Fleets using American Mobile Satellite Corp.'s multi-mode land and satellite communications system can now automatically receive information on state line crossings, driver performance, and vehicle condition with the new ADV Monitor for A/S 400 platforms.

The state-line monitoring portion of the new AMSC system uses global positioning satellite vehicle tracking to identify crossings. Fleets are automatically sent notification for each crossing, along with hub odometer readings and other information needed to prepare automated fuel-tax reports.

The new monitoring system also automatically sends driver performance information, including miles and hours driven, overspeed time, and idle hours, to fleet dispatchers on a daily basis.

In addition, the ADV Monitor immediately alerts dispatchers if it detects a critical engine fault code -- without any action on the part of the driver.

Qualcomm begins certifying software developers The satellite communications company Qualcomm Inc. has issued its first "preferred" software certification to Tom McLeod Software Inc. and says that several other trucking software providers are also nearing that preferred status. Qualcomm instituted the certification process after it decided to sell off its own trucking software operations and to concentrate on its core satellite communications business.

The certification program is designed to ensure easier integration of Qualcomm's OmniTRACS communications system with a wide variety of fleet management systems.

In addition to McLeod's preferred status, TMW Systems, Innovative Computer, The Sabre Group, Melton Technologies, and XATA Corp. have all achieved "basic" software certification. At least one of the software companies -- TMW -- is also close to moving up to preferred status.

In order to qualify as a preferred developer, software providers must offer an interface that can convert the Qualcomm system's latitude and longitude position reports into graphical maps, as well as have the ability to provide automatic ETA out-of-route alerts based on data provided by the OmniTRACS system.

Self-powered transceiver designed for Orbcomm satellite system The Star-Gate from Scientific-Atlanta Inc. is a compact, self-powered transceiver for two-way data transmission over the Orbcomm low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications system. The portable unit includes antennas, power source, electronics, and required software in a single box that can be used to collect, transmit, and receive data over the wireless system. It also incorporates a GPS receiver to provide location information.

The Star-Gate's smart electronics can be programmed for on-board data processing and can be configured to monitor a variety of vehicle status sensors. Applications for the new Scientific-Atlanta unit include both trailer monitoring and tracking, as well as in-cab communications with engine and sensor monitoring.

Briefs The new Windows 95 version of RouteView from XATA Corp. automates the process of developing local, regional, and national routes, creating detailed maps for drivers and forecasting ETAs for each stop. Intended for use with XATA's on-board computers and its Route Dispatch system, the program can also test different distribution scenarios.

A mobile mount from Gamber Johnson secures an HP DeskJet 340 printer in a truck cab. The mount design allows paper and ink to be replenished without removing the printer.

Ruggedized portable radio from Kenwood Communications is designed for trunking radio systems operating in severe-service applications. Featuring an aluminum chassis, weather seal gaskets, and a membrane cover for the keyboard, the TK-480/481 is an 800/900MHz radio that can be custom-configured with programmable keys and flash ROM memory caches.

William J. Callahan has been named chief operating officer for XATA Corp., a developer of on-board information systems and software. Previously, Callahan had been director and general manager of Rockwell International's Tripmaster operations.

Comdata Corp. has introduced a digital phone service featuring voice mail, conference calling, and information services for weather, sports, and general news. The system, called Comdata Answer Plus, can be accessed through an 800 number with a Comchek card number and PIN. Charges are automatically debited from the Comchek balance as services are used.