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【System】Flexible Intelligent and Connected, MRM SDK Package

5/26/2015

Flexible Intelligent and Connected, MRM SDK Package

Because a fleet is a logistics service provider’s most important asset, effective fleet management is vital for optimum, efficient operation. However, because most logistics vehicles are used outdoors, managing themcan prove challenging. In the past, operational efficiency was dependent on driver behavior and work ethic. In recent years, embedded technologies such as GPS, Wi-Fi, and 3G have advanced rapidly and are comprehensively applied to fleet management systems. Back-end management platforms enable enterprises to remotely manage vehicle routing, status, and driver behavior over wide areas. Remote monitoring and management not only improve operational efficiency, but also help regulate driver behavior to increase safety and enhance company reputation. By MD Wang and images provided by Advantech

Interview with Brian Hsieh, Business Development Manager; Mark Chen, Product Manager; Hades Wang, SW SRP of Advantech Digital Logistics and Fleet Management Sector

A Brilliant System with Six Functions

While fleet management technology has been available for quite some time and has been adopted by many enterprises, there is still room for enhancing market awareness and increasing penetration rate. Furthermore, for systems integrators(SIs), resource limitations can negatively impact market strategies. Advantech’s fleet management solution provides the system integrator with strong technical support. Additionally, the expanded functionality of MRM SDK enables SIs to better allocate their system integration resources.

Compared with the previous SDK, the new MRK SDK has several improved features, including a dedicated design that maximizes hardware efficiency, makes it easier to integrate accessories, reduces application development time and cost, allows more complete fleet management integration, and makes physical vehicle information more available. These features enable administrators to manage their fleets more effectively.

The features of MRM SDK are based on configurable firmware and protocols for the following six functionalities: video surveillance, remote diagnostics and upgrades, peripheral control, intelligent video analytics, sensor control, and intra-vehicle communication. These six technologies are integrated into the software, making the fleet management system a closed system regardless of the vehicle type or back-end platform.

Because MRM SDK supports over -the-air (OTA) technology,enterprises can conduct vehicle, system, and firmware updates remotely via a back-end management and control platform. Consider GPS devices for example. In the past, to update stored maps, each device had to be removed from the vehicle and transferred to the IT department where it would be upgraded manually, or IT technicians would personally attend to every vehicle. For relatively small fleets, the amount of time spent updating equipment was feasible; however, for large-scale logistics service providers with fleets comprising hundreds of vehicles, a substantial amount of time was necessary to accomplish an equipment update.

However, with OTA technology, direct equipment updates can be scheduled to occur automatically. Therefore, IT technicians only need to configure the settings at the backend to execute all updating operations within a predetermined time, significantly reducing operational downtime.

IoT Increases Accessto Vehicle Data

The MRM SDK platform adopts the Windows operating system, which allows system video messages to be obtained more easily; further, the SDK also adheres to the major standard vehicle body communication protocol, CAN Bus. CAN Bus connects with the sensors installed inside the vehicle body, which transmit their signals to the main vehicle system and the back-end management platform. The administrator can infer driving behaviors from these messages. For instance, too much heavy braking would probably raise questions. Moreover, the sensors can automatically diagnose the status of the physical vehicle; the most famous application being the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), which detects pressure in every tire and informs the driver of any non-conforming tire or tires in order to prevent accidents. In MRM SDK, the sensing technology extends to the IoT structure; which integrates all important componentsin the physical vehicle into themonitoring network, adding anotherlayer of intelligence to fleet management.

"Intelligent management” means different things for different applications. Intelligent fleet management strives to make driving behavior and vehicle status more predictable. That is to say, intelligent fleet management works to control as many conditions as possible in advance. Consider the aforementioned TPMS for example: because a substantial number of vehicle collisions are the result of insufficient tire pressure, enterprises have increased emphasis on tire pressure monitoring. However, for fleets, tires are consumables; for even a medium-sized fleet the cost of replacing tires can reach into the millions.

Using MRM SDK’s tire monitoring function, the condition of all fleet vehicle tires can be assessed and managed remotely. The MRM SDK not only notifies fleet managers of tire wear and pressure, but thecollection ofvehicle data can also facilitate economies of scale.

The advantage of Advantech’s MRM SDK compared to other fleet management SDKs on the market, is system flexibility.For system integrators, no system is flawless, and most design issues typically emerge only during use. Therefore, rather than adopting a single-project solution, the ideal strategy is to implement a platform that enables integrators to address problems immediately. The simple interface and flexible functions of Advantech’s MRM SDK enable developers to rapidly design ideal fleet management systems that increase both operational and cost efficiency.