether it is a propane truck, a delivery truck or a tractor-trailer, the ability to prevent truck theft or to track its location is extremely important," said Rob Swim, director, Vehicle Center Marketing Strategy, International Truck and Engine. "We've developed a system that helps prevent truck thefts or can track a truck's location at all times."

With International's theft-deterrent system, a truck can be started, but the access code must be entered within seven seconds or the engine will shut down. The seven-second delay is a safety feature for drivers who may have to move a truck a short distance in an emergency situation. If the code is entered incorrectly too many times, it can be programmed to send an alert to the cell phone of a fleet manager or other official.

AmeriGas Propane, the nation's largest retail propane marketer serving 1.3 million customers nationwide, already uses a variation of this theft-deterrent technology to safeguard its new fleet of propane trucks.

"Using International's truck electronics systems like the theft-deterrent system, AmeriGas strengthens the reliability and sustained performance capability of our trucks," said Len Strazza, Fleet Technical Services specialist for AmeriGas. "This feature is important to us because safety and security is a top priority for our company and our industry."

International Aware Vehicle Intelligence is a telematics solution that allows authorized individuals to monitor trucks in real-time through a password-protected Internet connection. The system tracks the truck's exact location, direction of travel and even how fast it is going. Other features include the ability to set up a "geofence," a virtual electronic boundary on a map where trucks should not cross. For example, if a geofence was established around the nation's Capitol and a truck crossed that imaginary line, an alert instantly would relay to designated officials to inform them that a truck is out of its normal boundary and nearing the building.

It also works for highway tractors that veer off course on an Interstate highway. If a truck appears to be taking a different or a suspicious route, the geofence can alert a fleet manager who can investigate further to see if it is a troublesome situation or a matter of a detour due to road construction.

"This new technology gives the trucking industry the ability to keep closer tabs on the thousands of trucks on Americaís roadways," said Swim. "It provides a better situation for drivers, fleet managers and law-enforcement officials."

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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