In-cab video training and WiFi internet access are two of the most important features of Qualcomm Inc.’s next generation on-board computer, according to John Pope, chairman of Cargo Transporters, speaking at a press briefing during the American Trucking Assns.’ annual conference here. His fleet was one of four beta testers for the new MCP200. He said Cargo Transporters is currently using the earlier-generation MCP100 and will move all of its trucks to the new OBC.
For Schneider National, which has recently announced that it will install the MCP200 in its entire fleet, its advanced automated drivers’ log function are the most important feature, according to Don Osterberg, vp of safety & driver training. During its beta testing, the fleet also saw “a positive impact on driver productivity and more intelligent dispatching.
Drivers testing the beta units for Transport America found the text-to-speech function most useful, according to Keith Klein, exec. vp & COO. The fleet blocks texting when its trucks are moving, so drivers used it to monitor messages, as well as receive directions with the MCP200’s navigation application.
Text-to-speech was also popular with Swift Transport beta test drivers, according to Mike Ruchensky, vp & CIO. In particular, they liked receiving spoken directions when they missed a turn and had to be rerouted to get back on track, he said.
Swift also plans to test a new Qualcomm application that automates many driver functions based of real-time location data, Ruchensky said. Introduced at the show, Circle of Service Workflow automatically presents drivers with pre-filled forms and other specific information and instructions when the on-board computer determines the vehicle has arrived at a customer location. It is available for the new MCP200 as well as for the MCP100 platform, according to Qualcomm.
Qualcomm also announced that it has created a WiFi network that will provide automated wireless access for its MCP200 units at more than 700 truckstops across the U.S. The company’s new Premium Wi-Fi Service will use the existing truckstop network created by Wandering WiFi, giving drivers access to the new OBC’s internet and video functions, as well as providing no-cost wireless communications for sending collected on-board data back to fleet managers.