The last two decades have witnessed various technological transformations in the automotive industry. The transportation sector is becoming increasingly digitized with computer-based control systems spearheading this shift—live traffic updates, GPS tracking, and automatic toll transactions. These new levels of connectivity, service, and maintainability are made possible through the expansion and mushrooming of Machine-To-Machine (M2M) communications and sharing of information between the machines through telematics. According to a Machina Research survey titled, “M2M Communication in the automotive sector 2012-22,” by 2022 the number of automotive connections will shoot to 1.5 billion. However, fleet management companies and transportation managers need to ensure the safety, security, and financial feasibility of their fleet and customers. Bridging this gap is RASTRAC, an Austin, TX, based company providing digital communications systems, target tracking systems, and state-of-the-art control of distributed communication and surveillance platforms. “We believe mobile fleets require automated tools that are easy to use and flexible,” delineates Jeff Manning, President, RASTRAC.
RASTRAC is the one 'shop window' providing vehicle automated tracking solutions to mobile managers. The firm’s solutions are empowered by the unique combination of GPS and wireless mobile data communications. Its Automatic Vehicle Location software provides Corridor Geofence capability through which managers can monitor the routes being taken by the drivers. In case a driver deviates from a defined route, the software notifies the concerned authorities of this occurrence via email or text message. Additionally, most of the transportation companies also expect the software to track the miles covered by their fleet. Catering to this need, RASTRAC offers automated mileage reports that can be scheduled and sent via email to the fleet management companies. Further, RASTRAC Idle Time Report helps the companies understand the actual idle time per vehicle, helping them plan the required transport effectively.
We believe mobile fleets require automated tools that are easy to use and flexible
The RASTRAC software can also assist transportation companies in monitoring the driving habits in order to ensure that safety measures and traffic rules are followed. It keeps a tab on each driver’s performance using criteria defined by the RASTRAC user—drivers are graded on a scale of 1 to 100, taking into account speed and idle time.
Moreover, RASTRAC has developed a Map Marker Plug-in that allows fleet managers to view the area covered by their fleet in real-time. The customizable plug-in is highly valuable in cases where maintenance and inspections are required, such as for tracking snowplows or garbage trucks.
RASTRAC’s prowess is highlighted in its illustrious clientele, which includes Hellas Construction, a nationwide construction contractor, specializing in custom sports field turnkey projects for K-12, collegiate, and pro applications. The company faced impediments in accurately tracking and reporting heavy equipment engine hours without connecting to the Electronic Control Module (ECM) of the equipment. RASTRAC went on to deploy a combination of devices, fleet– wide, leveraging factory power points as well as devices that contain multi-year battery life as primary power source. They implemented a low-cost oil pressure switch based system on heavy equipment that provided accrued as well as per occurrence engine use. “The devices deployed provided the customer with the capability to synchronize the current engine hour value on each piece of equipment,” remarks Manning.
With RASTRAC’s most significant international activities being in Latin America, Middle East, Europe, Asia and Africa, they are now planning to establish themselves in Australia as well. “One thing we have learned is that every country tends to have unique tracking needs and we have put in a significant amount of effort into our LTDS, designed to empower our distribution partners across the world. We are excited about the evolution of our solution,” concludes Manning.