What’s included in an AVL System? An overview of basic and advanced features
Posted on 01.08.15

Transportation agencies and businesses that manage fleets are actively exploring the use of AVL and telematics systems. Providers in this field have created a wide range of solutions that range from simple “dots on the map” solutions to complex and powerful options that record and process data.

One challenge when sourcing an AVL system is understanding the differences in terminology and features. Delcan Technologies has prepared a brief overview of the different feature sets to help clarify what is in the market. Take a look…

The Basics: AVL and Telematics

AVL and telematics are considered essentials for fleet management. AVL technology, when paired with telematics, provides fleet managers with a broad view of the status and location of their fleet.

Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL)
Generally described as “dots on a map”, AVL enables companies to view the location of their vehicles on a map. This feature is the cornerstone of any location-based system.

In addition to AVL, this capability enables companies to obtain data from the vehicle. Types of information that can be gathered include: idle time, fuel consumption, fault codes, etc.

Beyond the Basics

More robust systems will add additional capabilities into the basic AVL and telematics features. Two common additions are routing and integration with client applications.

Routing takes GPS the extra mile by allowing fleet managers to maximize their fleet’s efficiency and reduce vehicle miles traveled. Depending on deployment, routing can actually provide turn-by-turn directions to the driver, highlighting any out of route driving.

Application Integration
Fleets that operate with with ancillary applications, such as time management systems, and work-order management systems, to name a few, can benefit by integrating their applications into the AVL/Telematics system. Automated time reporting, and billing systems provide payroll accuracy while decreasing the time to receive payment of services rendered.

Advanced Features: MDC Fleet Management

While routing and application integration are powerful features, many organizations require more from their AVL system. These more robust systems utilize Mobile Data Collectors (MDC) and add customized collection, reporting and communication capabilities.

ATMS Integration
MDC systems allow for custom integration into an ATMS system. This integration feeds immediate notifications to traffic control center. By adding ATMS protocols, vehicles can communicate directly with municipal, regional or state traffic control systems and information is reported immediately.

Precise Material Deployment
Custom defined areas can be established through the use of electronic boundaries and geo-fencing. Precise tracking of material deployment within these areas can be measured and communicated back to vehicle operators.

Predictive Weather Information
Vehicles with MDC capabilities become remote weather stations, providing real-time weather data from locations within operational areas. Controllers can view a live video feed from the vehicle to obtain visual confirmation of weather conditions.

Intelligent Application Thresholds
MDC systems with Maintenance Data Support System (MDDS) capabilities facilitate integration with external and third party providers. Examples of MDSS use include integrating a precision weather forecasting company’s service, provide real-time feedback to the driver on treatment levels, locations and times by device.

Knowing the location of your fleet is only the beginning of the information available to you through AVL technology and telematics. Would these features help you organization improve performance? Delcan Technologies welcomes the opportunity to assess your business needs and create an integrated solution within your Advanced Traffic Management System infrastructure.