PHOENIX. As fleet owners, managers and other trucking industry execs descended on the Valley of the Sun for PeopleNet’s User Conference this week, they got a chance to check out some new products and offerings from the company and more than 30 exhibitors.
Before the conference’s official start, attendees thronged the exhibit hall Monday evening, where PeopleNet highlighted two new products in particular. One of those is the new ConnectedFleet platform, which is designed to “connect people, equipment and devices, all the time and everywhere, converting data into actionable information with real-time speed.”
The product’s software is now available for Android operating systems, which gives fleets a wider selection of commercial-grade tablet computers "with the framework to support and allow some personal enablement,” according to PeopleNet. Fleets can opt for PeopleNet's ConnectedTablet or a range of other tablets certified for use as the in-cab interface with the system.
The ConnectedFleet Platform is delivered via the PeopleNet Mobile Gateway, the system's hardware hub that's installed in trucks. It provides a wireless access point and works on high-speed networks and WiFi where available, and PeopleNet notes it can connect a variety of devices in addition to the tablet.
For use with trucks that have the PeopleNet system, the company also showcased the first phase of its ConnectedDriver mobile application suite. The apps aim to untether drivers from having to be in their trucks for access to new dispatch alerts, hours of service availability and — at least in this first phase — read-only messaging. The suite works with Android and iOS devices, and PeopleNet says it could help with driver recruitment and retention by giving drivers more flexibility and freedom in accessing needed information.
In another announcement, Paccar Leasing Co., or PacLease — the financial services division of global truck OEM Paccar — is making onboard vehicle diagnostics systems from PeopleNet available on all Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks with Paccar MX-13 engines. The diagnostics systems, Kenworth TruckTech+ and Peterbilt SmartLINQ, enhance PacLease's PacTrac telematics system developed by PeopleNet, according to PacLease.
“We’ve been partners with PeopleNet for 10 years,” says Michelle Harry, the company’s director of marketing. With TruckTech+ and SmartLINQ, customers “are going to be able to have the PeopleNet box installed at the factory [to provide] onboard remote diagnostics capability,” she adds, and the diagnostics systems can direct a truck to the nearest PacLease location when a problem is detected.
“This is a big project that Paccar has taken on with PeopleNet, and we'll use this to leverage our existing telematics offering,” Harry tells Fleet Owner. “We can provide these easily on our trucks, and it's a lot faster for us to get these for customers. If customers want to lease our trucks and want a PeopleNet device, it comes from the factory already with an active box — all we have to do is install the in-cab device.”
The customer would then purchase a subscription to PeopleNet services.
That news was hard to miss: to demonstrate the new features, PacLease parked a Kenworth T680 tractor in the middle of the exhibit hall. Conference-goers drifted in and out of the truck's cab as they visited booths ranging from PeopleNet sister companies like benchmarking data and analytics provider Vusion and others such as air braking and safety technology provider Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and diesel engine OEM Cummins.