It’s been a big week for Zonar: Executives from the fleet management technology company unveiled a next-generation tablet at the ATA Management Conference and Exhibition in Las Vegas and then hurried back to Zonar’s Seattle headquarters to announce that Continental, a $40 billion global industrial company, had acquired a majority stake.
As for the new product, the Zonar Connect Android device/software “ecosystem” is designed to give fleets greater control of their operations. Connect allows fleets to seamlessly enter the next era in fleet management technology using a smart fleet platform which is faster, more responsive, readily customizable and more user-friendly than current solutions in the commercial fleet marketplace, according to the company. The tablet is built to be rugged, responsive and easy for drivers to use as it delivers management tools for fleet operations including compliance, safety and efficiency monitoring.
“Just as smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, you soon won’t be able to run your fleet operations efficiently without a smart fleet technology like Connect,” said Brett Brinton, co-founder and CEO of Zonar. “Connect will help operators manage their fleets more effectively as technology changes with hardware that supports over-the-air updates to give them greater flexibility and scalability to grow.”
With Connect, drivers can streamline daily tasks, such as pre- and post-trip inspections; hours of service logging with Roadside View for compliance inspections; communicating with fleet management; documenting deliveries; and navigating routes. The tablet also equips drivers with tools that ensure adherence to a broad range of safety and compliance regulations.
- Powered by a Quad-Core processor, 2GB of built-in memory and 32GB of storage for enhanced speed and responsiveness
- Scalable Android platform supports options for third-party and custom Zonar apps to increase driver productivity and fleet compliance
- Compliant with Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) and Hours of Service regulations
- Ready for the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate with capability for over-the-air software update service
- LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity keeps drivers connected to fleet managers, dispatch and operations
- Constructed with a ruggedized hardware design and a Corning Gorilla Glass screen to endure harsh conditions; and
- Seamlessly integrates with Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control web portal and third-party programs including maintenance, payroll, navigation, workforce management software and more.
Formed 15 years ago, Zonar has pioneered smart fleet telematics with patented and award-winning operations technology—the sort of fleet management service business that Continental is looking to grow around the world.
“It is exciting to move into a new chapter in Zonar history with the backing of a respected global brand that recognizes our need to serve our markets as a nimble, innovative, customer-focused company as we have for the past 15 years,” said Zonar President Ian McKerlich. “Customers will receive the same productive partnership and innovation they have come to expect with Zonar, as well as expanded technological resources and capabilities from Continental.”
Continental will buy 81% of the company, according to the agreement.
“Through the integration of new smart technology solutions, we can enhance our existing fleet management services, said Dr. Michael Ruf, head of the Commercial Vehicle & Aftermarket Business Unit at Continental, where the acquisition will be integrated. “In addition, with regard to remote diagnostics for commercial vehicles, we can broaden our existing Continental diagnostics capabilities through new backend services.”
Zonar is also the exclusive OEM partner for Daimler Trucks North America’s Virtual Technician solution installed on more than 200,000 Daimler trucks. DTNA will retain its 19% share of Zonar.
“Continental’s investment in Zonar presents a great opportunity to bring the best in both hardware and software solutions to the industry. Daimler Trucks North America will continue its partnership with Zonar building upon the success we have enjoyed over the last 5 years and Zonar will continue to be an integral part of our connectivity solutions,” said DTNA President and CEO Martin Daum.