PeopleNet had a number of products on display including its hoursofservice solutions

PeopleNet details black box technology, announces fleet deployments

April 26, 2015

CINCINNATI. Visitors to the PeopleNet booth this week at the National Private Truck Council’s 2015 Annual Education Management Conference and Exhibition are getting a hands-on look at some of the company’s telematics products, but they can also hear about the company’s latest creation.

President Brian McLaughlin detailed some of the product’s capabilities in a meeting with Fleet Owner. The PeopleNet Mobile Gateway, aka a black box, is now being offered on any Paccar Class 8 product equipped with an MX-13 engine. It is also available as a software product for Cummins engines through that company’s Connected Diagnostics program.

The gateway provides real-time engine fault codes through a web-based portal, providing at-a-glance data on the vehicle’s health. That information, McLaughlin said, is “decorated” by the PeopleNet system on its g3 platform, helping fleets and drivers know whether a warning light is something that needs immediate attention or not.

Previously, he added, a fleet might get five individual fault codes, but only by analyzing each independently would it know what the real problem was. The PeopleNet system will do that automatically, and in real time.

The system was first introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show last month. On Peterbilt trucks, the product will be called SmartLINQ. On Kenworth models, it will be called TruckTech +.

The introduction of the system is also the first step towards prognostic maintenance, whereby fleets could potentially identify components about to fail and replace them before a truck requires service while on the road. McLaughlin said PeopleNet is working towards that and has systems in beta testing now, with the potential for a product within a year.

The company also recently reorganized into four vertical business units – Truck, Video, OEM Business Line and Oil & Gas. The purpose, McLaughlin said, is to leverage each unit to turn PeopleNet from what it was – a telematics company - into a full service provider.

“We didn’t want to be just a telematics in-cab provider,” he said. “We want to be a whole mobility provider.”

And that includes the mobile gateway, which is being produced under the OEM Business Line now headed by Garland Jackson, and the new Video unit, which will be releasing a new in-cab video solution by the third quarter.

Along with that, McLaughlin is also closely watching the ongoing hours-of-service and electronic logs regulations.

“We’re very involved in the process, as much as we can be,” he said. We’ve built hardware for what we know. Our systems are accommodating, but we can’t change anything until we know for sure.”

He added that the expectation is the ELD mandate, expected this fall, will require only software changes to PeopleNet systems, which will be handled with over-the-air updates.

PeopleNet also had a couple of fleet announcements to make.

Quality Carriers, a bulk transportation service provider, has integrated the PeopleNet technology platforms into its fleet of approximately 2,500 tank trucks. Quality will uses the PeopleNet Display.4 and TMWSuite to utilize PeopleNet’s Activity Standards, fault code monitoring, eDVIR vehicle inspections, onboard event recording, SpeedGauge speed monitoring and the Vusion full-service fuel tax analytics.

That announcement was jointly made at the National Tank Truck Carriers Annual Conference, going on this week in Boston.

PeopleNet also said that J.B. Hunt has chosen Drivewyze to deliver weigh station bypass service through its in-cab PeopleNet platforms. The software company first activated Drivewyze PreClear Analytics on its in-cab platforms in 2014.

About the Author

Brian Straight | Managing Editor

Brian joined Fleet Owner in May 2008 after spending nearly 14 years as sports editor and then managing editor of several daily newspapers.  He and his staff  won more than two dozen major writing and editing awards. Responsible for editing, editorial production functions and deadlines.

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